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What is mindfulness, what is it useful for and what can it help me to achieve?

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Iceprincess:
A couple of days ago, I was talking with a friend. During that conversation, I came out to him and confessed him my feelings regarding to my body and gender, and all of a sudden we started to talk about meditation as a way to find out if I really need to become a female.

Anyway, he started to tell me about mindfulness, which, as what I understood from him, and Wikipedia, as well as other internet sources, means to focus on the moment and not let any thoughts deviate our concentration from what we have to do. However, it's still unclear for me.

I've read the Wikipedia article regarding to this kind of meditation, but I'd like to know more about it. What is it, and what is not? What are their applications and, how can it help me during my life?

Thanks for your replies people! ^_^

Janet_Girl:
To me mindfulness is be aware of your choices, your body and a sort of enlightenment.  To be in tune with your true higher being.

spacial:
I know of this. It's basically what you have described. But takes a lot of practice. It involves shutting out thoughts not concerned with the present. But isn't as simple as that.

A meditation technique you can use, that is similar to transendental meditation is this.

Find a comfortable place to sit where you won't be disturbed for about 30 mins.

Sit comfortably, with your back as straight as possible, your head facing forward, your hands held losely infront.

Close your eyes and try to listen to the rythmn of your thoughts.

This needs some explaination.

Ignore your breathing. Ignore any other sounds such as ticking clocks. Let your thoughts flow, where ever, much like you do when you start to fall asleep. But listen to the pattern or rythmn of the thoughts, rather than the thoughts themselves.

It takes a bit of practice, but most people are surprised at how easy it is to pick up. Some people describe it like a meaningless sound, usually 2 syllables.

When you have found that rythmn, think about it.

When you realise you are thinking about something else, bring yourself back to that rythmn.

Keep doing this, when you are aware of thinking about something else, bring yourself back to your sound.

Do this for about 20 minutes.

Give yourself a break of about 12 hours before doing it again. When you do do it again, try to use the same sound.

Rosa:
Mindfulness helps us get past our delusions and fabrications and helps us to see our true self, or lack of self.  There are a wide variety of techniques to help develop mindfulness, from simple breathing exercises to complex meditations.  You have to find what is best for your situation and apply the practice.

Here is a nice article (PDF) on mindfulness by Ven. Thubten Chodron, a Tibetan nun in the Gelug tradition:  http://www.thubtenchodron.org/GradualPathToEnlightenment/LR_121_8FoldPath_11Jul94.pdf

rejennyrated:

--- Quote from: Iceprincess on June 27, 2010, 06:01:58 pm ---A couple of days ago, I was talking with a friend. During that conversation, I came out to him and confessed him my feelings regarding to my body and gender, and all of a sudden we started to talk about meditation as a way to find out if I really need to become a female.

--- End quote ---
Its a great idea... and indeed something which was a key element in my transition. I can't really improve on the references that others have given so I will confine my post to the positive contribution that following this technique made to my development.

It was only when I entered a truly mindful state that I fully realised how deep the need to be physically female really went.

I think most of the time, as pre-transition young adults, we run around with the delusion, often encouraged by so called therapists, that we can "cope" as we are. I certainly did that from age 18 or so to 21 when the mirror truly started to crack in earnest and I rediscovered the truth which I had so busily been surpressing.

In my case, when I became mindful I understood that a lot of the frantic activity that I was engaged in was really a cover to preven myself from knowing as an adult, that which I had instinctively always known as a child, which was that I WAS a girl, whatever the illusions of my body might suggest, and that there could be no escaping that fact. The only question was what to do about it. Once I percieved that then there was no alternative but to transition and pursue SRS a soon as possible because no other choice made any logical sense.

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