Advertisement

Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Waking Up is a Revolutionary Act: A Manifesto for Mindful Living

As I alluded to in the entry, The Mindfulness Revolution, any good revolution needs a manifesto. So here it is, part one of ten. There is a book out called the Mindfulness Manifesto and I confess that I haven’t read it. Here is my version. To adumbrate, here are the ten chapters that comprise it:

1. Start Right Here, Right Now

2. Put Yourself in Context

3. Put That Big Brain to Good Use

4. Get Beyond Yourself

Advertisement

5. Be Good

6. Embrace Change

7. Practice Happiness

8. Attune, Resonate, Integrate

9. Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid

10. Be Self-Reliant

1. Start Right Here, Right Now

“It makes much more sense to live in the present tense” – Eddie Vedder

It is always now and this is the only moment we can live. I don’t mean some idea of now – the actual experience of now. What are you doing now? What does it look like, sound like, taste like, and most importantly, feel like?

Advertisement

How much of your attention is here with the experience and how much is elsewhere? Can you give your full attention to what is happening now? Or at least try to. And when attention goes somewhere or some place else can you tap into awareness to bring attention back? Give this a try. Right now, if you don’t mind!

This awareness attends to the psychological present that lasts about three seconds.

The present moment is the currency of our lives. How do you want to spend these moments? We’ll have about 600 million of these moments in the course of our lives. Sounds like a lot, but you’ve just spent a few of them. And if you’re not paying attention – these moments go by unnoticed; gifts that remain unwrapped.

Let’s face it; you’re talking to yourself most of the time. This talk can be accompanied by images and feelings or these images and feelings can be featured on their own without talk. It’s a great human capacity to be able to represent words and images in imagination. Cool stuff. However, …

Advertisement

Where is your attention most of the time? In fantasy, imagination, lala land. In any given moment attention, when not fully with the present moment will be in any one of nine different spaces. Your self-talk and images may be hanging out in the future. This future may be pleasant, anticipating something wonderful that is on the horizon or something hoped for. This feels good. This future may be unpleasant, anxious worry about something that may or may not happen. This feels bad. Or attention may be randomly engaged with the future with no particular emotional charge. Welcome to your brain.

Or attention may go retro. This past may be pleasant, a fond memory of something. This also feels good. This past may be unpleasant, a preoccupation with regret; a rumination on imperfections. This feels bad. Or attention may be randomly engaged with the past with no particular charge; just doing what brains do.

Advertisement

There is another place your mind tends to be, that is if you have a pulse – commenting upon the present. This is not being in the present – it’s another form of imagination-driven fantasy. I like this; I want more of this. I don’t like this; I want it to stop. Why is this happening to me? I can’t wait to tell so and so about this. The present is referenced but not experienced directly. It’s the common occurrence that William James noted one hundred years ago that our intellectual life, “consists almost entirely of substituting a conceptual order for the perceptual order” in which our experience originally lives.

Try the perceptual order. You might find life to be more vivid and less rife with anguish. No stories about the future and past and no commentary about the present leave anguish no place to hide. No stories, no suffering. Period.

Advertisement

Waking Up is a Revolutionary Act: A Manifesto for Mindful Living was inspired by Experience Life magazine, Editor-in-Chief, Pilar Gerasimo’s, article Being Healthy is a Revolutionary Act: Renegade Perspectives for Thriving in a Mixed Up World, and its accompanying A Manifesto for Thriving in a Mixed Up World. Visit http://RevolutionaryAct.com, the website devoted to Being Health is a Revolutionary Act: A Manifesto for Thriving in a Mixed-Up World and download your own copy of the manifesto and join the movement! Read more about Experience Life here.

Previous Posts

Everything Essential Buddhism Book
I was recently on the Mark Johnson Show on WDEV in Vermont. We spoke about the Buddha and Buddhism themes that are covered in my new book, The Everything Essential Buddhism Book. It's always a pleasure to talk with mark and a touch of sadness to ...

posted 10:05:58am Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Don't Own Your Mind
Our brains are little factories. Their chief product is, of course, thoughts. They also manufacture images, memories, and emotions. Best of all, they fabricate stories. Our brains can do this unbidden, without any direction from us. Given the ...

posted 6:36:24pm Aug. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Relationships 2.0 Interview August 11
Tune in Tuesday August 11 at 6 PM (3 PM PST) for my radio conversation with Dr. Michelle Skeen, host of Relationships 2.0. We'll be discussing relationship challenges for introverts and guidance from my book, The Awakened Introvert. If you ...

posted 9:00:13pm Aug. 10, 2015 | read full post »

Coming Soon: Mindfulness A to Z
2015 has been a busy year for me publishing books. In May, The Awakened Introvert came out (New Harbinger). In July, The Everything Essential Buddhism Book came out (Adams Media). Soon, Mindfulness A to Z: 108 Insights for Awakening Now (Wisdom ...

posted 12:46:02pm Aug. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Life Interrupted
I've been thinking a lot about interruptions lately. When I meditate in the mornings, I prefer to do it at a time when I won't be interrupted by others. Yet, even in the most protected environment, interruptions are inevitable. My mind will ...

posted 4:50:31pm Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.