An unexpected book arrived in the mail the other day. A gift from my friend’s at Wisdom Publications. Zen Master Raven: The Teachings of a Wise Old Bird. by Zen Master human form, Robert Aitken. Here the koans are told by and to animals of the forest: raven, porcupine, owl, woodpecker, badger, black bear, and […]
On 22 March 2013 The Business Day, Your Money section of the New York Times published an article by Alina Tugend, “In Mindfulness, a Method to Sharpen Focus and Open Minds.”
Score another little victory for the Mindfulness Revolution. She recognizes that mindfulness has become a buzzword. “But, skeptic that I am, I wondered if it was being oversold as a panacea that is simple, safe and involves no heavy objects.” What she discovers from her interview with Dr. Michael Baime at Penn and others is that to get the real benefits of mindfulness one must really work at it.
I think as a culture we are inclined towards the quick fix. Life is so busy, we need to fit our salvation into the straining cracks of an overcommitted life. “Real” mindfulness practice cannot be assimilated into that lifestyle. Instead, to make mindfulness authentic, genuine, and transformative we must accommodate our lifestyle to the practice.
This means setting aside some quality time daily to practice; it means going on retreat periodically, where we do nothing other than practice in intensive fashion. With that foundation, then we can pour mindfulness into the cracks of our day, enjoying the benefits of brief, quick practices.
We can use mindfulness to help us become more efficient over-achievers, mitigating some of the stress that comes along with a relentless lifestyle. Or we can use mindfulness to help us become better people–more connected to ourselves and others, more aware, awake, and still. The concept of mindfulness is one thing, the actual experience of it is another.
See if you can find some time today to be with your experience, as it is, without adding anything to it. See if you can create a space of stillness today where you can be with the process of your becoming in each moment.