Mindfulness is a spontaneous and naturally occurring state
Have you ever woken up in the morning (without a hangover!) in a lucid awakening state and for a few seconds not known where you are or what day it is or what you’re doing that day? Just a momentary blankness – your mind feeling like a clean slate – and then whoosh in come the thoughts – a bit like pulling a big thick jumper over your head and then with a jolt everything is "normal" again.
Whenever you climb a steep ladder – or a rock-face – or drive a car at speed or engage in any physical activity where there is some degree of danger – have you noticed afterwards how you became oblivious to everything except your 100% concentration totally in the present moment?
Or perhaps at a more sedate level, can you recall how you feel for a few seconds after you have ceased to be engaged in any all encompassing activity that has absorbed your 100% attention – that clear feeling devoid of thought.
Maybe it’s happened when you have been out in the open air in a wild, remote or natural setting and you have become completely still and at been aware of feeling at one with the beauty, wildness and splendour.
These are all normal, "everyday" type experiences where we are unaffected by our thoughts and where we are totally present. These are naturally occurring states of mindfulness or present moment awareness.
Being free of our thoughts, free of the incessant chatter in our heads, free of the endless grinding of the wheels of repetitious thoughts feels spacious and light.
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The practise of mindfulness is simply a series of structured mental disciplines and habits that take those natural and spontaneous occurrences of present moment awareness and brings them under conscious control and in so doing it makes that freedom more possible, more frequent and eventually available whenever we need it.
In that state, time does stand still – or we cease to be aware of it, the usual sense of separation and duality does weaken or disappear, insights occur more frequently and intuition and creativity become stronger.
Mindfulness shows us how to think and how to stop thinking.
The practise of mindfulness addresses both of our primary objectives: it does enable us to stop thinking and step out of the tyranny and treadmill of our thoughts, but it also shows how to think more resourcefully.
So by these criteria, mindfulness is a necessary and powerful tool in managing personal change and especially in dealing with imposed change that has a direct impact.
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