How to Practice Mindfulness (Buddhism)

Опубликовал Admin
25-02-2021, 05:50
Practicing mindfulness is about controlling the way you think about the world. You must learn to live in the present moment and how to focus your attention on only the matters you choose to focus on. Mindfulness involves observing the world around you without judgement. Experiencing emotion is not counter to the effective practice of mindfulness, in fact it is an important part of it. Learning to let those emotions go, however, is just as important.

Paying Attention on Purpose

  1. Be conscious of where your focus lies. Mindfulness is about becoming more aware of your thoughts. Don’t allow yourself to ruminate on things without doing so intentionally. Make a conscious effort to focus on things specifically and not let your mind wander.
    • It’s easy to get caught up in your feelings about the events of the day, personal relationships or stresses at work, but practice making yourself focus only on subjects you want to think about.
    • Being able to control your focus on things going on outside of you is the first step to being able to control your focus on what is going on within you.
    • Be mindful of when your mind wanders and when it does, focus to bring your attention back to what you choose to pay attention to.
  2. Be aware of your actions. Mindfulness and awareness are similar, but aren’t quite the same thing. Knowing that you are speaking to someone is not the same as being mindful of how you speak to them. Pay attention to the things that you do and say, as well as your motivations.
    • Most people travel through life on a form of auto-pilot, just acting and reacting as the need arises.
    • Paying attention to how you act is a good way to take a stock of who you are and who you want to be.
  3. Give your actions purpose in your mind. Paying attention to what you are doing and where you are focused is all part of giving what you do purpose. Purpose can be a wide variety of things that includes the purpose of focusing your attention, or being present as you accomplish tasks you set out to do.
    • Being aware of who you are, what you’re thinking, and what you’re doing to help you identify the purpose of your actions.
    • Focus your attention on what you are doing, what you are feeling, and what is going on in the present moment.

Living in the Present Moment

  1. Don’t live in the past. It isn’t uncommon for people to get hung up on things that have happened in the past, but doing so can have a negative effect on your mindfulness. Nothing you do now can change what has already happened.
    • When you feel yourself slipping into focusing on the past, intentionally drive your focus back to the present moment.
    • Remember to adopt the lessons you gain, without focusing on past events.
  2. Avoid getting caught up in the future. There’s nothing wrong with planning for your future, but when you allow your plans, fears or concerns about the future affect your daily life it becomes an issue. Practicing mindfulness means keeping your attention squarely in the present moment.
    • Plan for the future, but don’t allow yourself to get caught up in worrying about what may or may not happen.
    • Thinking too much about the future won’t allow you to fully appreciate what is happening right now.
  3. Stop watching the clock. In the Western World, many of us have grown dependent on the clock. We check it constantly, paying attention to how much time has passed since we started something, or how much time is left before we can move to the next thing. Stop living your life based on how time elapses and start focusing on what is going on right now.
    • Checking the time isn’t a problem, but your attention to the passage of it can be. Try going through your day without glancing at the clock as often.
    • When you stop worrying about how much longer you have to wait for something, you can begin to appreciate what it going on right now.
  4. Allow yourself to do nothing. Being productive is important, but sometimes it can be just as important to allow yourself to do nothing. Spend some time alone, sitting quietly and focusing on experiencing the world around you exactly as it is.
    • Sitting quietly to empty your mind of thoughts of the past and present is a form of meditation.
    • To be mindful, you don't necessarily have to clear your mind for 30 minutes at a time. Even just focusing on your breath for 1-2 minutes can help you become more aware of your thoughts.
    • There are a number of exercises one can do while they meditate.
    • Meditation has been known to relieve stress, help with depression and anxiety, and even reduce your chances of getting cancer.

Paying Attention Without Passing Judgement

  1. Let go of judgments and negative emotions. Now that you have your attention squarely in the present, you may find yourself observing things you may not have noticed before. An important part of practicing being mindful is having the ability to observe what goes on around you without associating judgement to it.
    • Try to observe your surroundings objectively. Don’t place blame or look down on others for their actions, instead empathize with their situation.
    • By focusing on staying in the present moment, it becomes easier not to judge others, as judgement tends to come from a prediction of how one’s behavior will affect the future.
  2. Don’t cling to good emotions either. Mindfulness is not always happiness. Being mindful means being willing to let go of the past, regardless of the positive or negative emotions associated with it.
    • If you are truly in the present, you can appreciate the positive moments in your life without worrying that they will end.
    • It is more difficult to experience the positive moments in your present if you are comparing them to those that may have come before it.
  3. Treat your feelings like the weather. Mindfulness is about existing in the present and letting go of judgments, fears, regrets and expectations. That does not, however, mean that you should be stoic or without emotion. Instead, embrace your emotions, but allow them to pass like the weather. You can’t control the weather, nor can you control how things make you feel.
    • Negative emotions are like thunderstorms, they may come when you least expect or would prefer, but ruminating over them won’t make them pass by any sooner.
    • As positive and negative emotions rise and fade away, let them pass. Do not allow yourself to cling to emotions by letting your mind drift into the past or future.
  4. Treat others with kindness and compassion. Mindfulness requires being in the present without judgement, but understand that not all people choose to pursue such a method of thinking. You will encounter people that are caught up in negativity, or who are experiencing a very difficult time. Again, letting go of the past and future does not equate to detachment. Practice empathy for others.
    • Treat others well, and focus on the way it makes you feel in the moment.
    • Don’t expect everyone to adopt the same perspective as you. Practicing mindfulness is a personal journey, and letting go of judgement includes not judging others for their inability to let go of their own pasts and futures.
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