Mindfulness: A Powerful Transformation Tool

Mindfulness: A Powerful Transformation Tool

The word “mindfulness” is often used in association with meditation, and in particular with Buddhist meditation. Mindfulness in this sense is not simply awareness. It refers to a particular quality of awareness.

We already have awareness in our daily life. After all, we do not go through life in a coma. We know that we are aware of many things. For example, we are aware when we cross the road. We are aware when we eat or watch a movie or play a game. So what is the difference between this form of awareness and mindfulness?

There are two important qualities in mindfulness. The first is knowing, which is also present in our everyday awareness. However, it is the second quality of non-judging and accepting it as it is that makes mindfulness different from our everyday awareness. And this is an extremely important difference.

When our everyday awareness knows something, it immediately or habitually analyzes it, evaluating it, judging it. Then it decides whether it is something it likes or dislikes, and it reacts accordingly. What it is attracted to, it wants more of it. What it is averse to, it wants to run away from it, hide it, bury it or ignore it. So, in this sense, our everyday mind is constantly doing something or looking for something to do. This has become such a powerful habit that the everyday mind actually finds it difficult to “not-do” anything.

Mindfulness, on the other hand, is non-judging, accepting and allowing. It does not personalize the experience. When we practice this form of awareness in our daily lives, we will soon see a difference in the quality of our lives. Life becomes less of a struggle, more joyful and peaceful. Stillness of the mind actually becomes possible. Fear gradually diminishes and loses its power over us.

To quote Thich Nhat Hanh, “Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy”.

 

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