Thursday, November 17, 2011

Living up to Our Mindfulness Potential

I am not yet done listening to this wonderful talk given by Ayya Khema. Many gems to be found there, and in particular:

"Most people use mindfulness just enough to survive."

Using mindfulness to cross the street, to brush our teeth, to type this post, to eat breakfast, to work, to make love, to buy groceries, to go to the bathroom . . .

Using mindfulness to function, and go through the mechanics of daily living.

Ayya Khema, and other wise teachers tell us there is more to life however.

Life can be lived in freedom from the unnecessary suffering of clinging to what cannot be had.

Mindfulness practice is about using all of our mindfulness potential to find the joy of life lived free the tyranny of our habitual cravings. Whenever I realize how little I make use of such gold mine, I feel great sadness. Such a waste!

Ayya Khema reminds us of some simple steps we can take to deepen our use of mindfulness: 

Formal practice, for sure, as in sitting and walking meditation.
And also, being mindful of the content of our mind outside of meditation, being aware of unwholesome thoughts and substituting them with wholesome thoughts. Purifying the mind.
Being mindful of the body outside of meditation, watching our movements, e.g. body walking to the table.

Often I interrupt the day with one of these three questions:
What am I doing? What am I thinking? How am I feeling?

How much of your mindfulness potential are you using?

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