Mastering Present-Moment Awareness

If you have been following my work in the past decade then you know how passionate I am about the positive power that meditation has on your life. I have studied many different styles of meditation over the past 40 years. One that has supported my evolution is mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation is an excellent form of sensory awareness training. It connects your head to the insights your heart and gut are sending—where realizations or solutions to complex, non-rational problems reside. You tap into these intuitive signals by asking good questions when you’re in a deep state of presence. In fact, one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal for receiving insight and direct knowingness is mindfulness meditation.

This is where the truth lives.

The next time you’re dealing with an issue that you don’t have a solution for, try mindfulness meditation to get to the root of it. Don’t worry about solving the problem. Just focus on understanding how the problem arose in the first place. This is the part we naturally overlook: the truth of the matter! And we don’t just overlook it because we don’t want to face our role in the latest of life’s hurdles we must now leap, but our brains, as you know, are wired to seek solutions. Plus, our brains are more naturally wired to solve problems than they are to go back in time and dissect the cause (and our role in it). Yes, we dwell on the past, boy, do we ever. That is not the same as backtracking to gain an understanding of why a problem occurred in the first place.

But that is what we must do: go back to the source. Thinking back to the source is the direct link to the solution. It’s actually a shortcut! And not just that but understanding how the problem started in the first place will prevent you from doing it again. We must become scouts, finding the source of our issues, for therein lies our truth. Practicing mindfulness doesn’t just get to the heart of life’s issues, it trains us to be present and attuned to the voice in our heart. With mindfulness meditation, you sit and simply observe the things happening in your body-mind system. You let go of attachment, judgment, latching onto a thought pattern, and riding it to its natural conclusion. You’re in an open and expansive state of mind, which is the opposite of how our mind works when we think. 

When we think, we contract our mind, often furrowing your eyebrows. This expends energy. Take a moment to think about that Rubik’s Cube. (If it wasn’t, I bet your brow is furrowed now!) Thinking attaches you to a thought. It’s a specific process. Can you see how this is different from mindfulness meditation? It’s different from concentration exercises, too. During box breathing or the Zen counting practice, we focus on numbers, which moves us away from our thoughts to focus on counting.In mindfulness meditation, you relax into receiving information. You’re just watching. Your witness is observing. If something comes up, great. If not, great. Let it go. You’re a mountain watching the clouds drift by. But if you start thinking, you become one of the clouds, and you move wherever it goes. But you are not the cloud. You are not headed east or wherever. You are simply being. You want to develop a more spacious mind. This is how you do it, by being the mountain. Check out this guided mindfulness meditation and become the mountain. Pema Chodron: Mindfulness Meditation. Hooyah!

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