"Mindfulness means moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness. It is cultivated by refining our capacity to pay attention, intentionally, in the present moment, and then sustaining that attention over time as best we can."
It's not simple for most of us to stay in the present moment, and develop mindfulness in every day life. Distractions come in from everywhere, and even if we have a few moments of uninterrupted time, we often end up filling it with activity just to avoid being in touch with ourselves and letting go.
Happiness, ease and love are found by being present and mindful. Attempts to get away from what is happening currently usually prolong our suffering and come from a misunderstanding of how things are. It is really not necessary to travel far, and change our current living circumstances to find moments of mindful quiet and inner peacefulness.
Since quiet and mindfulness are innate qualities of our essential mind, looking for it outside perpetuates the suffering and lack we experience at many times within ourselves.
There are ways to develop the mind's capacity to stay present, and it is training your own mind, to keep returning into this very moment, without wandering off and getting lost in past or future thoughts.
Four simple questions can help you return the present moment:
Question 1: What are you experiencing in this moment?
This questions helps bring your attention back into the present moment, inviting you to be aware of your emotions and feelings, and let's you notice what is unfolding for you in the moment. Further it helps to get out of the story of what you should be feeling, into the immediate directness of what is true for you. It helps to connect to the freshness of each moment and to learn to recognize the finer nuances of what is arising for you in each moment.
Question 2: What is happening for you right now?
This particular question is a variation, but nevertheless can be very helpful to stay connected to what is happening right now. It is interesting to ask it, without needing to know what the answer will be and become available to not knowing. It also focuses on the present moment, and can invite self-honesty and loving interest in what is going on for you without trying to direct your process and reject or force your experience.
Questions 3: What are you feeling in this moment?
Asking yourself this question helps to bring awareness from an ongoing internal dialogue and evaluation into the direct immediate sensations of your body. Tapping into your feelings is helpful because it let's you get in touch with the direct energy of your body. Learning to feel yourself, and to stay in immediate contact with your body, are helpful in learning to stay centered and develop awareness of the present moment.
Question 4: What is happening in your field right now?
Asking this question can let you become aware of the field of awareness you are, and the various mental, emotional, and energetic elements of your experience. It can help you explore without preference, and train you to approach your experience from a perspective of equal interest in whatever happens and arises for you.
All these questions serve the purpose of letting you explore your present moment experience and to learn to be mindful in your every day activities. They will help you train your mind to stay with the moment-to-moment experience, and support a non-judgmental attitude in the process.
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