Mindfulness: Peace in a Chaotic World

Renee Michaels, Ph.D-May 31, 2016IMG_2006

          Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way;on purpose, in the present moment without judgement.

Jon Kabat-Zinn

          

          The most useful definition of mindfulness in today’s world is simply being conscious or having presence of mind; to be aware in our everyday interactions and reactions to people, places and things. It is no wonder, when one practices mindfulness in their day to day lives that they may feel a sense of peace and tranquility in a world full of chaos.

          Mindfulness practice comes from Buddhist philosophy, but is seen in many other religious groups today.

What is Mindfulness?

          Mindfulness is a meditation of some duration to help the meditator feel more at ease in their lives while everything around them might be falling apart. Mindfulness practice helps the practitioner live in the “now” rather than the past or future. Past -oriented thinking tends to bring on depression and future-oriented thinking has a tendency to cause anxiety.

  stairs-720604_1280        I think we can all agree that our planet is in chaos rather politically, religiously or scientifically. No part of our world seems to be able to get away from the infighting about global warming even though there is so much evidence for the necessity to act quickly on this issue. We are in the longest and most expensive war that takes lives everyday. We are constantly bombarded with horrific stories and pictures on Facebook how people are abusing and killing animals for sport. We are hooked to our smartphones which are making us dumber at least in our ability to relate to one another. The U.S. has become a laughing stock in other areas of the world for our presidential campaign in 2016.

          In all of this chaos and disconnect from our true nature of love and compassion, we can find solace and peace in the practice of mindfulness.

          Mindfulness is more than sitting in meditation for 20 minutes a day focusing on our breath. It is being able to incapsulate that peace into our daily lives as we interact with others and are met with adversity along the way. It does however, take the practice of the sitting-breathing meditation to enlist our brains to direct traffic in a less chaotic and reactive way.

          Can Mindfulness Practice Help Me?

Being mindful and practicing mindfulness on a daily basis can help anyone become less reactive to others and to the thoughts in our heads which is usually old programming and has nothing to do with us in this specific time in our lives. Mindfulness can also helps us understand our fears and allow us to be conscious about the issue that brings fear but teaches us not to resist it.

How do I get started practicing Mindfulness?

Ω Read a book on mindfulness

Ω Get involved at your local buddhist temple         balance-15712_1280-slider

Ω Take a class on the topic

Practice mindfulness in everyday life and it will  help you be more peaceful, decrease your reactions and increase the joy in your life!

~Namaste

 

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