Over many blogs, we have talked about mindful awareness, a powerful re-focusing of our attention on the present moment, the here and now, without judgment or criticism.
When we’re mindfully aware, we stop focusing on our plan for the day, our worries about the future, and redirect our attention to the experiences we’re having at that very moment in time.
We allow awareness of our bodies to flow into our minds, feeling the stress lodged in different areas, and allowing those stress points to relax. We breathe more deeply, regularly, and calmly.
These techniques are excellent starting points for the practice of meditation. Meditation, contrary to many media images of it, is not a “tuning out” of one’s surroundings, or a “zoning out”.
To meditate is to be mindfully aware without allowing any one thought to dominate one’s mind. We don’t become zombies.
Rather, our mind becomes free of the constant voices in our head—and I don’t mean the voices of mental disturbance; rather, I mean our own voices that plan our day, our activities, and our very existence from moment to moment.
Those voices, that mindset tend to be easily disturbed and often are highly reactive. Our daily mental state quite often resembles a tumult of activity, often stopping and restarting different though-trains, responding to different situations that arise and constant interruptions.
Then, when we do have some peace and quiet we often turn to thoughts of the future, worrying about what might be, or the past, feeling remorse over what has been done there.
If we let go of our ever-planning, ever organizing “front” part of our mind, we can allow the deeper recesses of our minds to process things on their own. These “deeper recesses” are silent by their very nature.
They do not produce an inner dialogue. They get our attention through our instincts, our hunches, and our convictions Our intuition comes from the silent depths inside all of us.
To benefit from these quiet places inside our minds, we need to give them space to breathe. Mindfulness brings us back from the autopilot of our routine, and mediation opens up the way for us to silence our own internal noise and commune with the vastness without ourselves.