In my recent post, Mindfulness and Inspiration, I explored “mindfulness,” a concept borrowed from several contemplative practices, now worldwide, although understood for centuries in the East. This form of meditation promises, if practiced regularly, to bring our consciousness into the here and now of the present moment. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Books and CDs, as already mentioned earlier, to train our awareness of the breath, and gradually on to our breathing body in a context of sounds and sights of our environment. Kabat-Zinn points out that if we notice thoughts coming to our awareness, this is normal and as this happens, “we have a glimpse at ‘enlightenment’, as we can observe these thoughts rising and falling, like the waves of the ocean.
Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh has pointed that as we practice our awareness in a Mindfulness meditation, we develop an ability to stand up, from our seated position, and walk, eat, go amongst the beauties of nature, we begin to have awareness moment by moment, of being in the here and now of the “Present Moment.” We become aware that, as Master Hanh states: “Peace, joy and natural beauty are in the Present Moment.” This seems to allow us an opportunity to surround ourselves with the Whole Universe, and experience home. Actually, consciously entering the here and now of the Present Moment can allow us to repair our bodies, our relationships, and our sense our existence as important. Dr Ian Gawler, who lost a leg to bone cancer, defeated a “secondary” bone cancer in his sternum, with meditation, under the supervision of a Melbourne Psychiatrist, some years ago. Also, Michael Brown, author of, THE PRESENCE PROCESS, stated in his book and more so in his DVDs, that he was able to heal an illness, with meditation, that was baffling the Medical Profession.
We may look at TV productions of the natural life of a variety of life forms, always paying homage to a sort of grand design. Yet, for us human’s we have more work to do than the animals etc.. Our existence, as spiritual beings in physical bodies, has more implications. We need to consider our personal atmosphere, which is unique to us as individuals, yet it is detectable by others. Not only do we read these in the here and now, but our Heart has a capacity to register, or resonate with other people’s Hearts, as a basis for empathy.
Previous blog posts, have emphasized the hazardous thinking that can destroy our personal atmosphere. The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous points to resentment as a characteristic of alcoholism and some surgeons believe that resentment or self-directed anger can cause cancers to develop. So, unsavoury thoughts can poison our bodies, as well as our personal atmosphere. On the positive side, some have trusted staying in the present moment as much as possible and choosing thoughts that are pleasant and inspiring. This is not only change for the better in our expression and experience, but our ability to inspire and be inspired.
Considering the idea that our Western culture has embraced the idea that “critical analysis is the only way to find the Truth,” we have to filter out subconscious critical thoughts arising, especially about ourselves. This can be a slow process but it seems we must stop ourselves from criticizing ourselves and others, also from complaints and harsh tactics such as arguing with someone who doesn’t know better. It just isn’t worth it to “gain the upper hand.”
Mindfulness meditation, and being aware of noxious thoughts as they percolate up in awareness, while we concentrate on being aware, in each moment, on our breath and/or on our body breathing; we can certainly develop our consciousness in this way. Thus, we find our life is inspiring to ourselves and to others around us.