What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of all the elements of the present moment without being lost in the past or the future. It is paying attention when the mind wanders to negative places where there is no creative outcome possible.
So mindfulness is all about a conscious spiritual practice that is the art of living day-to-day, and moment-to-moment. It is a walking meditation in daily life; a practical spirituality that empowers the practitioner to gain control of their life experience.
A person who is practicing mindfulness has a heightened self-awareness. They self-monitor so that they are aware of their thoughts and emotional state. They have higher levels of body awareness. And they have a mindful awareness of their present circumstances, inc luding the people around them.
A daily practice of mindfulness meditation brings Attunement to all phases of the human experience.
Mindfulness Is Not Just About the Mind
Of course, our minds don’t operate all on their own. And so, mindfulness is not just about the mind. Mindfulness skills activate our conscious awareness of what is happening with all facets of our human experience. Mindfulness is awareness of what is happening in our body, our emotions, and our spiritual nature.
In a powerful mindfulness practice, the practitioner finds that conscious attention to their human experience changes it. This is the observer effect in the realm of human psychology.
Reducing Emotional Stress
When a person becomes a conscious witness to their own emotional state, without reaction or denial, their emotions change. As self-acceptance and compassion take the place where self-judgment and self-rejection once stood, emotional stress eases.
Deep mindfulness does not just access the power of the mind. Because one of the mind’s greatest powers is to unlock the power of human emotion. And the root power of human emotion is the spiritual power within us all. It is the power of universal love that is at the core of the human heart.
A Deep Mindfulness Meditation Practice Unlocks an Inner Spiritual Power
Think of your mind as the ringleader of a circus. If your ringleader is afraid of all the wild animals, or distracted by the crowd, they will not be directing the trapeze artists, the clown show, or the lion act.
We need our ringleader on hand to employ all the elements of our own personal circus. We need our mind to show up fully in the present moment to facilitate all aspects of our human experience.
If you go to a circus, it probably isn’t to see the ringmaster. Likewise, the great significance and power in the human experience is not the mind all by itself. The larger significance and power we have lies in our ability to be mindful of how we unlock the entire human experience. And within the wholeness of the human soul is the meaning, purpose, pleasure, and significance of being.
Deep mindfulness meditation can unlock the positive emotional power of the human heart. And when the emotional body is unburdened of all the guilt and judgment that western culture heaps upon it, it can attune to its inner spiritual power. This secret power is within all people, though all too often, locked up someplace deep inside. It empowers us to bring self-regulation to human emotions. It reduces stress for the human body.
A deep mindfulness meditation practice assists a person to know Attunement with this inner spiritual power. And a person cannot access this power by the mind alone. It takes an activated, open heart to receive it fully.
Mindfulness Meditation, Attunement, and Healing Chant
In 2016, I led an Attunement workshop at a place called St. Andrews on the Square in Kamloops, British Columbia. I led people in a mindfulness meditation that deliberately engaged all dimensions of our human capacity. We chanted. We shared healing energy through our hands. We engaged in mindfulness exercises that increased our awareness of our bodily sensations and our emotional connection to other people.
As we spent the day in t his process, a sense of well-being began to fill the room. We chanted for hours. So there was no need for people to make themselves take a deep breath. They were fully oxygenated!
As we engaged in a process of bringing healing energy to each other and to our world, the depth of feeling rose. We experienced greater and greater levels of compassion for each other, and for the people we were in touch with. A warm glow emanated from us all.
At the end of our time, a woman who had attended came to me. She told me, I have been practicing mindfulness meditation all my life. I have tried and tried to reign in my wandering mind and experience peace. The longest period I have experienced it is for about 30 seconds.
30 seconds, I thought. How sad that this person has been so devoted for so many years and never experienced more than 30 seconds of peace!
And then she told me something that blew my mind.
But I have experienced peace all day in this workshop!
Of course, I was overjoyed that a program I led assisted her to experience peace. But beyond that, I wondered, Why?
A Deep Mindfulness Meditation Practice Engages All Dimensions of Human Experience
Here is what I realized. Mindfulness meditation is effective when we engage all dimensions of our human experience—mind, body, emotions, and the human spirit. In the workshop, we had done just that. And not in a random way. Our mindfulness meditation practice had harmonized what we experienced at all levels.
Most significantly, it had drawn us into Attunement with an inner power that the mind, all alone, does not have.
Without that inner power, you can try to practice mindfulness. You can attempt to achieve mindfulness-based stress reduction. You can struggle with your ability to stay in the present moment. You can try to find peace. But the mind, of itself, does not have the power to give you those things.
You can’t think your way into happiness.
Deep Mindfulness Brings Attunement
It is understandable that in western culture many adopt a personal practice that revolves around mental function. After all, our civilization prides itself on scientific advances, technological advances, and the intellectual prowess that makes all these things possible.
So emotions are often viewed as a less valuable realm of human function, and as a liability more than an asset—a dimension of who we are that should be controlled more than enjoyed.
And in an age when many feel that religion has failed them badly, people can dismiss not only the religion they view with skepticism, but their own spiritual nature. And their own untapped spiritual power.
My personal experience tells me that the mental part of mindfulness is only the beginning. And so does my experience coaching, counseling, and teaching people mindfulness for 27 years.
Deep mindfulness leads to Attunement with the creative powers within.