There’s an old Buddhist story that likens mindfulness to throwing a stone at a wet mud wall. You need both the energy to throw the stone and the capacity to take aim for the mud to stick. Just like the stone on the wet mud wall, you sit fixed on an object of meditation, perhaps the breath, a flower, or the sound of silence. The challenge is to allow this to happen in a restful state.
The mindful person lives in the present moment. Now is the knowing. This gives you the capacity to observe the sense-filled reality of the moment; a taste, a smell, an image, a feeling, a thought. The experience is a multifaceted jewel.
Mindfulness is without judgment and accepting. It doesn’t label good or bad, right or wrong, beautiful or ugly. The moment is simply the moment. A behavior is simply a behavior. No conclusions. No results.
Mindfulness realizes that the mind is affected by how it is used. Whatever you think, say or do effects the quality of your consciousness. And as you relate, the mind affects the consciousness of others. Given this power, there is often reason to cleanse the mind as we might cleanse a windowpane.
While Mindfulness Meditation is the core of our Meditation Mornings, we also study aspects of Zen as taught in the Ordinary Mind tradition. This is a psychologically minded practice that is shaped for the needs of current American students.
As Joseph Campbell once said,