Overflowing, hopefully with love and compassion.
As a child I sang this song “My Cups Full and Running over, running over, running over, since the Lord saved me, I’m as happy as can be, my cups full and running over.” What run over, ran to waste. Science has created a mind boggling array of inventions that distract us from focusing on what we should be focused on. Why isn’t this affluence bringing us the happiness we had envisaged it would? We are flooded with distractions, mind boggled with our possessions and craving for more.
Jesus, known as the son of God did his best to teach us to love our neighbours. Gautama taught anapanasati that is meditation on the breath that calms the turbulent mind. He was a rich man’s son but like Mick Jagger could get no satisfaction, riches were not the way to peace and contentment. He tried denying himself, deprivation did not work. He made it his life’s ambition to find a way out of suffering. Through meditation he found Nirvana or enlightenment, a middle way that freed him from the three poisons of greed, hate and delusion.
Fundamental to all schools of Buddhism is his basic teaching of The Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path. I have covered this in previous posts refer here. or may be here. All the steps are important practices, I will stress this point of practice with the saying, “To know and not to do is still not to know.” We must practice to achieve any benefit. Understanding is an important step there is a lot to understand in the Four Noble Truths; all things are passing and impermanent is a crucial point in right understanding. Mindfulness is equally as important all steps are related and must be practiced to achieve enlightenment or the elusive state of Nirvana where one becomes a Buddha meaning an awakened one.
Mindfulness is to understand what is on our mind and be aware of our thoughts and emotion. Through meditation we can learn to understand how invasive thoughts distract us from what we should be focused on. We become calm and focused, attentive to the now, with practice a few deep breaths is all that is needed to bring one back to the now. This has many benefits, modern clinical psychology and psychiatry is using it for cases of depression and has given it other clever names like Mindful based cognitive therapy (MBCT) or Mindful based stress reduction (MBSR)
Mindah- Lee Kuma (Enthusiastic Buddhist) suggested I write a post on mindfulness and then put in a link to her. I wanted to introduce her to you because I am impressed by the way she explains Buddhist practices. She has seriously practiced Buddhism and her videos on YouTube and her writing reflect this fact Click here. My posts are more of a fun exercise in a healthy joyful way of experiencing life. Hit the link to meet a charming young lady who explains many wise practices calmly and clearly.
I would like to conclude with a few tips that I have found helpful. Slow down, when you are weeding your garden be aware of the daises. Be mindful that a weed is only a flower growing out of place. Look at what you are doing and take an interest in what you are doing. The difference between drudgery and a satisfying job is attitude. Be mindful of your thoughts and emotions, are you thinking I have to do this or are you thinking I want to do this. We miss the joy of now, thinking about what’s on TV, worrying about what we might be missing and missing the wondrous now. The most important person in the world is the one you are with now. The most important thing is what you are doing now. Take pride in what you are doing, do it with your full attention. That way you will have fewer accidents and save time. Do not multitask, when eating savour food mindful of the taste and texture, a meal can be an enjoyable form of meditation. Many things we judge as routine or mundane can be transformed with understanding and mindful concentration.