I am starting a new thread here mainly for purposes of my own catharsis. It is my intention, at least at this point, to make regular contributions. Of course, if anyone else has anything to add, they are more than welcome. If you have any input, please contribute.
Over a year ago I decided to deal head-on with my self-diagnosed adult attention disorder, (ADD). The inability to stay focused was becoming too stressful. I found myself sitting around watching the clock tick, yet I couldn’t keep “on task” with any project I started. Nothing was getting done and just starting something was becoming depressing.
The smart thing to do was probably to get professional help, so instead I decided to try to heal myself, at least as a first try. Cognitive therapy and pharmaceuticals (UGH) might be the approved way to go but I decided to try meditation first.
18 months and countless self-help books later, I still can’t bring myself to a regular, formal meditation program. But, along the way, I discovered informal mindfulness. Yes, I know it is the “Fad” right now. It is hard to navigate modern social trends without “tripping over” somebody extolling the benefits of mindfulness.
Let me add my voice to the chorus.
"Many people lose the small joys in the hopes for the big happiness." ~ Pearl S. Buck
"Fear is such a powerful emotion for humans that when we allow it to take us over, it drives compassion right out." ~ Thomas Aquinas
"You see what you are thinking and feeling, seldom what you are looking at." ~ Zen proverb
When I am on 'autopilot', there is a real disconnect between reality and my perception of reality. Too often I am unduly influenced by unjustified expectations that bubble up from 'who knows where's in my subconscious. When my mind is tuned in to too many channels at once, I become blind to my actual experiences.
"Stress is usually life's way of telling you that you are lost in your thoughts." ~ Everyday Mindfulness
"Observe a stressful thought. Notice how your shoulders tense, your stomach tightens, you hold your breath. Keep watching that same thought. Don't push it away. Instead, change your reaction to it. Breathe deeply, let go, relax your body. You're OK. It's just a thought. Breathe." ~ Jason Garner
I'll try that.
"The mind is a wonderful tool. Dysfunction sets in when you seek your self in it and mistake it for who you are." ~ Eckhart Tolle
This is where it gets tricky. Mindfulness is about observing your thoughts in a neutral fashion. Be the observer, not the observed. But who is observing the observer? Maybe this is where logic just breaks down, like a Zen koan and you realize it's limitations. Yet there is a value in recognizing that the thinking mind is just a tool, one of many, in your toolbox.
"Attitude is choice.
Happiness is choice.
Optimism is choice.
Kindness is choice.
Giving is choice.
Respect is choice.
Whatever choice you make makes you.
Roy T. Bennett
Meditation is concentrated mindfulness. Mindfulness serves to calm the mind. A calm mind is more susceptible to experiencing enlightenment. Enlightenment is overrated in the minds of many. It is not some ecstatic state of final bliss, but the calm awareness of all the beauty you are immersed in. The beauty is there, let it in.