For over 20 years, I thought that the strength of my mindfulness practice and my pursuit of awakening was dependent on the practice of formal meditation day in and day out.
But I didn’t sit down and meditate for at least 30 minutes every day. So, I thought I had a weak practice and wasn’t making any progress.
Then one day, about 2 years ago (not coincidentally, while meditating), I recognized something that I hadn’t been able to see before. A voice spoke to me from within, “You have a strong mindfulness practice.”
I realized in that moment that each day of my life I live mindfully. I had been for quite some time. The way I filter my life experiences is through the lens of being present with what is in that moment. I experience the world around me in a very present way. When I find myself not being present, I become aware of that fact quickly and work to bring myself back to the moment. Just as importantly, I am aware that the emotions I experience are impermanent, and I study them with the curiosity of a scientist.
I recognized that when I am able to sit on my cushion and meditate, my life and those days vastly benefit from those sittings. Yet, what I was practicing each and every day was mindfulness “…awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a sustained and particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally,” as Jon Kabat-Zinn defines it.
I allow each moment to be what it is, intent on being curious about it and not judging it, whatever it may be.
I learned this truth many years before and had been studying it through the teachings of masters constantly, while practicing it and testing it in my own daily life.
After much more meditation: weekly group sitting every Monday night, private sits at home during my week, and intensive practice while on retreat, I am confident in that fact that my mindfulness practice is the foundation of my life. I’ve come to treasure the time that I actually get to sit on my cushion, and I LOVE sitting with others. The energy that fills the room when people come together to focus in meditation is other-worldly.
So, please come enjoy and learn what is waiting for you to discover as you practice with mindfulness. Tonight at 6:30, I’ll be at: Crescent Moon Yoga and Healing Center 7825 E. Evans Road #600, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 Here’s my cell if you want to call me: 480-861-6062.
Come late if you can't make it at 6:30. You can join us at any time. We'll be there until 8:00. This is only 1 of 2 chances to learn with me this month. For the first 2 Mondays of the month, I’ll be training with the UCSD Center for Mindfulness to become a teacher of the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction program. I’ll be back in class on December 18th, then, with my family until the next class on January 8th. Sincerely, Marnee