Mindfulness 12: Let it be effortless

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Reference: The 12 Aspects of Mindfulness

Mindfulness provides the discipline for looking and contemplation.

You may do this exercise while sipping coffee in a café, or strolling along a river. You may even find a place where you can sit comfortably for a while without being disturbed. Then patiently observe the world go by.

When you let it be, it becomes effortless. Effort comes into play only when there is resistance to letting it be. It is completely safe when one lets the body and mind unwind without interfering with it. Trouble comes only when one does not let oneself follow the natural actions. This happens when one short-circuits the mind by anxiously digging for answer.

Mindfulness seems to be fundamental to all scientific observation, meditation, prayer, and other forms of spiritual practice. Incorporate mindfulness in your life as much as possible.

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MINDFULNESS 12: Let it all be effortless.

  1. Observe as usual. Notice the environment and other people.

  2. Apply the aspects of mindfulness that you have learned so far.

  3. Become aware of the body and stay aware of it without interfering with its natural movements, such as, that of breathing, or  responding to natural impulses.

  4. Become aware of the mind and stay aware of it without interfering with its natural thought processes. Let your attention roam freely.

  5. Observe what your physical and mental senses present to you. Let various perceptions of forms, sounds, smells, taste, touch, thoughts, emotions, impulses etc. come to you. Do not strain to perceive them.

  6. Let the mind contemplate on inconsistencies as they present themselves and follow the trails of what does not make sense. Do not try to control the mental processes.

  7. Let the body move in response to the natural impulses from the mind. Do not try to control the body movements.

  8. Simply observe the physical and mental objects necessary to follow the trail of interest. Let your eyes be open, half-closed, or closed naturally and not be controlled.

  9. Let physical reactions, such as, twitches in muscles, minor pains and aches, sleepiness, etc., come and go. Experience the body as a whole without resisting it.

  10. Let mental reactions, such as, “pictures” of the current and past events, flattering or not so flattering, come and go. Experience the mind as a whole without resisting it.

  11. The mind may present emotions, such as, embarrassment, guilt, anxiety, anger, fear, grief, and even apathy. Simply experience them thoroughly without trying to judge or justify them.

  12. If you find yourself getting involved in thoughts, or mentally doing something else, then simply recognize this fact, and let the mind continue to unwind. Do not suppress anything.

  13. Let the feelings, emotions and sensations play themselves out. Do not speculate anything.

  14. Expand your span of attention and let the perceptions pour in.

  15. Let the realizations present themselves to you without you making effort.

  16. Use your own judgment as to when to end a session.

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Develop this exercise to a point where you may execute it even while interacting socially with others. Patiently let the mind and body to operate as a smooth system as much as possible. Many things may come up naturally to be scrutinized. Simply observe them and become aware of them without effort.

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