Mindfulness 0: See Things as They are

Reference: Mindfulness

Mindfulness provides the discipline for looking and contemplation.

In this exercise you do not do anything. You simply let the changes occur on their own accord. Such changes shall settle down after a while if you don’t interfere with them.

It is better to begin with this exercise in a place where you can sit comfortably without being disturbed. You sit with your back upright and with your eyes closed. At a later iteration of this exercise you may sit with your eyes open.

The whole idea of this exercise is to be there comfortably and recognize what is there in your environment. When your eyes are closed your environment shall consist of the sensations in the body and the thoughts in your mind. Later when your eyes are open, you shall also add the environment exterior to you.

As you do this exercise you let the sensations and feelings play themselves out. You simply do not resist, suppress or interfere. As you recognize the disharmonies in the body and the mind, they will start to reduce and become harmonies. Over time you will have many realizations about your inherent nature.

Once you have done this exercise sitting silently for some time, you may discover that this mode of mindfulness continues even while sipping coffee in a café, strolling along a river, or watching the world go by. Do this exercise as often as possible until it becomes a second nature to you, and you are able to see things as they are.

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MINDFULNESS #0: Observe things as they truly are.

In a class of students, have the students settle down in a comfortable meditation posture and close their eyes. Call out the following instructions slowly and clearly. Pause for 15 to 20 seconds after each instruction to let the student settle down with it.

  1. Become aware of the body and stay aware of it without interfering with its natural movements, such as, breathing. Do not resist anything.

  2. Become aware of the mind and stay aware of it without interfering with its natural processes, such as, thoughts and feelings. Do not suppress anything.

  3. Become aware of what your physical and mental senses present to you, such as, visual forms, sounds, smells, taste, touch, thoughts, emotions, and impulses. Do not strain to perceive them.

  4. Let the body move in response to the natural impulses from the mind. Do not try to control the body movements. Let them unwind and settle down on their own accord.

  5. Let the mind respond naturally to the stimuli present in the environment. Do not try to control the mental responses. Let them unwind and settle down on their own accord.

  6. Let physical reactions, such as, twitches in muscles, minor pains and aches, sleepiness, etc., come and go. Don’t resist them. Experience the body thoroughly as a whole. Such reactions shall unwind and settle down on their own accord.

  7. Let mental reactions, such as, embarrassment, guilt, anxiety, anger, fear, grief, apathy, and even sleep, come and go. Don’t suppress them. Experience the mind non-judgmentally as a whole. Such reactions shall unwind and settle down on their own accord.

  8. If you find yourself mentally doing something else, or getting lost in thoughts, then simply recognize it, and continue. Let the attention roam freely.

  9. Let the “pictures” of the current and past events come and go. Let the feelings, emotions and sensations play themselves out. Do not speculate on anything. Simply be aware.

  10. Let the realizations present themselves without you making any effort.

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