Finding peace is an inner quest we all share. The challenge over the ages has been, how to experience inner peace no matter what is swirling around us. In times like now, with all its uncertainty, changes, unknowns, and negative shocking circumstances, seeking peace can seem unattainable.
Peace today through mindfulness is more than possible. It happens with a steadiness of mind and a calm understanding that allows us to be with the constantly changing and shifting landscape of our world. Peace does not mean indifference or apathy, rather it is a spaciousness of mind that empowers loving-kindness and compassion. It reminds us that we are not as alone as we sometimes feel.
Mindfulness, or presence, is an ancient concept. Mindfulness is a practice involved in almost every religious tradition but is most notably associated with Hinduism and Buddhism. From prayers to yoga and, more recently, non-religious meditation, people have been practicing mindfulness for thousands of years, whether on its own or as part of a larger tradition.
In simple language, mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. The goal of mindfulness is to wake up to the inner workings of our mental, emotional, and physical processes. Mindfulness is available to us in every moment, whether through meditations and body scans, or mindful moment practices like taking time to pause and breathe when the phone rings instead of rushing to answer it.
Mindfulness encompasses two key ingredients: awareness and acceptance. Awareness is the knowledge and ability to focus attention on one’s inner processes and experiences, such as the experience of the present moment. Acceptance is the ability to observe and accept—rather than judge or avoid—those streams of thought.
Where to begin in learning mindfulness? Make it easy, seamless adding it into your life. I like the venerable monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s methods and techniques.
“Breath in and I calm my body.
Breathe out and I smile.”
Doing that brief technique any time during your day can instantly bring you a calm. Learning mindfulness doesn’t mean checking into a monastery. It can be learned one moment at time.
Apply mindfulness easily to your day. Walk, cook, drink coffee, look out a window, being 100% in each experience. Pay attention on every task as if you are fully immersed in it. Head over to Youtube.com and find a short meditation. Pick up any one of Hahn’s books. Or, set up a session with me and I’ll teach you some techniques.