The absence of mindfulness
Mindfulness: Mindfulness sees things as they really are. Mindfulness adds nothing to perception and it subtracts nothing. It distorts nothing. It is bare attention and just looks at whatever comes up. Conscious thought pastes things over our experience, loads us down with concepts and ideas, immerses us in a churning vortex of plans and worries, fears and fantasies. When mindful, you don’t play that game. You just notice exactly what arises in the mind, then you notice the next thing. “Ah, this . . . and this . . . and now this.” It is really very simple. (by Bhante Gunaratana)
Often time while driving the car with me Family, the Wife will yell out “David, watch where you’re going!”. And this is typically due to my mind wandering on different topics, and perhaps enjoying the scenery around me. And while it is wonderful to be aware of my surroundings, drinking in the beauty of the sky and trees, it can also be extremely dangerous because my focus is not on the task at hand. And when I am driving, my full attention should be on being present and attentive to the road and traffic.
I see driving my vehicle as a good example of mindfulness, or the lack there of. Each moment of the day, any of us can easily be distracted by something we see, hear or smell. And how much do we miss by not being fully present in the moment?
If I am talking to you on the phone, but looking at my computer screen, am I fully present? Am I really listening to you and hearing you?
I assure you that I am not. I am partially here and partially there. Not present, not mindful, and of no real benefit to either one of us.
And how many times a day can any of us find our minds wandering into memories of the past or dreams of the future. And not only does that distract us from being present, but is this not also adding to our own dissatisfaction and suffering?
With this right view of presence and mindfulness I see a peace and acceptance that arises in our being. A tremendous weight is lifted off of our shoulders because we only need to be here right now.
And how much we may also gain by being fully present for others as well.
I hope today that each of us can be more mindful and aware of this present moment, and this opportunity to be fully alive. Our friends and Family need us to be present, and we give ourselves the most precious gift by completely experiencing this connection.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.