Advice to my fellow explorers

Dear fellow explorers,

I would like to encourage you to continue practicing mindfulness. Meditate regularly and continue developing your ability to focus your attention, noticing and investigating what is going on in the present moment with curiosity. The more you practice formal mindfulness meditation exercises, the better equipped you will be to live mindfully. Remember that we don’t meditate to become better meditators, but to become better human beings. We practice not only to enhance the quality of our lives, but also the quality of the lives of those we come in contact with.

Be mindful of your body, your mind, your feelings, and of your life in general.

Be aware of your body when you are sitting, lying down, walking, and standing, noticing physical sensations and mindfully observing your body breathing.

Be mindful of your mind, contemplating your mind states: your thoughts and emotions. Be mindful of the states of wanting, aversion, restlessness, sleepiness, and doubt. Notice the workings of your judgmental mind and of the times when you are comparing and contrasting, categorizing and classifying, complaining and competing, criticizing and condemning. Develop the ability to see thoughts and emotions for what they are: thoughts are just thoughts; emotions are just emotions. And recognize that your brain is an “independent thought-producing and emotion-producing machine.” Therefore, realize that you are not your thoughts and emotions. Thoughts and emotions are just visitors. They come and go. You don’t need to be schlepped around or owned by them. You don’t need to act impulsively on the bad suggestions that may arise. You are independent and free.

Be mindful of your daily activities, noticing the times when you are labeling your experiences as pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. Be aware of the instances when you are engaged in the process of liking or disliking, approving or disapproving.

Investigate and explore life with curiosity as a way of growing in understanding and wisdom. Practice seeing the new in the old and the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Realize the impermanence and constant transformation of everyone and everything, witnessing the unstoppable cycle of birth, growth, decay, death, and transformation. Develop the understanding that life is manifesting through you, but that you don’t own this life, this body, this lived experience. Notice how clinging brings about suffering, and remember that nothing whatsoever should be clung to as I, me, or mine. Let it go and let it be.

Realize that experiencing suffering and dissatisfaction in life is a given. Notice that the lack of awareness of the craving for sensual delight, craving to be someone, and the craving to feel nothing are all causes of suffering. Notice that greater awareness of the existence of these cravings lessens suffering. Work diligently to identify, understand, and tame desires.

Practice to pause and augment the time between stimulus and response, developing the ability to be comfortable in the middle of uncomfortable situations, accepting with serenity the things you cannot change. By doing so you will diminish the number of mindless reactions and increase the number of mindful responses, which all in all will have a positive impact in your life.

Cultivate the skills of concentration, observation, and investigation in order to grow your wisdom. Be awake, alert, attentive, appreciative, and aware, in order to be fully alive. Know that the diligent practice will make your life better by, on one hand, taming delusion, ignorance, prejudice, greed, hatred, and violence, and on the other hand, by increasing in you the reservoir of kindness, gentleness, peace, compassion, generosity, patience, love, and forgiveness.

Be happy! Be happier! Be joyful! Notice how much you demand from yourself, how hard you are on yourself. Develop some self-compassion and give yourself the gift of rest. It’s your birthright. You deserve it.

Develop happiness, by practicing to notice, appreciate, savor, and absorb all the good things in life.

Cultivate wisdom: wise effort, wise mindfulness, wise concentration, wise assessment, wise discernment, wise understanding, wise intention, wise action, wise speech, and wise livelihood.

And continue exploring and inspiring!

So remember that our practice is not selfish. We don’t practice for ourselves alone. Our practice makes the entire world a better place. Whatever makes us better, makes the world better because we are part of the world. I bow to you in gratitude. Thank you for your practice.

Wishing you many mindful moments, today and everyday.

~ Piero Falci


 

Piero Falci is an author and educator who believes that the inner work that leads to personal awakening and transformation is indispensable to create a wholesome world. He is an explorer of the mysteries of life who loves to observe, reflect and write, and who not only aspires to live a life that matters, but also hopes to inspire others to do the same. He is a promoter of peace who believes in advancing the idea that Heaven is here if we want it to be. He teaches Mindfulness Meditation and Mindful Living, and the acclaimed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program as taught at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He leads mindfulness silent retreats and organizes Silent Peace Walks. He lives in Florida, USA. Join his Mindfulness Meditation and Mindfulness Living sessions at Yoga Source in Coral Springs (Sundays at 9:00 AM) and at Shiwa Yoga in Deerfield Beach (Thursdays at 6:30 AM and 12:30 PM)


 

Take a look at these books at the Peaceful Ways online store

http://peacefulways.org/store/

Book Cover Image

– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”

Pay Attention Book Cover

– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”

Silent_Peace_Walk_Cover_for_Kindle

– “Silent Peace Walk”

www.PieroFalci.com

www.SilentPeaceWalk.org

www.PeacefulWays.org

Meta Awareness

I’ve heard Dan Harris, the author of 10% Happier, explain what Mindfulness Meditation is many times in his podcast. He usually begins his explanation by saying that mindfulness meditation is the practice of cultivating meta-awareness. I like his explanation a lot. Here is what I captured from listening to him in the episode 194 of his podcast. This is my attempt to capture and respectfully transcribe his ideas, but please be advised that what follows is not a word-by-word transcription of what he said.

Mindfulness meditation is the cultivation of meta-awareness, the knowing that you know, the knowing that you are thinking. As a species, we are classified as homo sapiens sapiens, the one who thinks and knows he or she thinks. And the knowing that you have thoughts all the time — these random, discursive, mostly negative, always self-referential thoughts — allows you not to be owned by them. Knowing that you know is what separates humans from other animals, but most humans don’t know that they know. Most humans have not been trained to observe, notice, and become aware of their thoughts and emotions. They are yanked around… we are yanked around by this malevolent puppeteer of our ego, of our discursive thought process. A thought comes into our minds like a little dictator and we just do what the thought commands, even when doing it is detrimental to us. There’s no buffer between the stimulus and our reaction. Meditation is about building that buffer. One of the greatest benefits I see of mindfulness meditation is that by practicing it I am less likely to be yanked around and owned by my neurotic obsessions.


 

Piero Falci is an author and educator who believes that the inner work that leads to personal awakening and transformation is indispensable to create a wholesome world. He is an explorer of the mysteries of life who loves to observe, reflect and write, and who not only aspires to live a life that matters, but also hopes to inspire others to do the same. He is a promoter of peace who believes in advancing the idea that Heaven is here if we want it to be. He teaches Mindfulness Meditation and Mindful Living, and the acclaimed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program as taught at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He leads mindfulness silent retreats and organizes Silent Peace Walks. He lives in Florida, USA. Join his Mindfulness Meditation and Mindfulness Living sessions at Yoga Source in Coral Springs (Sundays at 9:00 AM) and at Shiwa Yoga in Deerfield Beach (Thursdays at 6:30 AM and 12:30 PM)


 

Take a look at these books at the Peaceful Ways online store

http://peacefulways.org/store/

Book Cover Image

– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”

Pay Attention Book Cover

– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”

Silent_Peace_Walk_Cover_for_Kindle

– “Silent Peace Walk”

www.PieroFalci.com

www.SilentPeaceWalk.org

www.PeacefulWays.org

Unsatisfactoriness and Enoughness

 

The observation of life made me realize that I rarely experienced full contentment. No matter how wonderful my life was, I always felt that something was not quite right, that something was missing. I lived with the hope that something in the future would come about and fulfill this void I felt. But what would bring me contentment and peace of mind was never clear: perhaps the next academic degree, the next job, the next relationship, the next house, the next vacation, perhaps when I achieved fame and fortune. I kept listening and pursuing those things that the culture told me would make me happy. Not knowing what would tame my anxiety — what would give me the feeling of fulfillment I so much longed for — I found myself all over the place. It was as if I was shooting in the dark, hoping to hit the target. Rather than being centered and satisfied, I found myself in this state of imbalance, constantly desiring, constantly leaning forward, hoping that the next thing would placate this sentiment that although things were good, they were not quite right, this subtle feeling in the background that something was wrong. I referred to it as ‘a bug in the system, an undercurrent of uncertainty, fear, anxiety, pain, and dissatisfaction.’ I could hear Mick Jagger singing, “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

I came to realize that many of the things I was pursuing, the things I was told would make me happy, were misleading, vain promises of happiness. I realized that I was following someone else’s formula for happiness, not my own.

And then I began to become aware of the vicious circle of desires and discontentment, desires and restlessness, desires and suffering! I became more aware of how wanting is disturbing, and how contentment is calming.

Enter enoughness.

By practicing appreciation, contentment, satisfaction, and gratitude for all that I do, all that I have, and who I am, I feel that I was blessed with plenty, with much more than enough, and as a result of that feeling, I am more generous. And when I am all this — appreciative, content, satisfied, grateful, and generous — I am happier.

Give it a try.

……..

“Our culture today is obsessively focused on unrealistically positive expectations: Be happier. Be healthier. Be the best, better than the rest. Be smarter, faster, richer, sexier, more popular, more productive, more envied, and more admired. Be perfect and amazing… Then fly your helicopter to your wonderfully fulfilling job, where you spend your days doing incredibly meaningful work that’s likely to save the planet one day… When you stop and really think about it, conventional life advice is actually fixating on what you lack… This fixation only serves to remind us over and over again of what we are not, of what we lack, of what we should have been but failed to be… The more you pursue feeling better all the time the less satisfied you become as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place. The more desperately you want to be rich, the more poor and unworthy you feel regardless of how much money you actually make… The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience… Wanting positive experience is a negative experience. Accepting negative experience is a positive experience.” ~ Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

……..


 

Piero Falci is an author and educator who believes that the inner work that leads to personal awakening and transformation is indispensable to create a wholesome world. He is an explorer of the mysteries of life who loves to observe, reflect and write, and who not only aspires to live a life that matters, but also hopes to inspire others to do the same. He is a promoter of peace who believes in advancing the idea that Heaven is here if we want it to be. He teaches Mindfulness Meditation and Mindful Living, and the acclaimed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program as taught at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He leads mindfulness silent retreats and organizes Silent Peace Walks. He lives in Florida, USA. Join his Mindfulness Meditation and Mindfulness Living sessions at Yoga Source in Coral Springs (Sundays at 9:00 AM) and at Shiwa Yoga in Deerfield Beach (Thursdays at 6:30 AM and 12:30 PM)


 

Take a look at these books at the Peaceful Ways online store

http://peacefulways.org/store/

Book Cover Image

– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”

Pay Attention Book Cover

– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”

Silent_Peace_Walk_Cover_for_Kindle

– “Silent Peace Walk”

www.PieroFalci.com

www.SilentPeaceWalk.org

www.PeacefulWays.org