After four weeks of mindfulness practice, one of my students wrote, “I’m learning that mindfulness is not easy. There are so many distractions and obligations in life that make it hard to stay mindful. The practice is demanding: it takes time, effort, persistence, dedication, and motivation.” True. There’s a popular saying in the mindfulness world: “Mindfulness is simple, but not easy.” It is not uncommon for meditators to feel frustrated, discouraged, and unmotivated during the early stages of mindfulness practice. Novice practitioners soon realize how tiresome it can be to focus and sustain concentration, and how less tolling it is to continue acting mindlessly and automatically. They notice how challenging it is to sit still to investigate the feelings that arise, and how much easier it is to distract and numb themselves. They get to know firsthand how difficult it is to try to be mindful throughout the day. The truth is that old habits die hard, and that although all of us are capable of having some moments of great awareness, only highly trained individuals can be mindful all times of the day. It takes training to come to a state when living mindfully becomes second nature. It also takes practice to come to a state of not striving and not doing, just being, which makes the mindfulness practice if not easier, at least lighter. The saying that I keep telling my students is “It’s not difficult to be mindful. Difficult is to remember to be mindful.” Mindfulness practice allows us to have more moments of mindfulness during the day, and the more of such moments we have, the more we will have. So, if you are at the beginning this mindfulness journey, don’t chastise yourself because right now you cannot be mindful most of the time. Experience shows that moments of mindfulness for those with still untrained and untamed minds are rare. Setting reminders to pause, breathe, and observe during the day works well for a lot of practitioners. Give it a try!
“I have not found anything else anywhere near as powerful, as nurturing, and as illuminating as cultivating the capacity for embodied presence in my own life.“ ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
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 (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 AM)
Take a look at these books at the Peaceful Ways online store
– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”
– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”
– “Silent Peace Walk”