Dear fellow explorers,
I would like to encourage you to continue practicing mindfulness.
I begin by asking you not to wait for perfect conditions to meditate. We all want secluded and silent environments to practice, but the majority of the time these peaceful surroundings will not be available. Most likely, conditions will never be as perfect as you would like them to be. But don’t allow this to prevent you from meditating regularly. Remember: “If you can’t do it perfectly, do it imperfectly. Just do it anyway.” Don’t have twenty minutes? What about twenty seconds? Can’t find a place inside your home? What about outside? No excuses! Just do it! Change the way you approach your desire for perfection and develop the ability to say to yourself, “Everything is perfect. It is perfect, just the way it is. It is always perfect.”
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.
Examine your beliefs and explore new ideas. Be ready to consciously unlearn what you have unconsciously learned, and let go of what does not serve you anymore.
Investigate and explore life with curiosity as a way of growing in understanding and wisdom. Practice seeing the new in the old, the unusual in the usual, 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! And because happy is difficult to be define, at least be happier now than were before. Be happier! Be joyful! Take inventory of all the demands and 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. Rest. You deserve it.
Develop happiness, by practicing to notice, appreciate, savor, and absorb all the good things in life. If you do so, you will grow in gratitude which is the key that unlocks the gates to the kingdom of happiness.
Cultivate wisdom: wise effort, wise mindfulness, wise concentration, wise assessment, wise discernment, wise understanding, wise intention, wise action, wise speech, and wise livelihood.
All this practice will allow you to gain the wisdom that cuts through delusion and ignorance and allows you to see the truth of life clearly.
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
– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”
– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”
– “Silent Peace Walk”