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What is Mindfulness? What is the difference between Mindfulness & Meditation? Discussed in this episode are accessible tips & thoughtful strategies as to how we can practice Mindfulness & Meditation in our day-to-day lives as embodied humans trying to live a more conscious & inspired life. Mindfulness and Meditation are not religions, but a lifestyle with skills that we can develop and practice to live happier & more peaceful lives. What are the concrete benefits of these practices & what are some key concepts behind them? This episode covers why you can’t ever “fail” as a meditator, plus hacks to start or revitalize a mindfulness/meditation practice. These topics and SO much more as to how we can build our muscle of Mindfulness are shared in this most illuminative and practical episode. 

Show Notes: 

Being a Modern Mystic is taking values & ideas that we hold as important and precious in the abstract & making them real. It is a lived experience of the connection & interconnection of spirituality, of finding depths of capacities, and of potential within ourselves for wisdom & compassion. The emphasis of all of this is making it real & having an experiential base for our views and for the way we move forward in this world. It is about how we make our practices serve ourselves, the people we love & the world in our moment-to-moment life, not in an abstract way but in a practical way.

The difference between mindfulness and meditation. Meditation is one way of developing mindfulness. Meditation is not tied to a belief system or to a dogma, it is a skills training of awareness and of connection. Skills can be learned. 

Meditation is one way of building mindfulness which is a quality of awareness of what’s happening in the present moment which is not so distorted by our bias’ and projections. 

Matrika Shakti: Mindfulness of language and the inherent power that every word contains. 

Honoring that Meditation & Mindfulness come from lineages that originated in other countries and not culturally appropriating them paramount. Sometimes, due to this fact, words and meaning can be illusive in their translation. Pali is the original language of the Buddhist texts. Sanskrit is the original language of yogic texts. Discussed is the meaning and origins of the word “Mindfulness.”

It takes courage to sit and be with yourself and your experience. You can’t “fail” at meditation. Sleepiness in meditation is not a failure to meditate. The point is to have a different relationship with all of our experience: the beautiful, the painful & the neutral.

Mindfulness is connected to the Buddhist tradition which is a stream, like the yoga tradition, connected to the same ocean, however, it’s practices became secularized. The properties of these traditions are Universal. They are based in experience and not “believing” in a world view of any kind but in trying various practices and seeing which yield you fruit personally. 

“Don’t believe anything I’ve said, or a sacred elder, in a sacred text, put it into practice and see if it’s true.” - Buddha 

These are methods to know oneself more fully but they can be blended & support one’s spirituality and/or religion if you so desire.

When we hold onto any experience in life and in meditation, not for the way it shifted us, our priorities and expectations but hold onto it as an experience, then we suffer. 

The goal of Mindfulness and definition of "enlightenment." Mindfulness & Meditation work to help your mind be free of greed/grasping; hatred/aversion; and confusion/delusion. Mindfulness & Meditation change our relationship on the inside with the moments outside.

From a neuroscientific perspective, Meditation & Mindfulness Practices literally change your brain and there are many scans and much research online one can find online about this. Other measurable benefits that many people claim: greater calm, less reactivity, improved concentration, stress reduction, white blood cell increase (which builds our immune system), improved sleep & more…

Consistency is the key factor in a Mindfulness and/or Meditation practice. Better to practice every day a smaller amount than one day in a week a large amount. Make a structure such as every day, or every other day, to support success. The trick is to not look for benefits during the meditation, they may or may not come, look for them in how you feel and handle your moment-to-moment life in between your meditations. We practice meditation not to become a great meditater but to have a happier life.

The powerful practices of: Metta (lovingkindness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (sympathetic joy) and Upeksha (equanimity). Get a FREE PDF with notes about these key core concepts at: https://www.patreon.com/posts/free-mindfulness-48972432 

A moment of mindfulness is a moment of freedom!

Links: 

https://www.sharonsalzberg.com/ 

The Metta Hour Podcast: https://www.sharonsalzberg.com/metta-hour-podcast/ 

Thích Nhất Hạnh: https://plumvillage.org/about/thich-nhat-hanh/ 

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