#294 AWAKENING: ATTRIBUTES & ATTITUDES Part 2

                         Awakening: The most important attributes & attitudes P2

The nickname “Buddha” means “the awakened” one.  Awakening or Enlightenment is simply the ability to understand and experience genuine and concrete reality of the present moment including all its components. Put in different words:  it is the ability to differentiate what we are and are not, what is reality vs. what is mind-made illusions are such as thoughts, past and future.

It is not a fantasy to fulfill, a destination to reach or a miracle to happen. No special skills, no divine intervention from a third party, no dogma and no miracle are required because we are all already “awakened”.

We call it our True Nature or pure consciousness, which will be never observed and explained scientifically

Because totally immaterial,

Because we need consciousness to explain consciousness meaning that the object cannot be the subject and the same time, i.e. w/o a mirror, we cannot see our own eyes.

In other words: we experience consciousness but we cannot calculate it.

The experience comes by practicing formal mindfulness-based meditation but also from mindfulness on the go.

To be mindful is to actively pay attention to something w/o any analytic nor decisional purpose.

Just being a mirror reflecting yourself, people, things and events as they are. It is like to focus mindlessly.

Here are few examples of mindfulness practice in non-specific order.

The goal is to minimize frequency and intensity of our emotions.

  • Do not think that you are indispensable. Our ego loves it but it creates anxiety.
  • Practicing mental equanimity that is a composed and evenness emotional mind, avoiding the YO-YO

       up and down such as happiness/sadness/happiness/sadness and so on.

  • To realize & be mindful to the fact that we do not control too much regarding our mind, people and events.
  • Realizing that all living beings are interconnected and defendant to each other’s.
  • We are not a permanent, unique, isolated, independent, separate, self-sufficient entity despite what our ego and self- image are telling us. The opposite.
  • Accepting things / events/people as they are and not as you want them to be unless you have some leverage.
  • Accepting self as we are and expressing self-forgiveness and self-compassion in order to do the same to others. Without this acceptance, proper interaction with others is impossible.
  • Being mindful to our emotions such as anger, grief, worries, craving, negative judgments, etc. in order to accept and surrender to them. Never resist or fight them!. This counter-intuitive “miracle” of accepting suffering promotes inner peace.

Without this initial mindfulness step, it is impossible to deal with our emotions in a rational way.

#293 AWAKENING attributes & attitudes Part 1

                     Awakening: The most important attributes & attitudes P1

The nickname “Buddha” means “the awakened” one.  Awakening or Enlightenment is simply to understand and experience genuine and concrete reality of the present moment including all its components. Put in different words:  it is the ability to differentiate what we are and are not,

what reality vs. mind-made illusions are. Awakening brings serenity.

It is not a fantasy to fulfill, a destination to reach or a miracle to happen. No special skills, no divine intervention from a third party, no dogma and no miracle are required because we are all already “awakened”. Being awakened is a personal experience impossible to share with others.

We call this awakened state our True Nature or pure consciousness, which will be never observed explained scientifically or even shared with others because:  

 Totally immaterial,

And because we need consciousness to explain consciousness meaning that the object cannot be    the subject at the same time or, w/o a mirror, we cannot see our own eyes.

As we will see experiencing awakening comes from many ways in our daily life and all of them are linked not only to the practice of formal sitting mindfulness meditation but also  “on the go”.

To be mindful is to actively pay attention to something w/o any analytic nor decisional purpose.

Just being a mirror reflecting yourself, people, things and events as they are. It is like to focus mindlessly.

Here are few examples of mindfulness practice in non-specific order. Few more will follow next week.

  • Practicing formal meditation. It requires effort, discipline, patience, determination and, above all, a non-judgmental assessment of your meditation’s quality. Just bring your mind to your breathing.
  • Learning to be mindful on routine, automatic behavior such as eating, walking, driving,
  • taking a shower, cleaning, dressing, etc.  In other words, bringing together your wandering mind where your body is and does in a single space-time. This is “on-the-go mindfulness”
  • Trying to live in the moment as often as possible, avoiding been carried out in past & future by your restless mind. NOW is the only existing time. The others time-spaces are virtual, despite our pictures / souvenirs of the past and our expectations/calendar of the future. They exist only on paper and in our mind. Our mind loves being a time machine to put us in a fictional daydream state.
  • Being conscious that all living beings, current moment and any events surrounding us are transient and usually out of our control.
  • Realizing that thoughts are just that…thoughts. They exist but they are, by definition, not real.

      We are creating thoughts but it does not mean that we have to trust them.

  • Having an open mind and not a mind-set made of ideas and judgments, which freeze our thinking.

       Such open-mind is called “don’t know mind” and this mental state enhances our curiosity  intelligence, wisdom and serenity.

  • Avoiding multi-tasking.

#292 EFFECT ON MINDFULNESS ON MEDITATION & HOW Nov. 3rd 19

                Effect of mindfulness on anxiety and how

General Anxiety Disorder ( G.A.D.) It is a cluster of several diseases including PTSDD

Definition: Worries or even fears of possible negative outcomes affecting people or events in the present moment or in the future. Usually anxiety is continuous during lifetime at various degrees. Can be debilitating if chronic.

It is the most common “mental” disease affecting around 15% of the population and growing rapidly especially among youths. Its causes are genetic and environmental.

Beside worry and fear, its manifestations are numerous affecting sleep, concentration, appetite, relationship, blood pressure, work performance, depression and even suicide.

Treatments include psychotherapy, CBT, medication and, over the last few years, mindfulness meditation.

The beneficial effect of mindfulness has been proven scientifically only in the last few years and confirmed by the

N.I.H. Reference enclosed.

In this reference, a randomized, controlled study involving one group of patient treated once a week with MBSR during 10 months vs. one controlled group treated with conventional psychotherapy during 10 months.

Anxiety level was assessed by 3 standardized psychometric anxiety inventory tests before and after treatment.

Statistical analysis showed that the frequency, duration and severity of symptoms of anxiety were statistically

 less in the MBSR vs. psychotherapy.

How it works?

Neuro imaging shows that the activity of our emotional brain is less reactive whereas the activity of our rational analytic brain is more active in patients practicing mindfulness meditation daily and weekly in group. There is an obvious neuroplasticity or brain remodeling in action due to the practice of active awareness which is the job of our analytic frontal brain.

Hypothesis: The key seems to switch from “ I am anxious” to “ I have anxiety”. What does that means?

Being mindful to anxiety is to pay attention, to be actively aware of this negative emotion rather than being carried by. As soon as you force your mind to become aware of your anxiety, he is experiencing two mental conflicting states1) background anxiety itself and 2) active awareness of it. Facing this conflict that we create, our mind is unable to carry 2 thoughts at the same time and has now no choice but to let go one of them. The emotional mind will back off against the awareness mind.

As your awareness mind becomes more and more pervasive, your emotional  anxious mind is losing ground, its intensity and its grip and your awareness mind is growing. In other words, what you do is to put your mind in competition with itself.  It is like a mental tug of war, one area of the mind against another one.

In fact, this is exactly what we are doing while meditating by focusing on one state of mind called breathing in order to compete with another state of  of mind one called wandering thoughts.

This mindfulness-based meditation method of making two states of mind in competition should be used with all afflictive thoughts popping out all the time.

If you get the habit of looking at thoughts and emotions when they arise, that is to be aware of the, they will dissipate before they take you hostage.

With practice, it will become easier and easier to retain mastery of our mind and to deal with negative emotions that pollute our daily life and also affect our body, which is a great “red flag” of what, is going at the upper level.

The effect of moderate “de-sensitization” of anxiety using mindfulness is proven but, by no means, it is the holly grail. 

Conclusion:

This is an edited quote from Allan Watts:

“The frequency, duration and intensity of your anxiety will never change the outcome of what/whom you are worried about. “

Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3772979/