Using one of our 5 senses to “pause” our restless mind
Description of this short mindfulness on-the-go exercise:
Several times a day, pause, pick one of your 5 senses such as vision, hearing, touch, taste or smell and then, pay attention , at this precise moment, to a selected target. The mind/brain, being very sensitive to our 5 senses, has no other choice but to comply. You are pressing the pause key by shortening the circuits of our restless mind. By doing so, you will discover what you are failing to notice all day long.
Most of the time, the process is reversed because our attention is always dictated by what our mind is thinking. We are, as Zen says, on mind-made auto-pilot or automatic physical and mental behavior.
1) Being mindful to the present moment and its content, the only existing reality.
That is to pay attention in a non-analytic and non-decisional way to the current and concrete reality of the NOW, the only reality that exists. In this space-time called NOW we experience true reality in many ways such as being mindful to our body, what we are doing, the use of our 5 senses to sense and scan our surrounding environment. Daydreaming in the past and future made of zillions of thoughts, feelings, regrets and expectations is definitely not Zen since they are the products of or restless mind and therefore pure virtual realities even if they exist.
During a 2014 retreat in France, famous Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh asked:
“ Do you want to know what meditation is all about?”
His students were eager for the answer.
“He said: “ The secret of meditation is “thoughtless thinking” that is focusing w/o analysis, w/o judgment and w/o decision. It is practicing mindfulness in its purest form that is JUST BE……JUST BE IN THE NOW
Last week we talk about 1) New identity Part 1 : Less self-centered, 2) Inner quietness and
3) Enhanced interconnection with others. Here are other traits of the new awakened self.
Empathy and Compassion:
The sense of connection described last week is closely linked to the high levels of empathy and compassion associated with spiritual awakening. When we’re connected to other living beings — animals and the natural world, we’re able to sense what they’re feeling and experiencing,
If they’re suffering, we sense it and feel the impulse to comfort them or try to alleviate their pain because the interconnection exists.
This is the first of 7 talks about awakening: towards new self (2), new mind (2), new life (2) and new world.
Awakening is not adding something divine to what you are but simply removing what you think you are.
1) A new identity away from our egocentric one:
When we experience spiritual awakening, one common sign is that our inner life changes. There’s a shift in how we feel inside. This shift changes us so profoundly that, we feel as if we have a new and less egocentric identity….as if we have been somewhat reborn.
It may not even be a noticeable symptom or sign of spiritual awakening, except in retrospect.