You Are ALREADY Mindful
Truly. Each and every human is mindful and aware. These are natural abilities of the mind.
The degree to which we are mindful and aware can differ greatly. Both within us and amongst us. But, we are already mindful and aware.
Meditation and mindfulness practices are, just that, practices, that help us develop and extend the qualities of mindfulness and non-judgmental awareness.
Consider the following quote by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, in his book
Turning the Mind Into An Ally
The good news is that mindfulness and awareness are intrinsic aspects of the mind – not something foreign that we’re trying to bring in. Mindfulness is what we use to hold minds to any object – the breath, a rock, or a banana – and awareness is the intelligence that tells us what we’re doing. Awareness is what tells us that the phone is ringing. When we answer the telephone, it’s mindfulness that holds us to the voice at the other end long enough to know that our mother is calling. So in meditating properly, we’re strengthening aspects of our mind that are already there. It’s like working out. In developing mindfulness and awareness, the mind begins to feel its strength and its ability to simply be present. We begin to get a glimpse of the mind’s natural stability.
Today, try noticing something of natural beauty. It could be visual, a beautiful flower, or aural, a piece of music or a bird’s song. Take a few moments longer than usual to breathe in the beauty. Try to suspend judgement and thought for just a moment, although this may be hard. If there is a dialogue running in your head as you try this, you can make an attempt to suspend your thinking and judgmental thoughts and focus on the sensory experience. Just be aware. This is mindfulness and awareness.
If you notice that you can not suspend the thoughts or judgements for even a millisecond, just be aware. That is also mindfulness and awareness. And a practice may be to see if you can suspend your thinking and judgments about not being able to suspend your thinking and judgments 🙂 No matter how that practice goes, it is also strengthening your mindfulness and awareness.