I am finding it important to address this facet of mindfulness practice; the aspect of struggling with the practice itself for it seems there is a misconception among some that to embrace it is to forgo one’s current lifestyle. I disagree. Though it does produce change in one’s self and one's world view, mindfulness practice is easily incorporated into a daily routine in the form of small pauses combined with a few moments at the beginning and ending of one’s day. You can still enjoy the same foods, people and “vices” of your choosing. You only enhance the experience by learning to be ever more present in each moment that is your life.
This morning I awoke and was searching chants on YouTube when I came across a slideshow of the Heart Sutra (Prajnaparamita, “the perfection of wisdom”). Though I’ve read the sutra before, somehow this morning my synapses were open to it in a way that it had not resonated with me before. Here are some excerpts:
“Form is emptiness and emptiness is form. Form is not other than emptiness, and emptiness not other than form… In emptiness there is neither form, nor feelings, nor perceptions, nor mental formations, nor consciousness…. No understanding and no attainment. Because there is no attainment, the Bodhisattvas, grounded in Perfect Understanding, find no obstacles for their minds. Having no obstacles, they overcome fear, liberating themselves forever from illusion…”
It has been determined that the Universe that we see is only 4% of what “is” as the remaining 96% of matter is dark matter which we cannot see and frankly have no clue what it is other than it must exist. Everything that is, is energy – moving around at different velocities, vibrating at varying frequencies. Sit with that thought for a minute. Or two.
So much of what we experience is an astounding combination of the circumstances that surround where we have been combined with where we currently find ourselves. Perhaps this is why stillness can be such a powerful component of our experience and why taking deliberate pauses throughout our day can be so refreshing and revitalizing. Yes, this is why we practice. This is why we treasure the moment; each moment that we allow ourselves to be fully present, completely aware. And when we become distracted with that which has past and that which is not yet here…. we simply return to the moment. This present, all encompassing moment.