WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MINDFULNESS MEDITATION SITTINGWeek and focus on your practice, from conditions in addition to significant.
Elisha Goldstein on the ways we can increase the intention of being more present in our lives. The intention of being more present in our lives is continuing to grow and touch an increasing amount of people. Even a meal or snack becomes a chance to pause and reflect on how this simple peace of food holds everything in it, the earth, wind, rain and sunshine.
Abraham Joshua Heschel said, “Life is routine and routine is resistance to wonder.” Curiosity leads the mindful person to get back in touch with the wonders and possibilities of life. In practicing mindfulness we come to understand that these are not signs of failing at being mindful. Practicing “forgive and invite” over and over again in life becomes an incredible strong vehicle for growth. When you start paying attention to any emotion you start to experience that it is an energy that is “in motion.” It has a certain nature of coming and going and in experiencing this we can naturally hold them more lightly.
When the comfortable emotions are present we also hold those lightly as we know that are not permanent either, but have this same nature of coming and going. Compassion can be defined as noticing suffering with an inclination to want to help in some way. Instead they become our teachers guiding us to get increasingly better at not only understanding what our needs are or the needs of others, but at inclining to help ourselves or another. Many of us are keenly aware of our imperfections and this erupts in a barrage of continuous self-judgment.
The imperfections that arise become less of a struggle and instead a source of recognizing the common humanity of all people. If there is one singular law in life it is that nothing is permanent (except that law of course).
The 15th century poet Kabir said, “Wherever you are that’s the entry point.” My wife had an interesting experience where she was home alone with our two boys.

One way to get started, reconnect or deepen your mindfulness practice is to take the 28 Day Challenge with the new online program Basics of Mindfulness Meditation.
I have friends who I never would have imagined practicing mindfulness who now sit in daily meditation. All the people from around the world who contributed in making the ingredients and putting them together into what it is in that moment. Throughout the process there are times when we get too tired to practice, feel too busy, find ourselves doubting the process, get caught in avoiding what’s uncomfortable or just feeling too restless. Instead they are opportunities for learning about the hindrances of life, what gets in our way, and understanding two things: 1) What we need in those moments and 2) The fastest route to begin again.
When we get caught in an obstacle, we “forgive” ourselves for the time gone by, investigate the obstacle to learn from it, and then “invite” ourselves to begin again.
This enables us to not get so wrapped up in the difficult feelings, but instead hold them with a gentleness and tenderness. With this experience, people who practice mindfulness can be grateful for the good moments and graceful during the more difficult ones. A repeated practice of intentionally paying attention to ourselves with a curious and caring attention sends the implicit message to our brain that we’re worth caring about.
This act of self-compassion or compassion is the essential healing agent and facilitates connection which is a cornerstone to happiness.
As we start to practice being present we can’t help but see that we are not the only one who is imperfect.
As Zen priest Dogen Zenji said, “To be in harmony with the wholeness of things is to not have anxiety over our imperfections.” Easier said than done, but mindfulness leans us in that direction. However, someone who practices mindfulness comes to understand that vulnerability is where the gold is.
He is author of Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion (Atria Books, 2015), The Now Effect (Atria Books, 2012), Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler (Atria Books, 2013), and co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger, 2010). When I look at the Seattle Seahawks, think of our military veterans or politicians sitting in the “Quiet Caucus” room, I’m filled with a whole lot of hope.

This simple snack becomes a source of gratitude and a moment of recognizing the interconnection of all things.
A rare occurrence of our two boys playing in their room alone together opened her up to an idea. When I see an increasing amount of kids and teens being taught mindfulness in their schools I see possibility. When they take a shower, they might imagine it was the first time feeling the water, smelling the soap, or watching the steam as it shifts and changes before their eyes. It takes courage to take the leap and be vulnerable, as we do this we begin to trust ourselves and others and in doing this we cultivate connection which allows us to feel safe and be happy.
My wife and I ran a family retreat at Denim N’ Dirt Ranch and long before the deadline it was sold out showing me an increasing desire of parents wanting to bring mindfulness into their families. Of course this doesn’t mean we are vulnerable everywhere and at all times, we can be discerning about this, but slowly we begin to trust ourselves more and more. As people start to engage mindfulness I’ve noticed a few things they begin to do differently. As we practice mindfulness, we come to understand this and in this way, life becomes increasingly precious.
We begin to put our phones down more often and open our eyes to the sacred moments all around us. As I continue to hear over and again from any parent, “It all goes by so fast.” May we learn to savor this precious life.

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