When it comes to learning meditation, or learning anything new for that matter, it helps to bring in some visual representations. Mindful celebrates mindfulness, awareness, and compassion in all aspects of life—through Mindful magazine, Mindful.org, events, and collaborations. After you start practicing, look for greater clarity and focus in the way you approach your day-to-day life, how you problem-solve, and how you relate to others and the world around you.
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We’ve learned and studied so much about good communication skills and body language that many of us have mastered the art of “listening” with our bodies. Great leaders, who communicate and connect, fill their minds with the person in front of them.
Here are three steps to practice presence and soon enough, you’ll definitely be showing up! Not only is a mindful practice one that provides clarity, vision, connection, and beauty, but also being present in the moment creates peace of mind.
When we find this connection with others through mindfulness, we gain a deeper understanding of each other and of ourselves.
It is a practice which supports the capacity to stay focused on what you are doing as you are doing it, a powerful antidote to the distractible nature of the mind and the information-rich digital world. Google has now trained over one thousand of its employees in mindfulness, recognizing it’s capacity to improve well being and innovation in the work place.
It is initially practiced through meditation, but can also be applied to daily activities such as eating, walking or working. OMTimes TeamOMTimes Magazine is one of the leading on-line content providers of positivity, wellness and personal empowerment. The notion that how we feel is directly caused by events around us, or directly involving us, is a scourge of our modern times.
We impose our “shoulds” on what we perceive as “the world out there,” and then when it fails to live up to our arbitrary and abstract standards, we pout, mope, grumble, and complain that it “should” have been different.
Rather than tweaking our perception, we demand that the thing we perceive should tweak itself! When people fail to conform to our whimsy, we often fall into yet another error avoided by the mindful: we replay upsetting events (events that we perceived as upsetting) and our emotional responses to them in our heads over and over, further upsetting ourselves. Many people like to imagine how they would have responded differently to an unpleasant scenario—perhaps with some pithy and scathing repartee to put the aggressor in their place, or some supremely composed nonchalance in the face of adversity.
First, we need to drop our “shoulds” in the moment, adopt a more “go with the flow” mindset, and accept that there will always be things that crop up that we won’t necessarily be overjoyed about.
Believe that that is okay (and that it may ultimately be in your best interest), and, as Niebuhr said, try to cultivate the serenity to accept the things you cannot change. Next, we need to learn not to RE-act unconsciously to stimuli, rehashing our established habitual response to some perceived stressor.
Instead, we need to develop a modicum of detachment and learn to observe what is occurring without identifying with it. People forget that no matter what happens, there is always a multitude of angles to view it from, all of them complimentary. It can be an extremely useful and healing exercise to step into another person’s shoes and try to humble oneself enough to see things from their perspective. If it’s too late for you to try multi-angle viewing in the moment because you’ve already gotten swept away on a wave of emotion, all is not lost.
Any thought or feeling we can observe (which is all of them) must be something less than the totality of who and what we are.
Given the realization that we have a choice between neutrality, humor, indignation, sadness, pain, anger, or even joy, in virtually any given circumstance, why would anyone consciously choose anything other than enjoyable psychological assessments of and responses to events—or at the very least, relatively peaceful or neutral ones?
I can think of an unfortunate time when I squandered the present moment as a result of a lack of perspective and slavery to “should.” What followed were counter-productive, anguish-producing mental replays. On the way home from a day at Sydney University, sometime in 2002, if I recall correctly, I boarded my usual bus home from the train station.


But he didn’t just sit next to me; he sat almost on top of me, needlessly squashing me up against the window—an aggressive gesture, which I passively (and regrettably) accommodated. Huddled silently and awkwardly against the interior wall of the bus for the duration of the trip, I made no indication of my dissatisfaction with the seating arrangement. Instead I waited until my bus stop was not far away before reaching up to press the “stop” button. Well, apparently my new friend found my social etiquette somewhat lacking—and little did I know that it was his stop too. So, to my complete amazement, as I dismounted the communal “carriage” and began the short leg of the journey home on foot, I was shocked and baffled to hear a stream of profanity and insults being directed at my back from some distance away. I don’t remember most of what was said as we exchanged barbs while walking in near-opposite directions, although I do recall becoming highly offended and indignant at this completely unprovoked attack. I was outraged—fuming—and my biggest mistake was that I was certain it was all his fault that I felt this way. I imagined future scenarios where I might have a chance to confront him again; only I would stay calm, and calculatingly best him verbally, putting him in his place. In hindsight, my total lack of self-control and mastery over my thought patterns is amusing—hilarious even!
My complete lack of perspective caused me to not only fail to see the humor embedded in this ludicrous situation, in which a fully grown middle-aged man clad in business attire and clutching a snazzy looking briefcase acted like a petulant two-year-old toward me; but it also caused me to torture myself for days afterward by replaying the “injustice” of it all in my head. If finding the lighter side of adversity or confrontation comes to you with as much difficulty as it did for me during this incident, then try to cultivate the habit of observing, and then observing yourself observing.
You’ll be amazed at the number of cognitive options you see at your disposal that would go completely unnoticed if you were identifying with your perceptions, beliefs, and judgements, and the feelings flowing from them. In identification mode, you can be upset and offended and will judge and label instead of observing. This often leads to festering resentment, and the aforementioned mental replays of an upsetting incident ad nauseum, thus allowing the “culprit” to live rent-free in your mind. However, once a troubling or challenging event has passed, if there are still lingering thoughts and replays running in my mind, I find it a useful strategy to get honest with myself and ask: “Who is thinking my thoughts? Obviously, the answer is me, so, therefore, I am the one who is now causing myself the grief. Knowing all of this, I can acknowledge that I—and I alone—get to choose what I believe and think, and therefore how I feel. I was talking today to a friend about a mutual friend and some issues I’ve had with her recently. I have always been a very lonely person and having her as part of my life has meant a lot to me.
So this post reminds me that I have to hold the reins of my life and to take control of my reactions.
A friend of mine once told me, “What other people think of you is none of your business.” He was absolutely right. For many years, I struggled with feelings of anger and hurt over things that other people said and did to me.
In time, I began to realize that the reason I was hurt so easily was because I had a fragile ego. DisclaimerThis site is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. Learn more about our nonprofit mission, the people behind Mindful, and our growing community here. Through our retreats and programs, we have seen that contemplative practices, such as mindfulness, foster resilience, well-being, and compassionate concern for others. So often, we are replaying in our head the argument we may have had with a spouse, the traffic on the way to work, or the e-mail we just read. Bodies leaning in, head nodding, eyes fixed on the other person, yet all the while our minds are anywhere but in that conversation.
How would you like to show up differently and what will you do to accomplish stronger presence?


It is an effective mental technique, borrowed from the two thousand year old Buddhist contemplative practice and adapted to suit non-religious contexts, including board rooms, corporations, hospitals, schools and sports teams.
When practised regularly, it can bring more calm and effectiveness into everyday life, reducing stress and enhancing wellbeing.
It is simply the discipline of noticing what you are doing when you are doing it and becoming master rather than slave to the impulses of the mind. The breath is not only a powerful indicator of one’s state of mind but also a helpful modulator. For one, they further worsen your state of mind, which, if sustained, simply serves to draw more people and events to you that correspond to your bad mood. We can train ourselves out of unconscious identification with our transient thoughts and feelings, thus, becoming the master, making emotion the servant.
Through effort, however, we can cultivate the mindfulness that allows us to recognize in the moment that we are the ones who choose our thoughts and feelings, no one else. Waiting for the driver to set us, his human cargo in motion, I was eventually joined on the seat by a businessman garbed in suit and tie with accompanying briefcase. At that point I politely said, “Excuse me” and made it quite plain that I intended to alight—standard bus etiquette all in all. From an “observer space” you can consciously choose what to think and feel—you have options.
I love to compare everything to nature, if you are feeling pretty bad, depressed or sorry for yourself, remember – this too shall pass. I have admitted to myself that I’ve given her the power of controlling my state of mind and my mood.
That loneliness of course has caused me to be very inexperienced in social and matters of friendship.
I’m really glad to know that this humble little piece has been of some service to you.
And the way to overcome this over-sensitivity was through spiritual growth—in my case, through mindfulness meditation. The content on Tiny Buddha is designed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric treatment. We see it in their eyes, we feel it energetically, we know we are connected and drawn to that person and the moment.
This is especially relevant in our current culture plagued with chaos, competition, rage, and fear. It’s not unusual with this deep union of souls, to see ourselves in those people with whom we feel connected. Identification, on the other hand, leads to transient reactive emotion (often some form of pain). After all, hurtful words or behavior are difficult to defend, though I’m sure the other person doesn’t seem to have much difficulty. How would our mindfulness, with these three steps, affect our communication, our connection and relationships…our leadership? In a mindful state, empathy, connection, compassion, and equality surface to our consciousness. This is why I’ve become so dedicated to teaching others how to meditate, so they too can find freedom from the bondage of self.
We see and feel each other as the same, without division and without judgment—we feel love.



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