9/15 Bohm Dialogue — Mindfulness

For September our topic is Mindfulness.

“Mindfulness helps us freeze the frame so that we can become aware of our sensations and experiences as they are, without the distorting coloration of socially conditioned responses or habitual reactions.”

– Henepola Gunaratana

“Mindfulness of the body is awareness of… the taste and smell of this moment.”

– Steve Hagen

“Mindfulness meditation doesn’t change life. Life remains as fragile and unpredictable as ever. Meditation changes the heart’s capacity to accept life as it is.”

– Sylvia Boorstein

“Mindfulness is about falling awake rather than asleep.”

– Shamash Alidina

“Mindfulness has helped me succeed in almost every dimension of my life. By stopping regularly to look inward and become aware of my mental state, I stay connected to the source of my actions and thoughts and can guide them with considerably more intention.”

– Dustin Moskovitz

“Mindfulness means being aware of how you’re deploying your attention and making decisions about it, and not letting the tweet or the buzzing of your BlackBerry call your attention.”

– Howard Rheingold

“Mindfulness is about love and loving life. When you cultivate this love, it gives you clarity and compassion for life, and your actions happen in accordance with that.”

– Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh

“I like mindful people. Fear prevents mindfulness, and then greed marches in because you are fearful, so you feel like you have to shore everything up.”

– Ursula Goodenough

“Disassociating, mindfulness, transcendence-whatever the label-it’s a sort of loophole in our contract with reality, a form of self-rescue.”

– Diane Ackerman

“The purpose of meditation practice is not enlightenment; it is to pay attention even at extraordinary times, to be of the present, nothing-but-in-the-present, to bear this mindfulness of now into each event of ordinary life.”

– Peter Matthiessen

“The Noble Truth of the Path leading to the Cessation of suffering is this: It is simply the Noble Eightfold Path, namely right view; right thought; right speech; right action; right livelihood; right effort; right mindfulness; right concentration.”

– Pali Tipitaka

“I came to the conclusion then that continual mindfulness… must mean, not a sergeant major-like drilling of thoughts, but a continual readiness to accept whatever came.”

– Marion Milner

Mindfulness to me is just attending to the present conscious moment – whatever thoughts, feelings,  sensations and intuitions are there right now, not getting swept up in them, not judging or interpreting them, just noticing them, and beyond that, noticing the noticing itself. What’s so hard about that? It’s easy to get swept up and stop noticing. But that’s OK, just let the thoughts, etc. pass, come back to the moment and resume noticing. That’s it.

Why do it? Well, for me the alternative is to be always trapped by the automatic flow of thoughts, etc., and believing they are more real than they are. So mindfulness is seeking freedom from that, it’s the practice of freeing yourself. Other benefits accrue. What’s your experience?

Join us to listen to what others think and to share what you think.  The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays to discuss various topics in the format called Bohm Dialogue which emphasizes respectful listening and balanced, synergistic sharing. For more details about how Dialogue works, please see this intro.

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts/intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute.  We next meet Sunday September 15 at 7pm in the Brackett Room.

Contact Paul Reising, Tom Yelton or Jan Hardenbergh for more information.