The Truth About Mindfulness
This Site Is Pretty Simple. Just Follow The Flow. This Is How I Use Mindfulness. It Works for Me, So I’m Hoping That This Can Help You As Well.
60 Minutes Just Did a Great Segment on Mindfulness. Here’s a part that didn’t air with some extended footage:
First things first. Mindfulness is not the hype you’re seeing lately all over the media, barring this new segment on 60 minutes which I really liked. It’s not some quick-fix solution to all of life’s problems. While it’s scientifically proven to have beneficial effects, it’s not like a fad diet or magic pill that you take once and change your life forever.
It’s war. Plain and simple.
Like the movie the Matrix, we all exist in a created reality. That reality is created by many factors both inside and outside of our control. It’s not some conspiracy, it just is.
Mindfulness is one tool that we can use to wake up from this false reality. We think we know who we are, until we don’t. The truth is that until we begin to see through the haze, we have only hints to who we truly are.
Practicing mindfulness can burn off the fog we live in and show us our real selves. Our core. Our birthright.
The Fantasy of Mindfulness
I love these sites that talk about mindfulness and give you step by step instructions on how to practice mindfulness, like you’re putting together a Heurgenflafferfarfegnugen from IKEA…
First, you watch your breathing, then you watch your thoughts, then you repeat some mantra to yourself, then you love yourself, then you be grateful for everything. Then you pet a puppy and kiss a baby…
Wow… life changing… really…
When we are all in the craziness of this lost world, how are we supposed to just stop and all of a sudden use techniques that we’ve read about on the internet in some lovey-dovey site with pictures of flowers… and that squiggly symbol thingy, and get all “mindful”?
Like it’s something we can just tap into like Neo in the Matrix? You know, he plugs that thing into the back of his head, then all of a sudden he’s like, “Whoa… I know Napoleon is at a water park…” wait… scratch that… wrong Keanu movie…
The Reality of Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness is war. Your mind and the world around and inside you is the battlefield. There is no wishy-washy let’s all hold hands, play bongos, and ruin a perfectly good social movement about it. There’s no “special little flower that you are” stuff about it either. It’s war. It’s difficult, and it requires weapons that we are not born knowing how to use.
We are not taught how to do this in school. We are not taught about it on the playground. We are certainly NOT taught it in church or temple. Save a few lucky people, our parents are just as clueless as we are and some have damaged us beyond belief, so nope, not there. We don’t learn it on TV, unless you believe the Kardashians and the rest of the mind-numbing crap is enlightened.
Society is clueless, so we don’t learn it there. We don’t learn it in our groundhog day jobs, although there’s a clue in that one for ya. Songs and art contain it, but good luck finding it among the auto-tuned fluff out there.
There’s a specific set of weapons that we use. Yeah, I said weapons. This is war, remember? If you want roses and puppies, that will come later. They are there, I promise. You’ll see them, along side the garbage, and you’ll be better equipped to appreciate that stuff for the beauty it is instead of using it to make yourself feel better, or as an escape as you might now.
Fighting this war is not done in a hard and violent way, but it’s both active and passive. Active in that it takes energy to practice. Passive in that it is mostly about letting go, which is also active in it’s own way.
This war has hardened me, but not in a cynical way or hostile way. Precicely the opposite. It’s made me less apt to just accept all the frilly fluff out there and made me focus on the core of it all. Yes, there’s a core. It’s in all of us.
Want to know why?
Because at the core we’re all the same. We are millions of expressions of the same thing. We are just way too screwed up to see it right now. I blame Bush…no…wait…Obama…no, the Koch…wait…that other side… yeah… that’s it…
How Do We Fight The War Inside Ourselves?
There’s a constant war raging inside us. Our perceptions are battling the truth every second of every day. We are not even aware that it’s happening, but it is. We don’t see the truth in things because there is so much junk between our senses and minds that by the time the data gets processed by our brains, it’s gone through so much garbage that it’s all distorted.
Like a game of telephone…
You tell someone that “Vernon is going to kill Johnny’s brother at the Savoy Theater tonight”, then they tell someone else, but, because they are a different person, they tell it a bit differently. By the time it gets to the end, it’s completely different and the last person gets to hear a drunken version of “What the Fox Says”.
That’s our operation right now.
That’s how we go through life. That’s a main reason that the world is so damn stupid right now. We are all lying to ourselves day in and day out without knowing it. Heck, it’s been like this for MILLENNIA, but we just get to see it all now because we have YouTube and Twitter, and Vine, and Instagram, and the ever-present Facebook.
So How Does This Relate to Mindfulness?
Practicing mindfulness will give you the weapons and the training that you need to fight this war. If you go to any random site out there and just follow their “how to” stuff, you’re going into battle naked and unarmed, unless it’s either really good or your are very perceptive.
You may have done this already. Maybe you have had luck. If so, awesome. Congrats. Most will be frustrated after realizing you might need way more than a few “how to’s”. Practicing mindfulness is not a tutorial, it’s a lifestyle.
The Aim of Practicing Mindfulness and This Site
Use this site to learn how to practice mindfulness. Start at the beginning. It starts with learning relaxation techniques. You calm your body. Then it moves on to how to quiet the mind. This is important to help you cut through the clutter of your thoughts. If you can’t quiet the mind (it’s not like silencing, but more like accepting the flow), you’ve lost the battle. If you lose these battles, you lose the war. The mind never really blanks out, but we bring order to chaos, remember this.
The next section is about mindfulness exercises. These are exercises that you can use to get your mind to focus on your feelings and the present moment. They are useful for a variety of different reasons, and can be used in conjunction with meditation to get present, which is useful as a technique, but not the end goal of mindfulness.
Then move on to guided meditations. This is a good way to go without access to a teacher.
Of course, you could just jump around, but that’s up to you. I’ve given you a map, tools, and some training. See what you can accomplish.
This site is meant to go in order. Follow this order and learn to practice mindfulness and meditation. After going through this, you should have a solid foundation.
Here’s the order to go in:
1. Relaxation Techniques – You need to relax first. Everything is easier this way.
2. Quiet the Mind – Our minds never “really” shut up. This hinders us from experiencing the moment. Learning to quiet the mind is very important for experiencing deep meditation. (Our minds never really “blank out”, but we bring order to the chaos.)
3. Mindfulness Exercises – Learn to get into the present moment. Life is better this way. This paves the road to deep meditation.
4. Guided Meditation – nothing helps like a good, solid guide. This can jump start your progress. (Many can’t get access to an enlightened master, so this is our next best choice, at least in the beginning.)