THE POINT OF IT ALL
At this point in our study, attention is on DOING the practice, NOT JUST TALKING about it. A dozen of us were present. The entire evening was in itself a form of meditation, although we were listening to enlightened master teachers and engaged in conversation.
Meditation cultivates Mindfulness. However, sitting still in silence and focusing the mind on the rise and fall of one’s breath is just one form of meditation. Through this practice you are learning an important lesson . . . Meditation cultivates Mindfulness. Mindfulness can become a life practice, something you can incorporate into your life activities no matter what you are doing, no matter where you are or what you are feeling.
And why do we want to cultivate Mindfulness?
With greater self-awareness you can learn to shift a strong disturbing emotion to something different. That is the point! During a storm we have learned to bring the attention from the top of the tree down to the trunk. You can also use some reminder, like a bell sound set on your phone, that signals you to practice mindful breathing and calm yourself. Do this regularly, say every hour for just a few minutes. That’s what is meant by ‘inviting the bell’.
Whether you do these practices or not is your individual choice, but if you want more happiness and less suffering, we encourage you to try.
Last Thursday we viewed 3 videos that deepened our understanding about how to be better ‘artists’ of our own life experience. Each presenter beautifully demonstrates the lessons we have been learning about Mindfulness.
Gen Kelsang Nyema ~ Happiness is All in Your Mind (15 min)
Thich Nhat Hanh ~ How to Deal With Strong Emotions (21 min)
Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith (10/28/21) ~ Meditation for Fear and Anxiety (13 min)
“BEING PRESENT WITH STRONG EMOTIONS” & “INVITING THE BELL”
Significant quotes from these practices (101-103):
- A tree that is deeply rooted in the soil can withstand the storm.
- An emotion is only an emotion, and you are much more than one emotion.
- You are body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness.
- You don’t have to die just because of one emotion.
- Inviting the bell to sound is inviting happiness to enter our body and take root there.
- We can invite all the cells in our body to join us in listening to the bell.
- It is possible to invite all our ancestors to join us in listening to the bell.
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Why do teenagers tend to get so overcome by their emotions?
Were you like that when you were a teen?