The Gifts of Mindfulness Practice
The gifts that mindfulness can bring are many and layered depending on one’s purpose for and commitment to the practice. Any of the practices, for long or short times, bring almost immediate calm and relief on the heels of attending to what is there, in, and around you, in the moment. A longer and consistent cultivation of the formal practices brings a more significant and lasting release from the challenges of stress, and can move one towards wellness and wholeness. And, when one continues over time, in the spirit of Zinn’s definition, mindfulness can bring a courageous and awe-filled uncovering of one’s inner wisdom, along with the confidence to trust it and apply it in one’s life – in work, business, and in relationships.
Mindfulness Is Not About Bliss
Although mindfulness practice always brings a sense of calm and release, it is not about chasing bliss. Rather it is a humbly seeing, embracing and accepting what is in that moment without judging yourself, others, or the circumstances involved. It is an equal welcome of all the pleasant and unpleasant experiences, and not labeling them as either, but instead, being open in a spirit of curiosity and inquiry, to the gifts, the message, the indications they bring. It is, instead, about bringing kindness and compassion to all involved. Not necessarily easy to do, but very possible when using the practices, especially over time. It is also important, that we bring a spirit of play and lightness to this practice, so smiling while sitting is very encouraged!