Thursday, May 10, 2012
Is it Possible to Cultivate Permanent Mindfulness?
Can mindfulness be permanent and everlasting? The answer is yes because mindfulness is the present moment and the present moment is always permanent no matter what. Think of it - the only thing that is permanent is the present moment. Everything else is unstable and impermanent. The earth, the stars, everything in the universe is changing. But right now, at this very moment, there is complete and absolute stability. Don't you see?
The only reason you don't stay in the present moment is because of the mind. Your body is in the present moment but your mind wanders from the past to future. When you keep your mind with your body, you, the total you, will be in the present moment. Try it.
When you are in the present moment there is no past and no future - only Now. And the present moment is unchanging, therefore it is permanent. There is no permanence, however, when you compare past and present, present and future, or past and future. Also, there is no permanence when you dwell in the past and/or the future.
Simply through the act of thinking, you alter, influence, and even create your own world. Werner Heisenberg showed this to be true in the1920's with quantum physics. Your reality depends upon what you have decided it to be. What you experience and subjectively think about the event with which you observed and possible interacted creates your reality. You as the observer of your experience, choose how the experience is experienced. For example, if you see someone you know down the isle in a grocery store, wave at them and they look away, you might create any number of thoughts: (1) "He didn't see me," (2) "He doesn't like me," (3) "It was somebody else," (4) He's a snob." The more times the same event happens, the stronger the belief and therefore the stronger the reality.
Thoughts and beliefs determine how you see the world. If you believe that all millionaires are greedy, then all millionaires are greedy. If you believe the world is in a terrible situation, the world is in a terrible situation. My point is, thinking and believing are what make your own reality. And thinking is usually focused on the past and the future. "The world used to be that way, now it's this way and in the future it's going to be that way." You are comparing the past with the future so there is no permanence.
By stilling the mind and focusing on the present moment, impermanence immediately disappears. You can remain in the moment and mindful even if you are deciding what to wear at a party tomorrow night as long as you understand that you are thinking and acting in the present moment. The chore comes with staying in the present moment.
Remember, everything is already in the present moment except for the out-of-moment mind. With practice, patience, and persistence the thinking mind will stay longer and longer in mindfulness. Only a few people will ever achieve the ever-present mind but that doesn't mean you cannot. Those who give up will never be permanently mindful - only those who persivere.