Quotes for
the Journey:

Mindfulness



  
Mindfulness of oneself cultivates
wisdom.  Mindfulness of others
cultivates compassion.

Stonepeace

   awareness

Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won't).       -James Baraz

   

Try to be mindful, and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become still in any surroundings, like a clear forest pool. All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all things. You will see many strange and wonderful things come and go, but you will be still.        -Ajahn Chah

   
The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.  When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.         -Thich Nhat Hanh
   

While washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes, which means one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes.  At first glance, that might seem a little silly.  Why put so much stress on a simple thing?  But thatís precisely the point.  The fact that I am standing there and washing these bowls is a wondrous reality.  I am completely myself, following my breath, conscious of my presence, and conscious of my thoughts and actions.  Thereís no way I can be tossed around mindlessly like a bottle slapped here and there on the waves.         -Thich Nhat Hanh

   
Mindfulness can be summed up in two words:  pay attention.  Once you notice what youíre doing, you have the power to change it.        -Michelle Burford

  
Living mindlessly . . . takes an enormous toll.  What we get from each moment depends on the attention we give it, and the quality of our experience reflects the quality of our awareness.        -Roger Walsh
    
Mindfulness is being aware of yourself, others, and your surroundings in the moment.  When consciously and kindly focusing awareness on life as it unfolds minute by precious minute, you are better able to savor each experience.  Also, being closely attentive gives you the opportunity to change unwise or painful feelings and responses quickly.  In fact, being truly present in a mindful way is an excellent stress reducer and, because of that, can be seen as consciousness conditioning, a strengthening workout for body, mind, heart, and spirit.         -Sue Patton Thoele
    
I am learning slowly to bring my crazy pinball-machine mind back to this place of friendly detachment toward myself, so I can look out at the world and see all those other things with respect.  Try looking at your mind as a wayward puppy that you are trying to paper train.  You donít drop-kick a puppy into the neighborís yard every time it piddles on the floor.  You just keep bringing it back to the newspaper.  So I keep trying gently to bring my mind back to what is really there to be seen, maybe to be seen and noted with a kind of reverence.        -Anne Lamott
    
You can't keep saying and doing the same things and expect better results.  When you see your behavior clearly you can frame new responses.   There are many techniques for increasing self-awareness.  Most involve mindfulness--observing what's happening in the present moment:  your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations.         -Joan Duncan Oliver
    
Cultivating a generous spirit starts with mindfulness.  Mindfulness, simply stated, means paying attention to what is actually happening; it's about what is really going on.        -Nell Newman
    
Mindfulness is not just a word or a discourse by the Buddha, but a meaningful state of mind.  It means we have to be here now, in this very moment, and we have to know what is happening internally and externally.  It means being alert to our motives and learning to change unwholesome thoughts and emotions into wholesome ones.  Mindfulness is a mental activity that in due course eliminates all suffering.        -Ayya Khema
   
Was there ever a time when you felt suddenly alive?  It was like the doors of the world opened for a minute and you could see directly into life.  You were able to touch life directly and were not lost in your fears and worries.  This experience may not have been during a big event like performing in a play or playing in a championship game; it may have been while walking in the woods or talking to a friend.  All of a sudden you felt alive, awake.  This quality of waking up, or penetrating into life, we could call mindfulness.  Mindfulness simply means being aware, being present.  When you are breathing and know that you are breathing, that is mindfulness of breathing.        -Soren Gordhamer
   
Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.       -Jon Kabat-Zinn
   
When we perform an act mindfully--be it meditating, vacuuming or playing Scrabble with a child--we nourish ourselves, as well.  Rather than scattering our concentration on a dozen things at once, we focus.  We slow down.  We give ourselves time to calm down from the inside out and the luxury of saying:  Nothing is more important right now than this moment, this deed.  We may not get as much done by day's end, but we can feel more peaceful and satisfied with the work itself.  That's a good way to think of it:  Mindfulness is quality time for the soul.         -Shana Aborn
   
People are at their most mindful when they are at play.  If we find ways of enjoying our work blurring the lines between work and play the gains will be greater.        -Ellen Langer
    
Do we ever question the need to brush our teeth?  Or say, "today I do not have time for brushing teeth?"  Can we go a week without brushing?  What that would be like?  Please imagine it right now.  How will the mouth and teeth feel?  Do we believe if we brush teeth we will never need a dentist?  And how about putting in a comparable amount of time, energy and regular practice to keep the mind clear, fresh, and refreshed?  Or regularly brushing and clearing the mind from harmful residue?  I view Mindfulness as a way of maintaining mental hygiene the same way brushing is needed for dental hygiene.  And, from time to time, we may even need professional help for best results.        -Rezvan Ameli
   
If my happiness at this moment consists largely in reviewing happy memories and expectations, I am but dimly aware of this present.  I shall still be dimly aware of the present when the good things that I have been expecting come to pass.  For I shall have formed a habit of looking behind and ahead, making it difficult for me to attend to the here and now.  If, then, my awareness of the past and future makes me less aware of the present, I must begin to wonder whether I am actually living in the real world.        -Alan Watts
   
Mindfulness makes our eyes, our heart, our non-toothache, the moon, and the trees deep and beautiful.  And when we touch our suffering with mindfulness, we begin to transform it.  Mindfulness is like a mother holding her baby in her arms and caring for her babyís pain.  When our pain is held by mindfulness it loses some of its strength. . . . Mindfulness recognizes what is there, and concentration allows you to be deeply present with whatever it is.  Concentration is the ground of happiness.  If you live twenty-four hours a day in mindfulness and concentration, one day is a lot.       -Thich Nhat Hanh
   

    

A few years ago, I sat on my son's bedroom floor folding some baby clothes that he'd outgrown.  I could feel the sadness and regret creeping in, but I wanted so badly to feel OK about the passage of time.  I quickened my pace to push the pain away.  I wanted the moment to be over.  Suddenly, though, I looked up and notices a very blue sky staring down through the window.  Just feel it, I said to myself, as I slowed down, trying to focus on the task in front of me.  I held a shirt close to my face and inhaled as deeply as I could.  My heart seemed to crack and fill up at the same time as feelings of hope and loss collided right there in a pile of little boy's old clothes.  When I finally got up to leave the room, I wasn't sad anymore.  Instead, I thought about the miraculous growth of a child, whose shirt size is less about loss and more about the gift of life itself.
     I don't know if you can live inside each and every moment.  But when you can, try to stop, look, and listen long enough to be right where you are, not in your past, not in your future.  Just right in the middle of a split second in time.        -Leslie Levine

 

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Many people pass through these things each day of their lives on their way to work, or driving in the country, and never notice the birds, or the clouds floating across the sky, or the flowers by the roadside.  They are too preoccupied with business matters or with personal problems to notice anything outside themselves.  They travel through life as if it were a dark tunnel.  This is unfortunate.     -Joseph F. Girzone, Never Alone
  
Willingly greeting our fears and weaknesses with openness, acceptance, and respect is one of the hardest tasks mindfulness asks of us and one of the most freeing practices we can undertake.  Sitting in stillness with our sorrow and shame, our fear and judgment laid bare is an act of courage.     -Sue Patton Thoele
  
Today, walking along the beach, I spotted a rock, slick and shiny.  It attracted my attention, and I picked it up.  But on closer inspection it turned out to be shiny because it was wet.  As it dried, the rock became ordinary.  It was just a rock.  I was disappointed at first, and I almost threw it away.  But the rock had been wonderfully smoothed by the sand and the waves.  Although it was merely a plain rock ground smooth by the elements, it turned out to be worth keeping, even treasuring.
   I found another rock as I walked the beach today.  It, too, had been ground down and polished by reality.  It had no sharp edges anymore.  When I walk too fast I miss these small, smooth rocks that so fascinate me.  They are my cousins, somehow, models of what I would like to become.  But here I am now.     -David K. Reynolds
  
Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now.     -Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are
  
I'm a simple person; I belong to an era different from the one you belong to:  if something's white, I say it's white; if it's black, I say black.  The ability to resolve problems comes from everyday experience, from seeing things as they really are and not the way someone else says they should be.  As soon as we begin to jettison the ballast, to eliminate whatever doesn't belong to us, whatever comes from outside, we're already on the right track.     -Susanna Tamaro
  

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