Mindfulness Primer: Conclusion
Mindfulness is a paradoxical and powerful path to an experience of enduring fulfillment. Mindfulness answers the question: How do I “accept what is” and “drive change”? Today we conclude our 7-part series on mindfulness.
We covered a tremendous amount of material in these past seven days. Let’s start with a quick recap:
- We began our exploration of mindfulness by noting that presence is always the case, and that mindfulness is a trustworthy vehicle allowing us to shift a point of awareness away from our worldly experience and onto an experience of unwavering presence in which experience unfolds.
- Through presence awareness practices, we began learning how to maintain a point of awareness a half-step “back” from the mundane activities in our everyday life. Throughout this primer, we used our breath as a tangible point of reference enabling us to achieve that.
- Next, I shared three simple ways we can accept “what is” when faced with an experience of resistance or oppression. Through word choice, gratitude, and surrender, resistance becomes our cue to engage presence awareness and shift out of a closed mindset, enabling us to transform situations from a threat to an ally.
- EDL Meditation is a great way to cultivate our capacity to stay rooted in presence awareness while accepting “what is”. Weaving these “micro-meditations” throughout our day helps us to stay rooted in presence awareness and acceptance. From this platform, when unexpected and otherwise “unacceptable” events occur, we are able to respond from a space of curiosity and discovery rather than react from limiting conditioned behaviors.
- The next stop on our journey took us to a discussion of integrity, and we shined a mindful light on the importance of ensuring our thoughts, speech, feelings, and actions are in alignment. Identifying and resolving inconsistencies within our thoughts and behaviors empowers us to navigate situations more skillfully. Ultimately, integrity provides us with a solid platform for us to identify an overarching intention for our lives that aligns with our values.
- Having successfully adapted our thought processes to better fit our current life situation, we finally arrive at an opportunity ripe for discovering an overarching intention for our lives. An apt intention will be one that opens us for discovery, and allows us to experience the fulfillment woven throughout every step of our journey. Now we can effectively drive change.
Accepting “what is” doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about an uncomfortable situation: it actually empowers us to respond to resistance with greater effectiveness. From a place of mindfulness, whatever we ultimately end up doing will be in alignment with our values and our intention.
In this way, change is no longer a futile reaction to unhappiness. Instead, change arises in response to accepting unhappiness and discovering where the true opportunity for change resides. From a platform of full acceptance, we drive change not because we are striving for an experience that seemingly eludes us, but simply because that change amplifies our experience of the fullest possible expression of ourselves.
Though this primer aptly touches on the core structure, there is a lot more to be shared on the topic of mindfulness. Keep in mind that while it only took 7 days to introduce these elements of mindfulness, full integration can take years. In my case it took me about 5 years to fully develop and integrate these processes, and arrive at a stable plateau of enduring fulfillment. One reason it likely took that long was that I didn’t have anyone spelling out the process for me, or supporting or guiding me as I took those steps. There was a tremendous depth of learning that occurred as a result of learning on my own, but if somehow my education can now help to fast track your own journey to mindfulness, I am more than happy to help.
If there’s something that you would like more explanation about, or if you feel I may have left out, please email me. It would be helpful to know how I can make this guide more useful.