Mindfulness is not just smelling the roses

Mindful Reflection Tip #4

Being attentive to the present moment has its own rewards, but it’s also part of a long-term strategy.

Mindfulness is being aware of everything as it happens, but that’s not as complicated as it sounds. Everything means what you see, hear, feel, taste, smell or think — no more, no less. The Buddha suggested that as you pay attention to any of these things you consider the following Three Marks of Existence:

1) They all pass because they’re composed of things that eventually fall apart. Watch them pass. Example: someone (perhaps you) did something wrong; be aware of guilt, blame, frustration, etc; see how the feeling arises from conditions that trigger your habitual reaction (stimulus-response).

2) Nothing that’s composed of parts can deliver permanent satisfaction. See its unreliability. Example: the next time you feel the same way, see how even though your habitual response doesn’t actually help, you keep trying; see the vicious circle of stimulus and response.

3) None of this experience is you; it’s just something that happens. Experience it and let it go. Example: when you choose to see your feelings as passing events that won’t last, and that you can’t rely on, it’s easier to let them go; keep practicing this new skill.

Author: Stephen Schettini

Host of The Naked Monk

2 thoughts on “Mindfulness is not just smelling the roses”

  1. Thanks Stephen for bringing the Buddha’s teachings into my practical every day life. This is quite a profound tip. It really opens up wisdom. Just imagine if the Buddha’s teachings were taught on a much wider scale in our western world. Our culture would shift its notions of success away from the achievement of more and more and more wealth, power, control and even domination to an actualization of honesty based more on kindness, generosity and compassion.

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