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.