When clients come into my office, they’re often hoping that the Eastern practice of mindfulness meditation can enhance their meaning for living life. Through the foggy exhaustion of an over-caffeinated, underslept nervous system, is seems that we’re grasping for what our perpetually busy, anxiety-ridden society is masking ~ a more simple way of being.
But how do we simplify our lives when the exact nature if it involves hyper-connectedness and over scheduling? Start here: Shift your expectation of monumental change to creating micro-transformations, moment-to-moment.
Mindfulness is about a knowingness of your essential Buddha nature. In other words, the practice of mindfulness is a portal home to the simplification of our inner and outer lives…bringing us back to the wisdom of our innate goodness. It’s a way to meet life differently, moment-to-moment. If you can take 1…just 1 inhale and exhale with mindful attention, then you have just practiced a mini-meditation. Living in alignment with our compassionate hearts and clear minds doesn’t mean we need to delve into a 3-month long silent meditation retreat every year. Although this is inevitably helpful to cultivate wise mindfulness and concentration in the brain structure, it’s unrealistic for many of us in the West. So how do we enhance our meaning for life through mindfulness NOW?
Identify Your Core Values
Initially, this might sound like a lofty task but the answers exist right there within your mind, body, and heart. Self-Inquiry is a fundamental part of mindfulness meditation practice. Set aside 20 minutes to ask yourself these questions: How do I want to live my life, moment-to-moment? What do I value most as a human being? Then ~ Write. It. Down. Journaling is an emotionally and energetically powerful way to manifest the depth of our inner lives on the external. Perhaps you want more peacefulness in your life. Put that down on paper! Or, maybe you value the acts of kindness. Refrain from censoring or judging your answers. Your inner wisdom flows best when you release these cognitive-based barriers. Identifying what makes your soul thrive is key to enhancing meaning in your life.
Devote Yourself to ONE Core Value
Once you have used contemplation and self-inquiry to identify a core value that is intimately connected to how your soul desires to live, devote yourself to it. When our eyes open in the morning, we often experience different thoughts, feelings and body sensations. Many times, our to-do list is already streaming through the consciousness, triggering stress. This transition is an opportunity! The first 5 minutes after you shift from sleeping life to wakefulness, is a fertile time to plant this core value into your being. For example, if your value is compassion, repeat this transformative mantra 10 times in your mind, breathing it to every cell of your body, before your feet hit the floor: I devote my thoughts, speech, and actions to compassion in service of myself and all beings in this world. In this moment, using unwavering devotion, you commit to aligning your day and your life with profound meaning.
Practice Wise Action Through Mindfulness
After you have spent a few minutes devoting yourself to this important core value, mindfulness is used to practice wise action. Wise action is a part of the Noble Eightfold Path, a multi-dimensional Buddhist approach to living life according to your deepest intentions. Our personal actions, whether that’s how we speak to our partner, how we spend our free time or what careers we’ve chosen, possess an energy that ripples out into the world…reaching a distance beyond our wildest imagination. Remember, we are all made of energy lines that span far beyond the confines of our bodies! It is through mindful devotion to our soul’s core values that we can positively impact our meaning for living. Thus, transforming our shared world and the Universe.
Mindfulness can be an invaluable way we interact with life with compassion, love, and equanimity. Check-in throughout the day to reflect on if your actions have reflected the wisdom of your core values. This very awareness and self-knowingness is truly a moment of enlightenment.
These wisdom tools were first introduced to me by my Vietnamese Buddhist mother. I’m thrilled and honored to be guiding a group back to my maternal homeland of Vietnam for my next international meditation retreat, “Interdependence Through the Heart of Compassion,” August 29 – September 10, 2017.
I extend a warm and loving invite for you to join me. More Info/Sign-up: http://www.pravassa.com/vietnam-about/
See you on The Path soon!
Learn more about Lena Franklin!
Lena Franklin is a Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapist, Meditation Instructor, and International Wellness Guide. Merging Western clinical training in psychotherapy and Eastern philosophy, Lena offers a modern approach to mindfulness meditation instruction which includes transformative practices for daily living.Read Lena's Blog