One day, a religious leader came to the Buddha and asked, “When one follows your Way, what does one do in daily life?” The Buddha replied, “One walks, stands, sits, lies down, eats, and drinks.” The man asked, “What is so special about that?” And the Buddha answered, “An ordinary person, though walking, standing, lying down, eating, or drinking, does not know that he is walking, standing, lying down, eating or drinking. When a practitioner of the Way walks, he knows that he is walking. When he stands, he knows that he is standing.” – Sulak Sivaraksa
This is mindfulness – so simple, yet so difficult. For some mindfulness is a way of life, for others a lost art. How many of us can classify ourselves as ordinary? We go through life with little or no consciousness as to each moment that we are gifted. We have become so disconnected from our inner world, that we live in the outer world with the same awareness. We end most of our days reminding ourselves of our accomplishments and planning for our tomorrow, but to what degree were we truly present to any experience?
When working with clients, privately or in groups, they are asked to leave the past behind, forget the future exists, and explore the present. To what extent can they take their awareness to the now. They are asked to explore their body, just as it is, to notice the nuances of the breath and how the breath and body co-exist. Taken even deeper, we explore the mind-body by witnessing, not judging or editing or altering. We simply bring ourselves into full awareness and learn to reprogram ourselves to be mindful if, only for just this moment. Mindfulness is not another goal to achieve, rather it is a state of being truly alive. And when we are alive, mindfulness invokes an awareness that everything is special, every step, every breath, and every moment. After all, who among us desires to be ordinary?
If you are looking to explore mindfulness as a method to reduce anxiety or just be connected to the present moment, contact us for a private session or to join one of our outdoor or indoor programs.
by Nancy Levenson, Founder and Yoga Therapist at NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, LLC.