The power of mindfulness can dissolve our illusion of separation altogether.
The extensive research into mindfulness meditation is revealing what a truly wonderful resource it is. What a healing gift to humanity at a time when it is so greatly needed!
Mindfulness meditation enhances physical well-being. It creates a space for physical healing, stabilises emotions and calms the busy mind. Mindfulness meditation connects us with our body and emotions, and enables us to respond to our needs, listen to our intuition, and be guided by our inner integrity. Mindfulness meditation improves the quality of our relationships by gradually healing old wounds and old patterns of defensiveness and reactivity.
The essence of mindfulness
And what is the essence of this powerful resource?
The essence of mindfulness meditation is choosing to be present with whatever is happening in our moment-to-moment experience. By choosing to be present and paying attention to our experience, we stop judging, projecting, desiring, avoiding – we stop struggling!
Through regular practice, we stop struggling with ourselves, with others and with life. We experience moments of peace, joy, love, and gratitude. What a healing gift!
From mindfulness practice, the qualities of gratitude, empathy, and loving kindness begin to emerge organically. And yet with mindfulness meditation there is still even more on offer – I call this moving beyond mindfulness into oneness. Or to say it in another way, moving from choosing to be present to ‘being present’ or ‘being presence’.
This refinement of mindfulness meditation comes from being present with less effort, and more lightness of being. Presence arises from becoming more aware of subtle levels of desire and seriousness, which can limit our meditation practice.
Flow into oneness
Accompanying these subtler levels of desire are attachments to an outcome from meditation and attachment to an identity as ‘doing’ meditation. This identity as ‘the meditator’ creates separation, striving, and holding on. As we become aware of these subtle attachments, they drop away. We can open, let go, and flow into oneness with all that is!
Even small glimpses of oneness bring a sense of freedom. This is a taste of freedom from the illusion of separation and a homecoming to our true self.
All the steps of mindfulness are still relevant because we need to stay awake, alert, present… Then, moving from mindfulness into oneness, we let go of the technique, let go of the observer, the observed, and the observing.
Buddha teaches this letting go in the ‘raft parable’:
Along the way, a pilgrim comes across an obstacle in the form of a wide river. The industrious pilgrim makes a raft from nearby materials and paddles across the river to continue his pilgrimage. But when he reaches the other shore, what does he do with the raft? Does he carry it on his back in case he comes to another river? No, that would seriously slow him down! He leaves it behind, lets go, and moves on.
Like the raft in Buddha’s parable, mindfulness meditation enables us to cross the river from the everyday, busy world, to the shores of peace and presence. Then, letting go of the raft, we can experience a deepening into our true nature – as oneness.
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