Control Emotions the Right Way with Mindfulness

Sometimes we get carried away by our emotions. Anger is a frequent culprit. Road rage is a perfect example. But we can also get overtaken by many other emotions such as love, jealousy, fear, etc. When this happens we often engage in behaviors that are either harmful or that we deeply regret later.

How do we control these powerful emotions? Can we learn to regulate them so that they don’t overwhelm us? One strategy is to actively strive to suppress the emotion. This is difficult, requires immense self-control, and most of the time doesn’t work. In addition, repression of extreme emotions can lead to later psychological issues. It has long been thought that repression can be problematic as the emotions reemerge late often in disguised forms.

A better strategy is mindfulness. It has been demonstrated that mindfulness training leads to a decrease in emotionality and to an increase in ability to regulate and respond appropriately to these emotions. With mindfulness the emotion is experienced fully, recognized, and appreciated for what it is. Because the emotion is processed, its power to affect behavior is reduced allowing the individual to form a more appropriate response to the situation. This is the exact opposite of emotional suppression which attempts to eliminate the emotion.

In today’s Research News article “Neural Networks for Mindfulness and Emotion Suppression”

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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0128005

it is demonstrated that dealing with emotions with mindfulness or with emotional suppression operate through different neural pathways. Both strategies attenuated the response of the amygdala to the emotional triggers. This area has long been known to be a key neural structure for the production of emotions. It can be thought of as a final common pathway through which emotionality is produced. So, it is not surprising that both mindfulness and emotional suppression result in a decrease in Amygdala activity.

It was shown, however, that the two strategies work through different regulation pathways to affect the Amygdala. The mindful approach affects the Amygdala via connections from the Medial Prefrontal Cortex, which is an important region for emotional awareness and mindfulness, while emotional suppression uses connections with other regions including the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex and an area called the Precuneus, which are involved in top-down regulatory processing and which therefore require more cognitive effort.

The neural systems involved in the two strategies make sense given what we know about mindful vs. suppressive emotion regulation. Suppression takes intentional effort and this can be seen in the activation of cognitive processing areas of the brain. Mindfulness doesn’t take such effort. It is much more laid back and effortless. The structures involved reflect this.

So, use mindfulness to help control emotions; it’s a better way and even takes less effort.

CMCS

Loving Kindness Meditation and Social Function

Humans are social creatures. All that the species has accomplished resulted from its ability to work together and build upon the work of others. Beyond, the importance of the group, interactions with other people are fundamental to personal well-being. People need to be with and connected with others.

Social connections are crucial to our health and happiness. Hence, it is very important for the individual to have effective satisfying social relationships. Unfortunately, interacting with other people is extremely complex and many find it very difficult to effectively engage with others. Some are better than others, but everyone struggles with human interaction to some extent. Hence it is important for us to find ways to improve how we interact with other people.

Mindfulness in general appears to improve social relationships. In today’s Research News article “The interventional effects of loving-kindness meditation on positive emotions and interpersonal interactions.”

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4450657/

one form of mindfulness training, Loving Kindness Meditation (LKM), is shown to be quite effective in facilitating interpersonal interactions, and enhancing the complex understanding of others. This appears to produce an enhanced ability to interact socially and to increase positive emotions, improving the individual happiness.

Loving Kindness Meditation (LKM) is a meditative practice that focuses on repeatedly wishing well to the self and others. It focuses on developing feelings of goodwill, kindness and warmth towards the self and others. It is simple in concept, yet powerful in effect. How can this simple practice improve one’s social relationships?

LKM appears to increase positive emotional states and it is known that we tend to find people experiencing positive emotions as more attractive. In addition, feeling positive emotions in the presence of others increases our self-confidence and enjoyment of social interactions. LKM like other forms of meditation reduces perceived stress. Many people find social interactions stressful. So reducing perceived stress should make it easier to engage with other people.

These effects by themselves could account for LKM’s improvement of social interactions.

LKM has been shown to increase compassion and empathy and decrease biases. It also increases our feelings about ourselves and decreases self-criticism. These effects of LKM produce more positive and caring feelings towards ourselves and others. Not only does this make us feel better about others, it is communicated either verbally or nonverbally to others making them feel better about us, hence, improving interactions. Indeed, being around people who like themselves and understand others on an emotional level, induces positive feelings toward these people and is very attractive, facilitating interpersonal connection.

Finally, LKM appears to have direct effects on our ability to engage in social interactions. LKM is associated with increases in prosocial behavior, increasing helping behavior. It also improves feelings of social connection. In addition, it improves our ability to have a sophisticated understanding of other people in their full complexity. All of these effects of LKM positively influence our ability and effectiveness in interacting with others.

Loving Kindness Meditation appears to be a technique to help us develop positive feeling toward ourselves and others. This makes us want to help others, feel good in their presence, and helps us understand and care for them. It’s quite amazing that such a simple practice could have such far reaching effects.

So, practice Loving Kindness Meditation and be better socially.

CMCS

Spirituality Improves Recovery from Addiction

In a previous post we described the relationship between spirituality and recovery from alcoholism. https://www.facebook.com/ContemplativeStudiesCenter/photos/a.628903887133541.1073741828.627681673922429/1032110166812909/?type=1&theater

This is great, but, what about other addictions? Is spirituality helpful with these also?

Substance abuse and addiction is a terrible problem. It isn’t just illicit drugs but includes many prescriptions drugs especially opioid pain relievers. It is estimated that there are approximately 17,000 deaths from illicit drug overdoses. Prescription drugs, however, exceed this total with overdoses of prescription pain killers producing over 22,000 deaths per year and over 500,000 visits per year to the emergency room.

These statistics, although startling are only the tip of the iceberg. Drug use is associated with suicide, homicide, motor-vehicle injury, HIV infection, pneumonia, violence, mental illness, and hepatitis. It can renders the individual ineffective at work, it tears apart families, it makes the individual dangerous both driving and not, It also degrades the person’s life expectancy, which is about 15-20 years from the moment of addiction.

An effective treatment for addiction has been elusive. Most programs and therapies to treat addictions have poor success rates. Recent research is indicating that mindfulness and also spirituality can be quite helpful for kicking the habit. In today’s Research News article, “NIDA-Drug Addiction Treatment Outcome Study (DATOS) Relapse as a Function of Spirituality/Religiosity”

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4455957/

it was found that high levels of spirituality/religiosity are associated with much lower relapse rates for drug additions. This was the case for cocaine, heroin, alcohol, and marijuana relapse. Unfortunately, prescription drugs were not investigated.

 Why is spirituality/religiosity associated with better outcomes? In today’s study it was found that the strongest association between remission and spirituality involved attending religious services weekly. Hence, it would appear that it is important to participate in religious/spiritual groups. These groups tend to be populated with non-addicts and abusers. So, engagement with these groups provides a social network of people likely to provide support rather than temptation. It is very difficult to prevent relapse when those around you are using drugs themselves and especially when they encourage you to join them. So religious/spiritual groups should help to make it easier to abstain as a substitute for a drug culture.

It has also the case that spirituality/religiosity is associated with negative beliefs about drug abuse. Buddhism teaches that intoxication is an impediment to spiritual development. Other religions completely prohibit drugs while many decry the behaviors that occur under their influence.  This provides what psychologists call cognitive dissonance; an uncomfortable feeling when there is an incompatibility between drug abuse and spirituality/religiosity. The recognition that drug use is not an OK thing to do might provide the extra motivation to help withstand the cravings.

In addition, spirituality/religiosity provides a source of comfort as the individual faces the challenges of refraining from drugs. The challenges provided in everyday life can be a source of motivation to use drugs. An addict often uses drugs to escape from the pressures, stresses, and emotional upheavals that occur during ordinary life. Spirituality/religiosity may provide another way to cope with the individual’s problems. The individual can take solace in the religion instead of drugs when upheavals occur.

It is not known whether the same pattern of results would occur for prescription drug addicts. But, it would seem that the same logic would apply. Hopefully further research will test whether spirituality/religiosity is predictive of improved outcomes with prescription drug addiction.

Regardless the association is clear that spirituality/religiosity is associated with more positive outcomes in relapse prevention with drugs of abuse.

CMCS

Tackle Cancer with Mindfulness

Cancer is arguably the most feared disease. Just the word seems to strike fear in the hearts of most everyone, let alone a diagnosis of cancer. Unfortunately this fear is well founded. It is the second leading cause of death. It is estimated that in 2015, 1,658,370 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. and 589,430 people will die from the disease.

But beyond the mortality figures, cancer is so feared because the treatments are so difficult. It can take years of treatments that produce horrible side effects and even if they are effective there is a never ending fear of reoccurrence. There is a need to not only treat the cancer itself, but to find ways to help the victim to endure the treatments and deal with the difficult psychological and social issues that go along with the living with diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

Mindfulness training has been found to be very helpful with the physical and psychological issues associated with diagnosis, treatment, and recovery from cancer. In today’s Research News “The impact of mindfulness-based interventions on symptom burden, positive psychological outcomes, and biomarkers in cancer patients.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4457221/

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A large amount of research is reviewed and summarized. It suggests that mindfulness appears to be helpful in dealing with all of the issues surrounding cancer.

Based upon the available evidence, mindfulness training appears to be helpful with the psychological issues of distress, stress, sleep disturbance, and fatigue, quality of life and spirituality. It can assist with regulating the fear associated with cancer. Mindfulness training focuses the individual on the present moment, while fear is focused on potential future negative events. By focusing on what is transpiring now and not in the future mindfulness can ameliorate fear. It doesn’t eliminate fear. It simply makes it more manageable.

Mindfulness is known to improve emotion regulation. With training the individual is better able to deal with emotions as they arise and respond to them more appropriately. So, it helps the victims cope with the myriad of emotions associated with cancer and its treatment. The improved regulation of emotions and the reduction in fear can facilitate better sleep and increase feelings of well-being. Indeed, mindfulness has been found to be associated with improvements in sleep and increases in feelings of calm and well-being in cancer patients.

Mindfulness can help manage the pain associated directly with the cancer and indirectly with the treatments. It appears to slightly reduce the pain but has a larger impact on the psychological perception of pain. Mindfulness decreases the nervous systems responses to pain, helping the patients cope with the persistent discomfort.

Mindfulness has been well documented to reduce stress. This is particularly important in cancer patients who are under intense physical and psychological stress. Reducing this stress in turn improves the body’s ability to fight off the disease and also improves the individual’s psychological capacity to weather the storm.

All of these psychological effects of mindfulness result in an improvement in the patients’ quality of life. This is very important as fighting cancer is usually a long term-proposition. The better the quality of life with cancer the better the individual’s ability to persevere and continue to fight over the long haul.

Beyond the psychological help provided by mindfulness it also appears to help physically. It has been show to improving immune function and even alters the expression of genes associated with inflammation. It improves the regulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis which is associated with stress hormones. It reduces the activity of the sympathetic nervous system which is associated with activation and stress. In addition, it can affect the body’s cells themselves increasing the important indicator of cellular aging, telomere length. All of these physical changes are indicators of improvements in the body’s ability to fight off the cancer, withstand the treatments, and improve recovery.

So, use mindfulness as a tool to improve your ability to tackle cancer.

CMCS

Eat Mindfully and have a Healthier Weight

Obesity is epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. more than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese, while more than 1 in 3 adults are considered to be obese. Particularly troubling is that about one-third of children and adolescents are considered to be overweight or obese and half of those are obese. This is having a major impact on the health of the population. Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years.

There has been extensive study of overeating and obesity and countless dietary programs have been proposed, but the epidemic appears to be getting worse rather than better. Recently mindfulness has been looked at as potentially helpful in weight control. In today’s Research News article “Association between Mindfulness and Weight Status in a General Population from the NutriNet-Santé Study.”

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it is shown that the risk of obesity is lower in women and men who have high mindfulness.

The use of mindfulness as an aid for healthy weight is very exciting and early results are very promising. But, how can mindfulness, being aware in the present moment, affect eating and body weight?

A substantial proportion of eating occurs mindlessly. We often eat while distracted, immersed in conversation, watching television, reading etc. It has been shown that intake is increased when we eat mindlessly. With mindless eating, we tend to ignore the body’s cues of hunger, satiety, and fullness and keep eating even when full. Mindfulness training, simply by improving attention to what is transpiring in the present moment is an antidote to mindless eating. It is impossible to be simultaneously paying attention and being mindless. It is impossible to be mindful and not notice the body’s signals of hunger and fullness. Hence, one way that mindfulness can assist in intake and weight control is by making us more mindful eaters.

People, particularly women, tend to eat when they are experience intense emotions. Food seems to be used as a salve for ruffled emotions. Mindfulness can help here also. Mindfulness training improves the individual’s ability to regulate and respond appropriately to their emotions. This improved emotional regulation is an antidote to emotional eating. Rather than attempting to control emotions through eating the individual can apply mindfulness, improving emotional regulation, and thereby reducing overall intake.

Chronic stress also tends to promote overeating and obesity. As has been shown in a myriad of studies, mindfulness training is an antidote for chronic stress. Hence, by reducing stress mindfulness can help to reduce food intake.

Many obese people try to control their eating through avoidance or limit-setting, thinking “willpower” is what they need. As a result they are constantly trying the latest diet fad. But the diet makes them miserable and produces negative feelings about food. This, by itself, is sufficient reason to abandon the diet, which is almost the inevitable outcome. Mindful eating, on the other hand, enhances the pleasantness of eating. By paying close attention to the food, its flavors and textures, the individual begins to savor food and truly enjoy eating. So, mindful eating can not only reduce intake but also can do so while promoting enjoyment of food. This makes mindful eating programs much easier to maintain, making them more effective.

SO, learn to eat mindfully and maintain a healthier weight.

CMCS

Mindfulness, the Pain Killer

Many people have to deal with pain on a daily basis. Most use prescription medications to help. But, these drugs are dangerous and over 12,000 people a year die from overdoses of these powerful pain killers. In addition, there are a number of disorders that do not respond well to these drugs. One of these painful disorders is fibromyalgia.

In today’s Research News “Mindfulness meditation alleviates fibromyalgia symptoms in women: Results of a randomized clinical trial.”

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It is reported that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) reduces symptoms of fibromyalgia, including perceived stress, sleep disturbance, and symptom severity, but not pain or physical functioning. This study and prior research suggest that mindfulness is a safe and effective treatment for this painful disorder. It is not a magical cure, but can be of great assistance in coping with the disorder.

MBSR contains both meditation and yoga practice. Prior research suggests that both may be helpful with pain management. Yoga exercises may help reduce fibromyalgia pain. Yoga has been shown to reduce pain, fatigue, depression, and improve sleep and energy. But, it is unclear whether meditation and yoga practice act in the same way, synergistically, or additively. Regardless they seem to work; but how?

Mindfulness practice and particularly MBSR appears to calm the sympathetic nervous system, reducing stress. This benefit can lead to a lowering of resting heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and relax muscle. Mindfulness promotes deep muscle relaxation which lessens tension and irritability. With the reduction of the stressful effects of pain, the pain becomes more manageable. The physiological relaxation itself can stop the pain from amplifying itself through the induction of the stress response.

Mindfulness practice can also help manage the psychological effects of pain. When pain is consistently part of the day, the individual starts to dwell on it. This in turn produces stress and anxiety about the present pain, as well as a dread concerning future pain. Mindfulness training can help patients learn to direct their attention away from pain. By focusing on the present moment, thoughts of future pain are removed.

Mindfulness practice can promote relaxation and awareness of what is actually transpiring. This can reduce the distressing thoughts and feelings that come with pain and prevent them from making the pain worse. Mindfulness training can enhance body awareness, which may lead to improved self-care. All of these effects of mindfulness training can help with the pain management.

Mindfulness training is known to produce changes in the nervous system that may provide benefits for pain patients. The changes appear to result in an inhibition of the central nervous system’s ability to perceive pain, reducing the sensations the patient actually feels.

So practice mindfulness to assist in pain management.

CMCS

Be Smart about Emotions

Emotions are powerful forces in our lives. They supply the richness and texture to life experiences, producing joy, surprise, love, happiness, elation, and satisfaction. But, they can also be troubling, associated with fear, hate, stress, anxiety, and anger. We are highly motivated by these emotions and in general seek the experience of positive emotions and try to avoid the experiencing the negative ones.

We should not view emotions as a problem and that our lives would be better without them. To the contrary, eliminating or blunting emotions is itself a problem. This is termed by psychologists as flat affect. People who experience this often comment that they have lost the “juice” in life and desire to return to the emotional ups and downs that seem to supply life’s richness. So, the emotions appear to be essential for humans to lead a rich full life.

On the other hand, when emotions become too strong they can overwhelm the individual and lead to maladaptive behavior. For example thrill seeking can lead to dangerous activities. Also, many mental illnesses are characterized by extremes of emotions. These include phobias, panic disorders, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, etc. In addition, strong negative emotions can lead to violence and aggression.

We need to be emotional, but not too much so. We need to be able to have emotions, but not in the extremes and we need to not overreact or overly seek emotions. In other words we need to be able to be smart with our emotions and develop the ability to regulate our emotional lives. This is termed by psychologists as emotional regulation and the ability to do so is termed as emotional intelligence.

Mindfulness has been shown to increase positive emotional states and decrease negative ones. This is one of the reasons that many people practice techniques to develop mindfulness. It seems to make their live better by assisting them in dealing with emotions. It appears to increase emotional regulation and thus mindful people can be said to have higher emotional intelligence.

How this might work to improve an individual’s ability to cope with life is explored in today’s Research News article “Dispositional mindfulness and perceived stress: The role of emotional intelligence.”

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In this article Bao, Xue, & Kong explore how mindfulness might reduce perceived stress in life. They document that mindfulness is associated with lower levels of perceived stress and can do so directly. It appears to improve the individual’s ability to cope with life and be less stressed by the events in life. It is also demonstrated that mindfulness may reduce perceived stress by improving emotional intelligence, improving the individual’s ability to regulate and use emotions to their benefit and thereby reduce perceived stress.

Hence, the well documented ability of mindfulness to lower the individual’s feelings of stress in response to life appears, at least in part, to result from its ability to improve how well the individual can regulate their emotions. In other words, it appears to make people emotionally intelligent.

So, practice mindfulness and be smarter with your emotions; letting them enhance the experience of life while blunting their destructive side.

CMCS

What Makes Mindfulness Sexy

Mindfulness has been shown to have tremendous benefits for physical and psychological health. It has also been shown to improve social interactions. It now appears that it can even make men seem more romantically attractive.

In today’s Research News article, “Individual differences in dispositional mindfulness and initial romantic attraction: A speed dating experiment”

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it is shown that the more mindful a man is the more attractive he is to women, even when physical attractiveness is taken into account. Interestingly, it doesn’t work the other way around. Mindfulness does not add to the attractiveness of women beyond physical attractiveness.

How does mindfulness increase the attractiveness of men? One possibility is that mindfulness makes one more attentive to the present moment. That should make more attentive to the woman he’s interacting with. That he’s focused on her and not mind wandering would tend to improve the interaction and thereby increase attractiveness. Also, greater attention to one’s partner’s responses and non-verbal behavior may improve the quality of the interaction.

Another possibility is that mindfulness is associated with better health and it is known that healthy individuals are more attractive. Also, mindfulness is associated with greater happiness and happy people are more attractive.

An additional possibility is that mindfulness is associated with improved emotion regulation. That is a mindful individual is more in control of emotions and responses to emotions. A highly mindful individual then would appear less nervous and more in control and confident. This would heighten attractiveness.

Finally, high dispositional mindfulness is associated with positive relationship outcomes and mindfulness interventions enhance couple satisfaction, so it is possible women are attracted to men displaying mindfulness as a marker of potential relationship commitment and functioning.

So, men be mindful and be attractive.

CMCS

Rediscovering Happiness

Basic human nature is to seek happiness. It is natural and programmed into our DNA. Many of us, however, find happiness to be very elusive. We have trouble finding it and even when we do, we don’t seem able to sustain it. How can we attain a state of enduring happiness?

In order to attain true and lasting happiness it is imperative to recognize that our core, natural, state is happiness. If we look back to infancy this becomes apparent. If an infant’s basic needs are satisfied it is happy. All it takes is a full belly and a clean diaper. It smiles and gleefully interacts with its environment. A young child’s play is an exemplar of pure joy. So, as long as our basic needs are satisfied we should be happy.

Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work this way. Most adults pretty much have their basic needs satisfied, but they are not particularly happy. They occasionally discover happiness when something wonderful happens or when they acquire some highly desired thing, but the happiness fades quickly and they’re left unsatisfied and unhappy.

A key that may reveal the nature of the problem may be found in the expression “finding happiness.” It implies that we have to go look for it somewhere, with something, or with someone. If we have to search for it, then it can’t be present already. So we look in the external world and are quite frustrated that lasting happiness is never found.

If we were happy as a child we might ask ourselves how did we lose it? It was there but now it’s gone. Well, the truth is that it’s not gone, it’s not lost, it’s still there. But, if it’s still there why don’t we feel happy. What’s preventing us from seeing and experiencing the happiness that is always there in the core of our being?

Again look back at the infant. The baby is basically totally in the present moment, the past and future are not an issue. The child at play is completely immersed in the moment, not thinking about anything but what’s there right now.

If we look carefully, we’ll see that our current experience is actually dominated by the past and the future. It is that orientation that prevents us from being happy. We ruminate about the past and review it constantly or we project into the future and become anxious or fearful or worried. We seek happiness in the future by pursuing something that will happen later. In other words, we completely lose sight of the fact that the only time you can be happy is right now!

All of this leads to the conclusion that to find happiness we need to focus single mindedly on the present moment. It is there right here, right now if we just open our minds to it and put away thoughts of the past and future. Our minds find this very difficult to do. That’s where mindfulness training comes in. It is the best method to remove our mind from interfering with the happiness that is already there.

By practicing mindfulness we will learn to quite the mind and observe the present moment only. This takes time and devotion, but slowly the core of happiness will begin to emerge. Slowly you will begin to not just see but experience that happiness that is always there. Mindfulness practice removes the mental obstacles to happiness and unlocks your basic nature where there is always happiness. It is not in a person place or thing. It’s right there within you once you learn how to uncover it.

So practice mindfulness and rediscover the happiness that was always there.

CMCS

Present Moment 3 – Spiritual Awareness of Now

The notion of focusing on the present moment is the essence of mindfulness practice. But, there are actually three forms of mindfulness; present moment awareness, ethical awareness of the present and spiritual awareness of the present. Contemplative practice as it is taught in the west often focuses exclusively on present moment awareness. In previous posts

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https://www.facebook.com/ContemplativeStudiesCenter/posts/1031080820249177:0

we discussed the second kind of mindfulness; ethical awareness of the present. Today’s essay will focus on the third type; mindfulness suffused with spiritual awareness.

It is important in this regard for us to realize that contemplative practice can lead to spiritual development and awakening. This to some extent requires faith. But, we can look to myriad spiritually realized beings who have preceded us as models of what is possible. We can see in the lives of the Buddha, Jesus, the mystics, and many, many, present day realized beings that spiritual revelation is not only possible but occurs frequently and is available to those who seek it with devotion and sincerity.

Once it is understood that spiritual development is available we must begin to approach contemplative practice from a spiritual perspective. Our mindfulness practice needs to be purposeful. It should be approached with an intention to move toward spiritual development and any action that moves us in that direction should be followed while any that lead away or only toward secular goals should be abandoned.

There is a need to understand that we have within us the awakened nature that was evidenced in the Buddha and Jesus. In our contemplative practice we should seek that awakened nature. The teachings are clear that development of present moment awareness and ethical understanding of our actions are the first steps. Next we need to develop what the Buddha called “right view.” This begins to develop as a recognition develops that what is being sought is already there. It is present in all of us all of the time. We simply need to strive to remove all of those things that are keeping it from it emerging into our awareness.

It is difficult and takes time and practice to move from an intellectual understanding to an experienced reality that we are awareness itself. We are not the experience, but what is having the experience, We are what is looking out through our eyes, what is listening through our ears, and what is feeling, smelling, tasting. It is deep, permanent, and has always been there, we have just become so accustomed to it that we don’t see it. In fact, Jesus states in the gospels that “the kingdom of heaven is spread upon the earth but man does not see it.” The development of spirituality in mindfulness is how we can begin to move towards seeing it.

It should be clear that there is much more than simply being mindful of the present momnt. Actions have consequences and without proper mindful appreciation of those consequences the practice of mindfulness is without a compass to guide actions. Ultimately, we are spiritual beings. Without recognition of how spirituality is present right here, right no, our existence becomes shallow, without meaning or purpose. But with recognition that the present moment is spiritual, life can unfold with deep understanding and meaning. It is clear that the reintegration ethics and spirituality into mindfulness is vital. We need to make our practice focus on the present moment with awareness of its ethical and spiritual nature for us to experience the full power of mindfulness.

So, develop mindfulness, but ethical and spiritual mindfulness as well, be skillful and grow, thrive, and discover the truth of what you really are.

CMCS