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Mindfulness, the Art/Science/Definition/Wiki Quote?

Posted on 21 Jul 2012 in Blog, Editorial, Philosophy | 1 comment

zen stone pathThose who know me would probably say, “yeah, I can totally see him getting into that meditation thing… For about three minutes!”

And, I fully admit that, as someone who creates visuals designed to influence people (in a good way, I swear!), that sitting through lectures and sermons for enlighting one’s self or prepping for pearly gates is, usually, a great way to get me to talk about the art of persuasive speaking.

I grew up in a house that practiced the scientific method and all the “getting in touch with the universe” talk always smacked of an excuse to get high and stare at the goldfish for an hour. Which, after a particularly rebellious year a while back, ended with the Dean of Students kindly telling me to take a leave of absence from his school and figue out what the heck I wanted to do if I grew up.

Later, I heard that my goldfish had been, briefly, adopted by my housemate, who had two large tiger oscars. He quickly became “one” with the universe.

But. The subject of mindfulness keeps entering my life. And, it seems to have some evidence of positive effects, while still having the potential to be agnostic or at least noncommittal when it comes to the heaven/hell/universal truth/fuzzy math thing.

Please note: I am not cracking on anyone’s beliefs here. Nor, do I really want to get into a debate about it. In my opinion, one belief about how it started or how it ends and what happens next, may be as good or as valid as another. What impacts me these days is how it effects your relationship with those around you, in the bigger picture of the social contract with the world around us. In other words, if your beliefs help you to help others with tolerance and compassion, while worshiping a giant pink bunny that lobs eggs around the yard once a year, I will gladly help make the omelettes. Just let me get my cup of coffee first.

I digress. Back to the positive results of mindfulness.

My world has crazy and changable schedules, surprise demands of life and children, and that euphoric/devastating emotional roller coaster that is a self employed lifestyle. Staying focused, in the moment, is vital to me keeping my clients happy and delivering a creative and technically perfect product.

Therefore, It is in my own best interests to explore ways to keep myself organized and tools to help me achieve my goals.

photodune-612859-zen-stone-xs1-e1351120688755I started collecting definitions of “mindfulness” in a effort to better understand this mind set.

S: (n) mindfulness, heedfulness (the trait of staying aware of (paying close attention to) your responsibilities).

Mindfulness – paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally.

Mindfulness – Awareness; remembering that all things are interrelated; living in the present moment.

Mindfulness: the act of slowing down, stepping back from the swirling thoughts, emotions and stress in order to see, feel and experience our thoughts, actions and behaviors in a more conscious manner

Mindfulness: Left to itself the mind wanders through all kinds of thoughts — including thoughts expressing anger, craving, depression, revenge, self-pity, etc. … Mostly these thoughts are about the past or future. The past no longer exists. The future is just a fantasy until it happens. The one moment we actually can experience — the present moment — is the one we seem most to avoid.

I am not sure where this path is leading, but I am intrigued and, as I attempt to fulfill my part of my social contract, hope you are, as well. I will write more about my experiences in the future, while still keeping it real.

What is your definition of mindfulness?