Mindfulness – Personal & Societal Benefits

Personal Benefits

  • Focus
    Our ability to direct our attention becomes more reliable and flexible so that not only is it easier to maintain our attention on a task, situation, or entertainment, but also we gain the ability to widen our awareness to take in a more panoramic perspective. Mindfulness also helps us regain focus more quickly after distractions.
  • Creativity
    Rather than being something to strive for, creativity arises spontaneously from the space of wakeful presence and the courage to go beyond familiar patterns. Fresh ideas can emerge as we think outside habitual boxes and make previously unseen connections.
  • Resilience
    When faced with disturbing situations, familiarity with our own patterns lets us recognize when we are stuck so we can touch in to a sense of wakeful presence. This makes it easier to maintain emotional balance and move into the next moment less encumbered by our history.
  • Clarity
    Becoming more aware of the patterns of our ongoing stream of thoughts and emotions, and seeing how fickle they are, we begin to recognize more quickly the activity of spinning a story to suit our biases. This insight offers the possibility of taking a bigger perspective, one that allows us to see reality more clearly, discerning what will truly benefit as opposed to what may just feel good.
  • Confidence
    The more we come to trust our ability to rest in wakeful presence, the less we feel the need to strategize and defends things. We begin to feel that whatever happens, we will be able to tap into our inner resources and meet life wholeheartedly.

Societal Benefits

  • Recognizing Commonality with Others
    We begin to see that all people inhabit a cocoon of habitual patterns that inclines them to certainty that they’re right and other people are wrong. We see how we all try to find happiness and avoid pain. Having seen our own patterns, we see how tendencies play out in the lives of others, thus leading naturally to compassion.
  • Seeing Beyond Storylines
    On issues about which people can seem to inhabit totally different realities, we recognize how such stark differences arise from stories people tell themselves about the world around them. Without losing our ability to discriminate between what’s helpful and what isn’t, we’re on the lookout for the good intentions of others, even if we don’t agree with their methods.
  • Discovering Society is Workable
    Since society isn’t something outside of collective individual experiences, we realize that the more we work with our mind, the better we’ll function with others. Seeing the effects of making friends with ourself through meditation, we realize that we’ll never change other people’s minds by telling them how muddled up they are. Instead, we look for common ground and practice patience, confident that the real enemy is confusion and that the world around us is workable.

Meeting Your Mind
Carol Hyman

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