When we can name an experience, we can perceive it. Perceiving it, we can observe it carefully. We come to understand it. With understanding, we can learn acceptance. With acceptance, we learn how to live with it, and how to make wise decisions about it.
Mindfulness practice doesn’t mean we will not hurt anymore. It doesn’t mean we won’t have normal human reactions or that we will transcend our feelings. It does mean we will start to experience all our feelings more intensely because we are paying attention.
Openness to Experiences
By allowing ourselves to be open with loving awareness to all our experiences of life, we come into a different and empowered relationship with them. We learn to ride the waves of pleasure/pain, gain/loss and sickness/health with equanimity and compassion. When we don’t react unconsciously to suffering, we begin to have a choice in how we respond to it, and our lives become more manageable.
Being fully present in the moment doesn’t mean we can’t have goals or strive to get somewhere in our lives. Ideally we want to be fully in the present moment, because the present moment is the only place that we can actually do anything – the only place where we can live. If we can’t find peace in the present moment, then we really can’t live anywhere comfortably or peacefully.
Becoming More Efficient
We come to the present moment not to get rid of our goals or strivings, but instead to work or act from a place of contentment, accepting that right now this is the current situation. If we are fully in the present moment, we can take the necessary actions to get to our goal, rather than getting lost in the hopes and fears of some future time. We become more efficient because we are fully engaged with where we are.