Is Mindfulness A Way Of Life?

Mindfulness

Mindfulness Views

Mindfulness is the gentle effort to be continuously present with experience.
…..Bodhipaksa

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.
…..Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness gives us a chance to listen to the wisdom of our hearts and to notice with more clarity where we get in our own way.
…..Maia Duerr

Mindfulness is being still. It is profundity. You can look deeply right to the bottom of any situation…and know what needs to be done.
…..Chan Khong

Comprehensive Nature

Mindfulness is far more than a formulaic program for lowering blood pressure and anxiety. The timeless, dynamic traditions from which it is drawn are about something far more consequential and less simplistic: how to live as evolved human beings with mind, body, and spirit as one.

Mindfulness is not merely a tool – it’s a whole way of being and doing.

Pause Breathe Smile
Pause, Breathe, Smile: Awakening Mindfulness When Meditation Is Not Enough
Gary Gach

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Gary Gach
Gary Gach
born 1947

. Gary Gach website
. Wikipedia

Gary Gach is an American author, translator, editor, teacher and poet living on Russian Hill, San Francisco. His work has been translated into several languages, and has appeared in several anthologies and numerous periodicals. He serves on the International Advisory Panel of the Buddhist Channel, a Malaysian Buddhist news website. He hosts Haiku Corner for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.

How Did The Days Of The Week Get Their Names?

Sun and Moon

Weekly Seven-Day Cycles

The idea of dividing the cycle of the moon into four seven-day weeks may have begun in Babylon. In its familiar modern form, it probably derives from a Jewish model, echoing the story of Creation as told in Genesis, in which God, having made the world in six days, rested on the seventh – and ordered humanity and their animals to do likewise. As a result, every week connects us to the beginning of time itself, as the days plot the round of our work and leisure, the recurrent rhythm of our existence.

Genesis

Our Language and Beliefs

The weekday names depend on our language and our beliefs. The names that we give the weekdays in English are an inherited meditation on the cycles of time, as we observe the pattern of the sun, the moon and the planets circling above us – though the story they tell us is for English-speakers only, since nobody else’s week is quite the same as ours.


Days Named After Gods

Sunday, Monday – the week begins with the sun and the moon, whose separate movements mark the months and years. After them, come the days of the easily visible planets. In Romance languages, this is Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus – the sequence that the Romans followed and left behind.

Seven-Planets-of-the-Week

In England, around the seventh century, the planets tethered to the gods of Rome were renamed for the equivalent northern gods, and it is their Anglo-Saxon names – Tiw, Woden, Thor, and Frige – that distinguish the days for English-speakers on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Saturday, the Anglo-Saxon gods are joined by Saturn, which retained its Latin name, making our week, like our language itself, a peculiar German-Latin hybrid.

Cosmological History

Encompassing the different cycles of sun, moon and the five planets, every week thus implies not just a long span of many years, but also the company of gods and the vastness of space itself. In the names of our days is the entire solar system – the time-space continuum as it was known in the ancient Mediterranean world and transmitted to the north of Europe. The turn of the week is – in English – a concise cosmological history, in which we still live every day with the gods of our ancestors inhabiting an ancient, but stable structure of time.

Living With the Gods
Living With the Gods: On Beliefs and Peoples

Neil MacGregor

Background on Neil MacGregor

Meditation – Being Present & Aware

Meditation

Settling Down

Sitting in meditation is one of the best ways to allow the mind and body to settle down.

The intention, when sitting in stillness and silence, is to be as fully present as possible with whatever we are experiencing. The point is not to feel calm, although this certainly might happen as the mind and body settle. The point is to be aware, and to cultivate the ability to reside in what is.

Being Present

The path of meditation implores us to do the simplest yet most difficult thing – to sit still and just be present, to reflect without thinking. There is no action involved, only stillness and observation.

Watching What Comes Up

In meditation we let whatever comes up, come up. We invite it in. We welcome all of it, including the resistance, boredom, the judgments, and the endless mental spinning. We let it come up and then we watch it. We don’t think, we don’t analyze, we don’t judge –  we simply watch and experience.

When things come up that we don’t like, we try to remember that thoughts and feelings are our teachers – we can learn from them. They’re not an enemy to conquer or get away from. So, we don’t try to change our experience, we just remain in a state of awareness.

Acknowledging Who We Are 

We watch with curiosity as our experience unfolds, without trying to make ourselves different. Doing this means we’ll no longer have to live out of our cherished self-images, such as being a calm, or “together” person. In other words, we don’t have to hang onto looking “spiritual.” Instead, we can just acknowledge who we are – including all our shortcomings. We can give up our ideals of perfection.


Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment

Ezra Bayda

Background on Ezra Bayda

Suffering And The Feeling Of Not Being Whole

Suffering Alone
Source of Suffering

The root of suffering – the real root of all our problems – is in the mind. That means the place we can address our problems is also in the mind.

Feeling of Not Being Whole

So many of our problems arise because we feel cut off from something we need. We do not feel whole and therefore turn expectantly toward other people for the qualities we imagine missing in ourselves. All of the problems of the world, from one person’s anxiety to warfare between nations, can be traced to this feeling of not being whole.

The Truly Rich Person

The truly rich person is the one who has a satisfied mind. The affluence of satisfaction comes from wisdom, not from external things. If you are truly free from the mind of attachment, you’ll see that nothing really belongs to you in the first place.

When the Chocolate Runs Out: Mindfulness & Happiness
When the Chocolate Runs Out: Mindfulness & Happiness

Lama Thubten Yeshe

Background on Lama Thubten Yeshe

How Did The Ancient Games Shine A Spotlight On The Roman World?

Colesseum

Diversity of the Games

The Roman games were a religious festival held in honor of Jupiter. The sheer diversity of the games amounted to a celebration of the immensity of the Roman world. They consolidated the ancient bond between the plebs (Roman citizens) and the Senate. Nobility turned out in force to attend the games.

The games were more than a grand parade of the nobility – they were a time of wonder for all. Huge stocks of gold evaporated in a week so the amphitheater could be turned into a place of miracles. For a blessed moment, the rules of normal life were held in suspense.

The diversity of the games included tightrope walkers, ballet dancers, amphitheaters filled up with water for naval spectacles, and fountains with perfumed water. But, above all, the animal world poured into the city – from all over, all to Rome.

Animals Imported for the Games

  • Crocodiles from the Nile.
  • Irish wolfhounds from Britain.
  • Lions from north Africa.
  • Antelopes & gazelles from the Sahara.

What the Animals Represented 

  • Like the empire itself, their capture and eventual slaughter represented a triumph of human order over a savage world.
  • Most beasts were lethal – they were destined to be slaughtered, by skilled huntsmen, armed with pikes, who were the matadors of the classical world.
  • Beasts were slaughtered in a solemn mood.

What happened in the amphitheater was more than a blood sport – it was a fortifying lesson in the triumph of civilization. The activities celebrated the victory of human energy, human skill, and human courage over the wild. For this reason, “human animals” also made their appearance – and, like the rest of the animals, they were destined for slaughter.

Gladiators 

Saxon prisoners of war were sent to Rome to serve as gladiators, condemned to fight to the death in front of the Roman people. The deaths of such prisoners, rounded up from the coasts of the English Channel, were intended to make plain, in the middle of Rome, the most magical of all energies – the eternal victory of empire along the frontiers of the North.

Christian Nobility and the Games

The bronze tokens issued on the occasion of the Roman games show that representatives of Christian noble families presided at the Circus Maximus and the Colosseum over spectacles that were as thrilling, as cruel, and as calculated to cause the raw, pre-Christian adrenaline of worship for the city and the empire to flow in their veins just as any pagan family.

Through the Eye of a Needle
Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD
Peter Brown

Background on Peter Brown