December 4 ~  Pure Life Practicing the Power of Now

"On life's journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life, nothing can destroy him." ~ Buddha

Lotus Blossom on Papyrus

To be mindful is to live in the present, to heighten awareness, and celebrate all the passionate colors of life.

"As my awareness increases, my control over my own being increases," observed trainer Will Schutz.

A state of awarenessand a component of the Buddhist meditation practice of vipassana, mindfulness is pure observation. Awareness means watchfulness. All activities, even automatic breathing and walking, are honored with conscious thinking and focus. It is a deliberate choice to be sensitive and open.

"Anything done with focus, awareness or mindfulness is a meditation."explained musician David Harp, whose book The Three Minute Meditator (1996) introduced the joy of meditation with simple daily acts of mindfulness.

"Observe what is with undivided awareness," advised martial arts hero Bruce Lee,who like Buddha, believed that thinking is one of the senses.

Mindfulness is an exercise of silent, deep self-observation that quiets the chaos of life. Begin by finding a safe place to practice. Sit quietly and comfortably, close your eyes and pay attention to your body.

Pay attention to your breath. Focus on your breathing until you are aware of the thoughts that come into your mind. Positive or negative, view these thoughts as passing sensations, then let them go. Feel the wonderful colors of being able to let go.

With silence, the beauty of spirit can emerge with the revelation that there is so much more to life than meets the eye. To be mindful is to drop defenses and take what comes, with compassion and calmness... To tune into the wisdom that dwells in the heart.

"When we expand our awareness, strengthen our center, clarify our purpose, transform our inner demons, develop our will and make conscious choices, we are moving toward deeper connection with our spiritual self," explained writer Molly Young Brown.

Award WinnersStrive to live a pure life of mindfulness.