Wherever You Go, There You Are by John Kabat-Zin, book 4/5 (Ellie)

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life: Jon  Kabat-Zinn: 8601400083956: Amazon.com: Books

Introduction

The most important thing to note about mindfulness meditation, is that it’s about being yourself and knowing something about who you are. Mediation can often times help us find that path for what we would call our “life direction.”

When meditating, one of the key factors of it is finding a balance and centering yourself. In essence, we must be the one to find our own balance. Others influence our behaviors, the term “waking up” is used here, which is speaking on the behalf of a spiritual awakening, something only you can do for yourself.

What is Mindfulness?
“Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist practice which has profound relevance for our present-day lives. This relevance has nothing to do with Buddhism per se or with becoming a Buddhist, but it has everything to do with waking up and living in harmony with oneself and with the world. It has to do with examining who we are, with questioning our view of the world and our place in it, and with cultivating some appreciation for the fullness of each moment we are alive. Most of all, it has to do with being in touch.”

Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. 10th ed., Hachette Books, 2005. p 23


From the Buddhist point of view, our everyday state of consciousness is seen as being severely limited and limiting, meaning when we are awake, we are not fully “there” so to say. Meditation helps us wake up from this sleep of automaticity and unconsciousness, this way it is possible for us to live our lives with access to the full spectrum of our conscious and unconscious possibilities.


mindfulness does not coincide with any beliefs or traditions or for that matter scientific, nor is it trying to sell you anything, especially not a new belief system or ideology. It is simply a practical way to be more in touch with the fullness of your being through a process of self-observation, self-inquiry, and mindful action.

The Mountain Meditation
“When it comes to meditation, mountains have a lot to teach, having archetypal significance in all cultures. Mountains are sacred places. People have always sought spiritual guidance and renewal in and among them. The mountain is the symbol of the prime axis of the world (Mt. Meru), the dwelling place of the gods (Mt. Olympus), the place the spiritual leader encounters God and receives his (her) commandments and covenant (Mt. Sinai). Mountains are held sacred, embodying dread and harmony, harshness and majesty. Rising above all else on our planet, they beckon and overwhelm with their sheer presence. Their nature is elemental, rock. Rock-hard. Rock-solid. Mountains are the place of visions, where one can touch the panoramic scale of the natural world and its intersection with life’ s fragile but tenacious rootings. Mountains have played key roles in our history and prehistory. To traditional peoples, mountains were and still are mother, father, guardian, protector, ally.”

Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. 10th ed., Hachette Books, 2005.p 143

Can Anybody Meditate?

Many People May be under the assumption that everyone can practice mindfulness other than themselves. It’s fairly easy to convince yourself you are incapable, but it is important to remember mindfulness is all about intention

another issue here is many people get relaxation and real meditation confused, and are often more worried about the concept of mindfulness itself than getting down to earth. Meditation is not about feeling a certain way. It’ s about feeling the way you feel. It’ s not about making the mind empty or still, although stillness does deepen in meditation and can be cultivated systematically. Above all, meditation is about letting the mind be at ease and in its most content state. It is and knowing something about how you are in this very moment.

Some Pitfalls Along the Path

“If you follow the life-long path of mindfulness practice, the biggest potential obstacle at points along your journey will undoubtedly be your thinking mind.”

Whenever you find yourself thinking you are getting somewhere or that you’ re not getting where you are supposed to be, it can be helpful to ask yourself things like: “ Where am I supposed to get?” “ Who is supposed to get somewhere?” “ Why are some mind states less valid to observe and accept as being present than others?” “ Am I inviting mindfulness into each moment, or indulging in mindless repetition of the forms of meditation practice, mistaking the form for the essence of it?” “ Am I using meditation as a technique?” These questions can help you cut through those moments when self-involved feeling states, mindless habits, and strong emotions dominate your practice. They can quickly bring you back to the freshness and beauty of each moment as it is. Perhaps you forgot or didn’ t quite grasp that meditation really is the one human activity in which you are not trying to get anywhere else but simply allowing yourself to be where you are as you are.

Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. 10th ed., Hachette Books, 2005.

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