The Daily Mindfulness Thread

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4 years 9 months ago #330399 by
The Daily Mindfulness Thread

I have noticed that everybody who is on a spiritual path, at some point, encounters the potentially confusing topic of mindfulness. What is it? Why does every person who says they practice it look like an Indian guru? Why can’t I, Joe Shmoe, look as happy as that other guy? Wait? I have to spend 3 hours a day in meditation?

Calm thyself, Joe. I recommend taking a couple of deep breaths. Mindfulness is an overwhelming topic, but it certainly is not complicated; it’s just foreign to many of us. We walk through our lives focusing on thinking and analyzing. Our education system taught us to approach every problem with logic and problem-solving skills. I think it would be worth it to let go of such things. Analysis and problem-solving have its place, but mindfulness has a place too.

Mindfulness is, very basically, an intentional act. Any intentional act. Some call it “paying attention”. The act does not need to be physical; it can be a mental action, an emotional action, or even a spiritual action.

Take a deep breath and pay attention to the cold air entering your nostrils. Let it out. You’ve just been mindful for a handful of seconds. It’s an amazing achievement, and a wonderful blessing.

Mindfulness is a form of meditation, and meditation is a form of mindfulness. Though, their overlap does not equate them. Mindfulness has a large portion of its scope that isn’t purely meditative.

I am creating this thread to be a space to explore mindfulness a little bit at a time. Daily, I will publish here a couple hundred words on the topic. Going deeper, exploring what mindfulness is, why we do it, how you can practice it, and how you can deepen your practice over time.

I will be including teachings that are not my own. I will include Jedi teachings, Western spirituality, and even some Eastern thought in the mix. Rest assured that there will be plenty of space for your participation. Please post your own inspirational quotations, links to books on the subject, and even responses to what you’re learning. My hope is that students for years to come will see a thread that is hundreds of pages long exploring this most foundational and therefore imperative subject.

The Temple needs to be a more mindful place. I would appreciate all open and clear minds to join me here in celebrating the joys of mindfulness and being ok with the present moment. I’m a student too! I’m not going to be your mindfulness teacher. Only, I will be here to point you to those much greater than I.

May the Force Light your Path,

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4 years 9 months ago #330405 by
Replied by on topic The Daily Mindfulness Thread
Your First Step into a Mindful World

I wanted to include a very, very brief introduction to mindfulness practice so that you can have a short task to do each day.

Mindfulness is going to the gym and working out your mind. You are making your attention muscles stronger. So, starting small to “get your form” and practicing consistently will get you far all on its own.

First thing to do is decide that you want to have a stronger mind. And, figure out why that is. Many people come to mindfulness because they think they should be mindful. I would caution that’s a bad reason to practice. And, you won’t stick with it. Think about why you became a Jedi. Why do you want to improve the quality of your mind? Write this down in your mindfulness journal near the front so you revisit your why often.

The next thing to do is to begin paying attention. The very simplest method is shamatha meditation. At its core, you center your attention on an object. For many beginners, the object best be the breath.

Sit on a chair. [if you have a meditative posture, such as lotus, cushion on the ground, etc. go for it] Feel the sensation of sitting. Feel your feet on the ground. Feel your behind touching the chair. Feel your spine strengthening. Feel your head being upright with a slight downward glance of the eyes.


Feel yourself focusing on the breathing. In. Out. In. Out. Don’t force the breath to be long. Just breathe naturally.

When thoughts come your way, simply ask yourself (politely) to come back to the breath. “Thinking” or “Focus on breathing” is all you need to say. Do this every time.

Set a timer for 5 minutes. If that’s too hard, try 2 minutes. Increase by 2-3 minutes every few days until you are doing 15-20 minutes a day.

If you don’t have time to meditate, make it 30 minutes. ;)

If you come to the cushion and you cannot focus, then just sit there and allow your monkey mind to play.

Do that every day till the monkey mind is played out. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Have patience with your mind; it’s quite busy.

The key is to come back to the cushion every day. No exceptions. Consistency will build your mindfulness.

Start with this practice. In a month, we will revisit practice and see how it’s going.

If you spend a year coming every day to the cushion and you can’t get past 5 minutes of monkey mind play, you’re on the right track. Give it another year. Sometimes, progress is slow. There is no endgame. And you are always bettering yourself if you come to the cushion consistently.

Check back in 20 years. Maybe the monkey will finally shut up and you can get some peace. You are only in control of one thing: coming to the cushion. That’s it. That’s all you’re responsible for today.

May the Force Light Your Path,

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4 years 9 months ago #330527 by
Replied by on topic The Daily Mindfulness Thread
Making meditation Accessible

I have been an off and on again meditator for years. And, one of the things I always hear from Jedi is that they can’t meditate due to physical pain or mental illness. Somebody with ADHD might have a very difficult time sitting still for even 5 minutes. God knows that I am the same way.

Perhaps you’ve got a back problem and sitting for 5 minutes without moving sounds like a torture session.

I have been brainstorming ways to make meditation accessible to people with all manner of conditions. Today, I will present a meditation for people with ADHD or any disorder that inhibits executive function.

Two options: Movement Meditation and Flow State Meditation

Movement Meditation is very simple. Begin walking in a large circle. If you can, walk very slowly, making the feel of your feet on the ground the object of meditation. If you cannot do that, walk normally, taking in every detail from around you that you can. What does the air sound like? Feet feel like against the ground? What smells are in the breeze? Try to walk half a mile to a mile for each segment. At the end of the segment, try sitting for a minute or two. See if you can’t come to the breath for that short time.

If that doesn’t work, try attending a yoga class. Extreme positions will hold your focus and will help to train the body and concentration.

Flow State Meditation:
This one is popular with executive function people. Pick something you’re really into. For me, it’s playing piano. Maybe it’s a video game. And then, go hard. And I mean, really hard. Get into the object totally and completely. Set the timer for 10-20 minutes depending on your time availability. At the end of the segment, try sitting and deep breathing for 2-3 minutes, just keeping the focus on the breath.

The idea is to wear your brain out with physical or mental activity. Get into a state of flow. Then sit and let the brain relax.

If you fall asleep, it’s because you worked too hard. Don’t run the mile. Walk it. If you go slow, half a mile will work. Just keep looking for ways to exhaust yourself before getting into a couple of minutes of focus work.

If it’s only 30 seconds at first, great! That’s 30 more seconds than you had yesterday. Keep it up!

If you have a request for a certain type of debilitating condition, post here and I’ll come up with an alternative for you.

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4 years 9 months ago - 4 years 9 months ago #330583 by
Replied by on topic The Daily Mindfulness Thread
You can’t fail at Meditation!

Dan Harris and Lion’s Roar
Last edit: 4 years 9 months ago by .

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4 years 9 months ago #330964 by
Replied by on topic The Daily Mindfulness Thread
I can't believe I haven't updated this in four days. Here are FOUR moments of Zen!

(I will be posting a meditation style request report tomorrow!!! Stay tuned)

1. Don’t chase happiness because you won’t find it in other people and material things – it’s in YOU. Learn to develop your abilities and reflect back on your achievements because that’s the only road to happiness.

2. If you’re satisfied with yourself and you know you’re good, smart, and worthy, you won’t find it necessary that other people think or say the same things about you.

3. If you want something really bad, don’t wait around and don’t ask for someone’s permission to have or do it. Make sure you’re the one who have control over that.

4. A mature person possesses knowledge and knows how to put it in action. An immature one often has knowledge but doesn’t know how to wisely and effectively use it so as to achieve what they want and better themselves. That’s why, immature people criticize others and the mature ones don’t.


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4 years 9 months ago #331067 by
Replied by on topic The Daily Mindfulness Thread

So, fasting is a very interesting challenge, and it can be done for spiritual, religious, or even dietary reasons.

If you want to try fasting, here are some really common sense guidelines:
1. If you have any metabolic condition (diabetes, heart disease, etc.), you must check with your doctor to find how safe it is for you to fast.
2. Start with something small. Skip breakfast one day. Then again the next day. Keep it up. But, eat more for lunch and dinner.
3. Eventually, try to go 24 hours without food. If you can’t because of medications, go 20 hours.
4. Lastly, if you feel up to it and you’re healthy enough, try to go 48-72 hours fasted.

What to eat during a fast?

Why are you asking that question? Don’t eat anything. Drink water and zero calorie drinks (like tea and coffee). A splash of cream might be ok. But it could make you hungry. Be careful.

Another thing to do during longer (24-72 hr) fasts is replenish your electrolytes by: drinking 3 cups of broth per day, stir in 1g of potassium in the form of “low salt” per cup of broth, and by taking 3-400mg of magnesium (I recommend glycinate or malate) in pill form.

Drink enough water that your urine is pale yellow by day 2.

Again! Do not fast unless you are healthy or have a doctor’s permission.

Tomorrow, we’ll dicuss the “why”’s of fasting. See you then!

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