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Krista, please, there's a show/theme here begging to be. The word "mindfulness" has become a plastic word. To some it means being more aware of yourself, to others more aware of other things. O.K. But spiritual development used to be about waking up. Waking up can't just be a nicer, longer list of things to be "aware" of. Like, now I've got all this other stuff to think about.
Waking up is about finding the original balance between our two brains. (Jill Taylor)
Waking up is about learning to be instead of always being a doer.
Waking up is about coming into the full consciousness of your own presence and realizing
that whereas your thinking mind is quiet, the rest of your mind is very bright and brilliant. (see Tara Brach Wed. nite talks) I'm reacting, Krista, because the term "mindfulness" needs to be rescued from the narciscisstic idea that we can just get more comfortable. The left brain ego mind always wants to get more comfortable. And our ego mind doesn't want to believe that it's only a tool. But truely being here now involves opening the heart and seeing/understanding our connections to all of the web of nature, especially since we're the dominant species. We need to know where we are and what we're doing. The right brain has been performing those functions for 600K yr. Opening up and coming into your total presence and full consciousness means allowing your energy to go into the consciousness of right brain, body and heart, and because there's no need for "thinking" to go on, no need for analyses, the thinking (chattering) brain is quiet. called meditation.
True mindfulness, said Stephen Levine, doesn't seek to change anything, just be aware.
So I would submit, Krista, I would offer this theory, that hard working folks who are doing difficult challenges in their lives, many of whom wake up in the morning with to-do lists, and many of whom have become addicted to left brain dominance, would have a different kind of meaning for the term "mindfulness" than someone who was not locked into the necessity of left brain dominance, which, I believe, is necessary in order to get complicated stuff done. The problem is the ego brain wants to think that it's doing everything. It thinks it sees. Wrong. (that's just thinking) It thinks it holds the energy of life that is present. Wrong. The "life that is here" in any presence might include the ego mind, but the magic of aliveness, the humming in the cells, is a phenomenon that exists and is perceived quite outside the thinking mind. Meditators learn this.