Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mindfulness is like Athletics

I find mindfulness like athletics in many ways

Just as athletics strengthens the body, mindfulness strengthens the mind. Athletics is practicing body motion, mindfulness is practicing thinking patterns.

Just like athletics, regular practice is important to develop sustained mindfulness. Despite all the stories they tell about the ‘awakening’ on the Buddha, you will only become mindful slowly and gradually over time. Just like even a child can at least run and even an Olympic champion must keep up their practice, there will never be a moment when you don’t get it at all and there will never be a moment where there is nothing else to perfect.

Just like athletics, there is nothing mystical about mindfulness. Many other meditation techniques often become mystical or at least ritualistic. While there definitely is ritual involved if you follow any one of the Buddhist traditions, there is nothing mystical about mindfulness itself. All you’re being asked to do is be aware of your thoughts.

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