Recently I was reading a great post on a Facebook Group I’m on and it gave some excellent reminders of how to practice Mindfulness, which has become a lost art for many these days. The group is called Mind Over Fatter (the psychology of weightloss) and it is owned by a gentleman called Greg Justice. I think you’ll enjoy the discussions on there.
The Ten Guiding Principals of Mindfulness
1. Awareness. Stuff happens every second, and if seconds could be divided even those particles have moments that slip by too fast or too slow. The stomach tickles, to take a check into what’s going on inside of your head and your body. It’s like using those little emoticons and smileys in your texts and tweets that show immediately your awareness of what you are feeling on the inside – and projecting it outward!
2. Acceptance. You already know what you really experience –it is true for you, whether or not you like it– no matter what anyone else might say. This moment is the time to stop the fight over what goes on with you in your mind that you want to change, avoid, get back at, get even with, or on the other hand, even to crow about. In this moment you don’t have to be responsible to make a change or to change – merely to accept.
3. Compassion- It is commendable to be on the road to improvement. But usually you do it by criticizing your weaknesses, lacks, and you may even be down about what you did wrong, mistakes, missed plans. Take this moment to be as compassionate to yourself, as you would be to others in need. Give yourself the hug, the pat, the nod, the ok, that you would give to your dear friend or relative.
4. Invitation- Today we might be expecting to be super heroes and use your own power as a force–even if it’s for the good like Captain America or Black Widow. But this attitude is about the moment to just be curious about possibility, what will be will be without any you force or power to make things happen. Force causes a stiff neck which blocks the flow of energy or chi. Why do you think people, who seem stubborn, blocked and immovable are called – “Stiff Necked?”
5. Non-judgment- Of course you have opinions–that is part of who you are. But this is the moment to dispel judgment–just to ease and observe, take a load off because it’s a relief not to have to know where your philosophy is all the time.
6. Patience- The things you don’t like or want happen too quickly–bills come, deadlines come, preparations and intentions don’t always pan out, the best growth and discoveries usually take more time than you think, and are not easy, but that’s ok and that’s the way it is.
7. Practice- Thinking, planning, understanding, feeling inspired are all great, but like the saying, put your muscle where your mouth is. Until you practice it’s nothing more than interesting and entertaining ideas and thoughts.
8. Present moment focus- Luckily you remember the past– and are also planning the future–it’s life and what you have to do, and it is useful to think in all directions. But this moment is just to be aware of the moment, what is filling up this exact moment. It’s not empty, each moment to the next is willed with sight, sound, sensations, thoughts, emotions.
9. Tolerance- Into every life some rain must fall the old saying goes and nobody escapes some unpleasantness and pain and that’s just the way it is. In this moment learn to tolerate the bad, and appreciate a peaceful feeling that it is just there.
10. Validation. What you experience goes on inside you and is your thought, emotion, sensation. It is there for a reason because it is what makes you unique. You have your learning, your history, your genetics, your personality, and that is you and valid–whether you understand the moment’s experience or not.
Take away: It is interesting to note how successful 12-step self-improvement programs echo the Principles of Mindfulness above. All such programs owe their origin to the Oxford Groups led by Dr. Frank Buchman in the 1920s. According to Buchman the guiding principles of the “OGs” were: absolute honesty, absolute purity, absolute unselfishness and absolute love. Another example of east meets west?
You can find the original post and the FB Group here: