To properly mediate mindfulness - but how?
The mindfulness thing at the beginning of my journey was similar to basketball practice when the coach yelled at us to focus.
It's about as helpful as telling a blind person that he should look better when he's stumbling over something. Unfortunately, most instructors of hobby teams do not understand this didactic leap, but we ourselves can deal with this topic differently. The "how" is crucial for me and on the way there I have approached the understanding through these stages:
Go your own way to transformation
Through my own path of transformation and personal development, I have developed a subjective perspective for the relationship of these three concepts. They are intertwined and interlinked with each other. Like so many topics that affect our mind or soul, an objective presentation of my opinion in the current state of science is hardly possible. Our language is another hurdle in objectifying this kind of experience.
So the person who consciously experiences these concepts can only describe them subjectively, because he experiences it from his own inner, subjective point of view. Nevertheless, some experiences are similar to the reports of many individuals, so that certain conclusions are possible. However, I would like to remain subjective, since an objective description can only ever act on a subject, or thing, and not in the essence that the subjective can penetrate, for then, by definition, it would lose its objectivity.
Mindfulness and Meditation: It starts with concentration
At the beginning of my journey was concentration. However, the concentration has become a good one in times of constant dopamine bombardment of "apps and services". If we are to focus on one thing well, we now need a proper preparation, appropriate mood, time, setting and also the saving flight mode on the smartphone. Even if the subject fits, we can do amazing things that sometimes surprise us, when we look at the result and the time that has passed by in flight. In some situations, even the much-vaunted "flow" arises.
This feels great, produces excellent results and satisfies tremendously. Concentrating on this topic, however, does not focus on Excel, PowerPoint or a report, but on our own inner life and on further development of the environment. Unfortunately, this type of concentration is not taught to most of us in Western countries. Neither the parents, nor the school, nor further education teach us how we can focus on ourselves and concentrate on it. The religious institutions do not perceive this mission as well - so at least my experience in the context of mindfulness and awareness.
Guided meditation trains concentration
Rather, for many, getting started in this subject area by reading later in life. Zen and comparable philosophies usually form the starting point of one's own journey. After reading, only practice helps to make the experience itself. The concentration on ourselves can be learned first through short guided meditations. There are some great apps and YouTube videos that allow us to be with ourselves from the earliest 5 minutes, to about 20 minutes in the advanced stage, and to endure it with ourselves and our thoughts.
Here I began to learn to concentrate on myself and to train. My thoughts kept wandering and I was often more into the events of the recent past, or the next future. Only now did I begin to understand the value of Siddhartha's statement by H. Hesse: "I can wait ..." as he is asked about his abilities. Patience is a very important virtue on this journey. Gradually, I trained my concentration, which brought me more and more into the "here and now", so that I could be with the said minutes with nothing to do without, or to plan.
Raise awareness through mindfulness
By this increasing ability to concentrate on myself, I developed "automatically incidentally" the possibility to perceive myself more consciously. At some point in my mind was a connection that the much-vaunted "awareness" in my eyes is the higher level of concentration on myself and with progressive practice can also be extended to my environment. The more I was able to focus on myself and the moment, I became more aware of what's happening in me.
After that, I was able to direct those skills to what's going on around me. Here, some kind of effort was needed to be able to maintain the concentration and, with it, the awareness for me and then especially for the environment. I often had to "catch" myself and focus on how I am actually inwardly, what I really feel or how I perceive my immediate environment. This gradually increased my awareness of these same things as my own feelings, and later also the interaction with the environment.
Make the unconscious conscious
It seemed like an awakening. Much of what I've been running on "autopilot" so far came into my expanded field of view - unconscious behaviors and impulses moved into the field of my awareness. I was able to improve my perception significantly and felt to get more out of my 5 senses. The awareness had become a "tool", which I like to use. Concentration as an enabling vehicle moved into the background and became automatic. I could now dispose of the concentration much better and noticed the beginning, but also the end of the "flow".
At this point, awareness was my new evolutionary stage. I had to continue to practice concentrating consciousness, gradually increasing that ability. Up to this point, however, it was only possible for me to steer the said awareness mainly in a "direction".
Meditation helps to perceive oneself and others more consciously
I often had to decide whether to consciously perceive my inner self and to set up the time and opportunity for that, or to direct the awareness outward and to use my 5 senses more actively and intensively.
With continuous meditative practice, I came to another "expansion stage". Here it became possible for me slowly not only to consciously perceive myself and the immediate environment, but also at the same time to widen the awareness to a somewhat extended radius. For me personally that was the transition to mindfulness. Mindfulness closes for me a pronounced ability to incorporate the own concentration into the awareness for oneself and also the wider environment. For me, the forces subjectively interlock with each other. The concentration empowered me to higher awareness and the higher awareness brought with it some kind of new peripheral vision and feeling - mindfulness.
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