18783The Sport of Mindfulness
- Feb 17, 2014
The practice of mindfulness is done by being aware of your environment with a pure non-commenting awareness. Since this is against everything dealing with our mind, it occurs only in rare moments. Therefore the suggestion is made to flow into the silent awareness by just labeling whatever you become aware of in as sparse a manner as you can. So, when you are walking in the woods, you would just try to be aware of what your senses perceive and only comment as minimally as possible. For instance, if you see a flower, you would just say to yourself “flower”, and not go on to judging it, comparing it, reviewing details about it or other flowers you are familiar with, etc. Nature can and will present many opportunities for you to become aware of the habitual commentary your mind subjects you to. With practice, you will become more and more able to just receive nature without commentary, even to the point of not responding more to the aroma of a rose than to the stink of feces.
Similarly and surprisingly, watching sports can offer the opportunity to be aware of activity exterior to your body and commentary within your mind in a mindful way that has the potential to release you from the habitual judging of good and bad that takes you away from the immediacy of living your life as it takes place. As “your’ team does well, (if you remember to) it’s easy and obvious to witness your mind, body, and emotions jump for joy. And when they mess up, witness the depressing negativity that envelopes you. Do this, or let it happen, silently or at least with sparse commentary. In this way, being mindful during sports has the potential to be as instructive and consciousness evolving as meditation techniques, prayers, devotions to so-called gurus, inquiring ‘Who am I”, or any of the other “paths”.
Everything in life comes down to “Thy will be done”, so when you really get to the ultimate level of uniting with God, in a way there is nothing that has been gained and everything that was "you" has been lost (your ego, the concepts you've lived by, the belief that you are your body and/or mind, the feeling that you are alone and apart from the rest of the universe, etc). But this experience of all experiences offers the biggest prize of any sport --- being at one with everything, everywhere, at all times. And you will live happily ever after.