I am currently involved in mindfulness meditation training. I am finding it challenging and very beneficial to my way of being in the world. Mindfulness is inspired by the Buddhist tradition although most spiritual paths offer similar approaches to meditation and contemplation. What is central to mindfulness is the commitment to live in the present moment, to live from moment to moment as Jacob Kabot-Zinn says in his book, Full Catastrophe Living. We have, he says, only “moments” to live. Quite a dramatic way of putting it.
Mindfulness encourages a contemplative presence in the world. It is about letting go and letting things be as they are, without trying to impose our will on what is happening. This does not mean that we cannot change what is going on around us, whether in our family life, our workplace, or wider society. What it does mean, it seems, is that our way of bringing out change comes from a different mindset, a different spiritual place. It means doing things in ways that acknowledges that we are limited people, that other points of view matter, that being patient and attentive is important, and that somehow the universe will conspire with us to see that things go right.
It is a new way of being, one that is challenging for people like myself who have been goal-driven and action-oriented for most of my life. Maybe in these days I can learn some wisdom.