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The Power of Mindfulness

This is the third of the Five Spiritual PowersHanh says "Mindfulness is the energy of being aware of what is happening in the present moment. When we have the energy of mindfulness in us, we are fully present, we are fully alive, and we live deeply every moment of our daily life."

The challenge for me is that I think a lot about what is happening globally in terms of peace and social justice.  I think about the reservist, Trevor Greene, who was severely injured during his term  fighting in Afghanistan and how the government has cut back on services to soldiers who return needing health care.

This is not considered mindfulness or is it?  Reaching out in empathy (and outrage) to someone who puts himself on the front line for his country but who believes he doesn't get the medical care he needs.

The trick is that no matter what discipline I practice there are so many things I have no control over. So is awareness going to make me more powerful in this regard?

Moving further away from the moment and into the thinking place, I return to the notion that what is happening today is because of what happened a thousand years ago.  Each action for control is a problem when the control is not ourselves but others, and how we might have internalized the power of the state with our own sense of power.

So getting back to mindfulness I think about the moment and what I can do in this moment in response to what has happened over the last millenium. "If we lose this power of mindfulness, we lose everything" claims Hanh and the fact that his writing travels all over the world, and that his Plum Village is built on these Buddhist values, is perhaps an indication of his power.

I am working on the premise that mindfulness is more than simply paying attention to the toast I eat for breakfast, and that in practice I hope for further insights.


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