Skip to main content

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.


Popular posts from this blog

About Humanity

"A chosen people is the opposite of a master race, first, because it is not a race but a covenant; second because it exists to serve God, not to master others. A master race worships itself, a chosen people worships something beyond itself. A master race believes it has rights; a chosen people knows only that it has responsibilities." Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Not in God's Name, Schocken, New York. 2015.

As someone who does not identify as a chosen people or part of a master race, I ruminate about how to respond to the world, particularly that part of the world I cannot endorse. So I am comforted by the people who have taken on ministry and who feel responsible enough to care for community.

How do I act on a feeling of responsibility without assuming that I know what other people should do, or what we should do? It's very easy to slip into a political preaching that suggests I know, or that my being a good example means that others should follow it. Or worse yet, create…

The Ultimate Goal of Patriarchy is the End of Life

I want to clarify the line between men in general and patriarchal values propagated and imposed on human society.

In order for patriarchy to succeed, it had to kill more efficiently than the nine months gestation it took for a woman to give birth.  So the craft of war  became more than simply defending territory. It became the ritualized erasure of our human nature for the rule of centralized power. 

And no, it hasn't succeeded in diminishing the human population on this planet but it has succeeded in sustaining an ideology of what it means to be a man. 

Civilizations built on myths of great conquerors. Histories about the exploits of the greatest killers. Inventions of race, religious ideology and ritual that transformed the teachings of thoughtful prophets into crusades. Endless games of winning and losing.
Men who celebrate life through medicine, science, education, art, philosophy and poetry must be dismissed as soft, shamed as effeminate. 

Men who have been raised with love, love …

Torturing Youth is Okay with us?

“More than two-thirds of Canadians feel Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the wrong choice in awarding a $10.5 million settlement to Omar Khadr, according to a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute.” CBC News
But we don’t see the survey questions in this article. How was the poll actually worded? Reading one article might make us believe we are well informed, but how does a single poll actually tell us how people feel?  
“And while the survey shows that a majority of Liberals and New Democrats are opposed to the government's decision, how the numbers compare to previous polling suggests that views on Khadr have hardened over the last decade — and that he remains a divisive figure.”
How can a single poll tell whether Khadr is a divisive figure or not? What information do respondents have to make such a claim? 
The article then switches to a former US special force soldier who was blinded in one eye during the 2002 firefight in Afghanistan involving Khadr.  Of course he would be critica…