Mindfulness is the practice of becoming more fully present. It has an almost unique status, with its roots that are drawn from ancient Eastern meditation, and its many benefits that are advocated by modern Western science.
What does it mean to be more present?
Leaving behind the twin distractions of past and future, the twin tormentors of judging insufficiency and excess, and the twin saboteurs of grasping and rejection... Mindfulness draws its supreme peace and sustenance from simply experiencing things exactly as they are.
Yet all too often in the presentation of Mindfulness, the role of Kindness and Compassion are overlooked. Of course, one does not have to be kind to be Mindful. Just as one does not have to temper justice with mercy, be benevolent in governing or loving in bringing up children. But not to be so leaves some parts of life needlessly harsh, desolate or barren.
Kindness can ease and Compassion comfort what otherwise might only be sharp, hard or painful. They can open the door to being with oneself and one another in a way that heals and allows. They can take us out of personal suffering and into wholeness and connectivity.
We cannot feel alone if our heart is full of love. We cannot be unloved if we also love ourselves. We cannot love ourselves if we do not also love others.
The biggest mistake that we can make is to believe that this does not apply to us. That we were simply not born kind or compassionate enough to be like that.
Kindness is an approach and Compassion is a state of mind. They can be taught. They can be learnt. They can be practised. They can be cultivated. Just as dry soil can be watered, hard earth tilled and wasteland turned into gardens, crops or pasture.
Mindfulness and Compassion is the groundwork for any meditiation or yoga practise, or indeed life itself. Below are recordings of sessions made at CityZen Meditation Studio. I have removed any group discussion, but it does contain meditation and contemplation. I hope you find them useful. If you do please donate something if you can afford to. At least half of all monies goes to charities/good causes, much of the rest goes to running costs and related further studies, and a little is converted (as if by magic) into coffee and cake!