Mindfulness meditation, of course, does more than just provide a quiet refuge for our mind and body. It also profoundly alters the way we view ourselves, the world, and our place in it.
When we study a lot of traditions, it is often hard not to take away something from each one that impacts the way you live and view the entire world. Even for a viewpoint or a mindfulness practice that you would never dream of adopting something wholesale, and you should always find something worth affirming in your life.
In addition, views and opinions sometimes change, and you should always remain open to that change and perceive it as an opportunity to a new and better mindful life. Being firmly attached to one’s beliefs, deeper insights, and personal perspectives, as mindfulness meditation practice suggests, can often lead to great confusion and quarreling.
The great Buddha even cautioned his students not to become dependent or simply attached to any of his teachings. He also warned or told his students that his teachings and philosophies are like a raft.
When you use a raft to get from one side of the lake to the other side of the lake, you don’t usually pick it up and carry it around with you. You leave it on the shore and tie it in case it floats away, but regardless you don’t carry it around.
Subverting the notion of a fixed individuality or identity is one of the things a mindfulness meditation practice will do for you. And best of all, it can also help you be more at ease without being judgmental, and it also allows you to be more comfortable without worrying or having a fixed identity.
Gaining a deeper and thorough insight into the transience of one’s self enables one to think of themselves as a fluid reality, often unable to be adequately and completely named by the conventional labels.
Underneath the very words and philosophies, you might identify some lies that are often considered a genuine mystery— at once very conscious and self-aware from within, interrelated with the rest of the world and cosmos, and yet unfathomable in its depth and reality.
Likewise, the practice of mindfulness meditation can alter your deeper understanding of the ultimate reality— the underlying true nature of the universe and the ultimate power that governs the whole universe— to allow you to feel more at ease or at home with its mystery.
Mindfulness can make you or encourage you to feel the immense awe and happiness at being able to marvel at this world and our lives in it without having to worry about providing you an in-depth or a comprehensive and systematic explanation for the entire world/universe.
(Related: Mindfulness Practices for Beginners)
Lessons from Mindfulness
Within the joyous mystery that surrounds and permeates our day-to-day lives, mindfulness meditation practices allow us to affirm some very simple mindful things about living that have struck many individuals as being true to their individual experiences.
One simple awakening or realization is the acknowledgment that our control over life and what happens in it, like our knowledge of it, is very limited indeed. Mindfulness practices permit us to see clearly how little control we have over the events that profoundly affect us throughout our life.
Much of our suffering and pain, we realize, is caused by our dogged efforts to try to control and command these things over which we have no control or authority, but mindfulness practice also allows us to recognize that we can shape our minds in ways that are wholesome for us and others.
With the training that mindfulness meditation practices provide, we can learn to develop our minds in ways that often allow us to relinquish the need to control and to accept reality as it is without judgment in this very moment.
Mindfulness meditation practices also teach us that everything we do, think, and say has an important effect—particularly on our character, but also in the lives of others and on the people around our surroundings. With that recognition comes a mindful responsibility to tend to our minds with great care and acceptance.
So in short, all we do and think- shapes the quality of our character, and for that reason, it is vitally important to be attentive to what we put in and feed our minds and constantly allow them to dwell on.