108 Insights For Awakening Now

Accept what is happening. Do not wish it was different. The awareness of breath helps you to accept the wandering that inevitably happens and to accept to bring the attention gently back. Then you live in the moment and not in fantasy, imagination or hope.

If we are mindful, we can view adversity as an event that is happening without storytelling and without preoccupation.

Mindfulness can help us to become intimate with the energy of anger, and because of the familiarity we won’t be blindsided by it. Instead it will help us realise that anger is happening because of resistance and that it will pass if we change that to acceptance

Mindfulness meditation develops attention by practicing the art of gentle return. Focus on your breath. When your attention wanders, gently bring it back. Do this for as long as possible. Your attention muscle then develops and your mind becomes fit.

Mindfulness helps us to attune ourselves with our body, mind and feelings.Just observe the breath, the thoughts, the feelings by standing apart. Follow it with interest. Enjoy simply the process of being alive.

We may struggle, stumble and fall down every day, but if we are honest with ourselves about who we are, we will be able to pick ourselves and try again. This requires awareness and mindfulness and makes us authentic.

Be mindful when your complain. Recognize when you complain. Use mindfulness to appreciate the moment without expectation. Aversion then disappears.

You construct your anguish and happiness. Things keep changing. You are not separate from the Divine. Being aware of your breath can help you realize these things. Then you awaken.

Each time you embrace the welfare of others, you are  following the bodhisattva path. Every time you step out of self-preoccupation to pay attention to the world around you, an opportunity to help will present itself. Practicing mindfulness and not bringing more anger, fear and mindlessness to the world is the simplest way to help others.

The body scan is a staple of mindfulness practice. Do it regularly.

Boredom happens because we do not pay attention and because we crave excitement. It is a story we tell ourselves. Pay attention to your breath and body and just observe and even mundane things will fill with life.

Be aware of your breath. Be aware of it at the belly or the nostrils. When the attention wanders, bring it back. There is no failure or success in this endeavour. Just observe and be attentive. Practice the gentle art of returning and transformation will happen.

Buddha means the person as well as our capacity for awakening. Everyone can traverse the path of the Buddha. There is suffering and unsatisfactoriness. The cause is because we are misguided about reality, because we cling to things which are changing and hope that they don’t change and we think we are a separate self independent from the Divine. However we can solve this problem of suffering. Wisdom, ethical behaviour and meditation is the Way.

Buddhism does not speculate about the nature of time, space and the divinity of the Buddha. There is no need for initiation into a religious cult or belief in some metaphysics. We just want to remove the arrow, the suffering and not about why and wherefores of the arrow. This can be done by mindfulness of the breath and mindfulness every moment of our life.

We all have a choice every moment. Mindfulness helps us make wise choices so that we can live an intentional life.

Notice the presence of commentary in your daily life. Do not scold yourself for losing yourself in the commentary. Just note it and leave it behind and come back to the breath.

Compassion in its purest sense means to feel the suffering of others without adding any commentary and this means we are mindful. At the same time  we care for them as best as we can.

Concentration can be focused or distributed. Focusing on the breath is focused concentration while being aware of thoughts and feelings is more distributed. Both are necessary and complementary.

When an impulse arises for you, see if you can observe it with interest. Notice how it occupies your body and compels action. If you are watching close enough you may be able to contain it before it translates into behaviour. You can choose how you act and awareness and mindfulness will help you go in the right direction.

Crasping is craving+grasping. This leads to anxiety. Have the attitude: I am okay whether I get what I want or not. My happiness does not depend on my always getting what I want. Then you will be more happier in the world, more content.

We can easily sort things into categories. When we do this, being is inhibited. Mindfulness develops the ability to see each thing even if they may seem the same as a unique thing and this ability to see with fresh eyes every thing or event helps us to be creative.

The culture of mindfulness is based on awareness, generosity and nonharmfulness.We also live in our own particular culture based on the place, upbringing and the values we have developed as the result of our life. With mindfulness we realise we are all interconnected and the wants and desires then diminish. This culture may provide some respite from relentless want.

Curiosity means to have the “beginner’s mind”. What does this mean? Whether it is a pain or an itch, we drop our narratives and view it with freshness the actual experience. We make it a point of interest and relax into it and investigate its properties. Instead of fighting against it, we accept that it is here and know that it will eventually dissolve. This is wisdom in action.

Death ultimately happens. Birth, life, death. Universal. Each of these things happen in the present moment. So remembering the past and imagining the future is not really living. Live in this moment. The breath is like life itself. It is born, it lives for a while and then it dies. Be aware of this mini-cycle that happens millions of times. Presence then occurs and life becomes joyful.

Delusion is  a misperception of the world that it can grant us happiness, is stable and that we are all separate. If we look carefully we can see that the world is constantly changing, is therefore unreliable and unstable and therefore it cannot grant us happiness but only unsatisfactoriness. This misperception leads to greed and hatred. Mindfulness can help us perceive things rightly and that can give rise to peace in ourself and thereby the world.

The dharma that the Buddha taught was to be good, to be kind to ourselves and others and move in the world with the goal of minimizing harm. The wisdom of unsatisfactoriness, change and non-separateness which can arise when we mindfully meditate in an ethical life where we let go of greed and hatred can lead to the fulfillment of this Dharma.

There are a multitude of distractions that we face everyday. But if we are mindful, we need not be distracted and fall into the whirlpool of multitasking and infomania. We can let go, breathe and live now.

When we say that life is dukkha, we are not being pessimistic. We are being realistic. Dukkha means the unsatisfactoriness that pervades life even when we have a lot of pleasure and so called happiness. The reason for this unsatisfactoriness is because nothing is permanent and sickness, old age and death inevitably happens. Unless we understand that this is what will happen we crave and hate different things. We think that we are separate. That is true in the relative world but from a different perspective we are everything and living with this perspective can make this life a joyful melody of the Divine.

Eat mindfully. See, smell, taste, hear and touch the food and the process of eating without doing anything else. This is a great exercise in mindfulness.

Good effort is the art of gentle returning to now. It is effort of allowing things to happen rather than trying to achieve something. It is the effort of simple observation of what is happening and experiencing what is happening now. It is gently returning to the present when we wander off into the past and the future.

Emotional intelligence means four things: to perceive emotions, using them to thoughtfully reflect, understanding what our emotions mean and managing them when they occur. Desire, hatred and delusion lead to poor choices and mindfulness by helping us be attentive and aware helps us to to be more emotionally intelligent.

When we practice mindfulness we shift our attention from the concept of who we are to the actual experience of who we are. This manifests as sensations in our body and attending to them can help us to monitor our energy. Anxiety gives rise to sensations which can be monitored and managed with mindfulness, thereby letting anxiety drop off.

Silence, containment and engagement make up the Holy Trinity of mindfulness. Engagement is to wholeheartedly do everything being aware of them fully rather than wandering from one place to another pursuing stories and opinions.

Each time we are mindful we approximate enlightenment: just this moment as it is. It is a mystical experience characterized by a dramatic shift in attention to the richness of the present. When we practice mindfulness, we practice noticing additions to what is. When we can be with our breath, naked and embodied, then we taste a bit of enlightenment.

Equanimity requires that we learn to attend to what is happening without reacting to it excessively – without developing craving or aversion for experiences. Mindfulness helps us to develop this.

Experience starts with sensation. Our sense organs cannot sense everything, they can sense only a part; we cannot see infrared or hear high-pitched sounds. The neural networks of our brain process these sensations based on experience, learning and expectation and hence experience is not absolute truth. Perception also needs attention and this is what mindfulness helps and by helping it helps us realise that sensations come and goes, the stories that we add and what is therefore real and what is not.

Fantasy is being in the past or in the future. Mindfulness is being in the present. If your attention becomes dispersed in fantasy, simply note that it has happened and gently return to the action at hand.

The breath can be fascinating. Pay attention to it with mindfulness.

We are liberated from fear when we do not cling to the idea that things are enduring and embrace the reality that life is impermanent. If we realise that we are not separate and that everything is part of the Divine, where can fear stay? Mindfulness helps us to realise all this.

The five pillars of mental flourishing are: positive emotions, engagement or flow, relationship, meaning and accomplishment. Mindfulness helps us to flourish.

When the sense of ‘doing’ meditation drops away, we enter into flow. When we encounter the present moment without story, commentary or complaint, flow won’t be far behind.

See what it feels like to be fully engaged in each task. You may find that you are more productive. Focusing like this is mindfulness in action. With more mindfulness practice, it will be easier to focus.

The fear of missing out goes away with mindfulness. It is unlikely that we will miss out on life if we remember that each moment, no matter what is happening – is complete in itself, provided we give it our full attention.

Mindfulness allows us to use each breath to open our hearts and minds to forgiveness.

Practicing mindfulness is an act of generosity to yourself. Teach mindfulness generously without any fee.

Mindfulness helps us to be good.

Grace is available whenever we can suspend our internal, storytelling mind and be mindful.

Be grateful for everything. Mindfulness will help you in doing that.

Greed is clinging and aversion, wanting impermanence to be permanent and wanting to be separate. Mindfulness will help you get rid of greed.

Hope and fear develop when we lose touch with the reality of the present, when we fantasize about the past and the future. Mindfulness brings you back to now and thereby helps you to be present.

Impermanence pervades everything. The only thing that is permanent is the Divine.

Integrity describes the practice of mindfulness itself.

Mindfulness helps us to be aware of our intentions.

Mindfulness helps us to realize interdependence.

The process of mindfulness is an intimate process as we gently focus on our breath.

Mindfulness gives us joy as we have let go of fear and anxiety.

Mindfulness helps us to withhold judgement.

Every action has a consequence – karma. Armed with greater sensitivity to our own motives and intentions, we can choose the type of seeds we sow and look forward to sweeter fruits.

Our ongoing practice of mindfulness allows us to survey the landscape of our lives and our minds and our practice is a sort of exploration.

Developing a robust sense of mindfulness helps us to create a space between emotional triggers and legacy reflexes.

We don’t find liberation somewhere else, far away, but reveal it within ourselves by letting go of ourselves.Rest in the now – often.

Look at everyone, including yourself with loving-kindness.

Meditation itself is not an end but a means to waking up to the nature of things.

You are not the mind or the senses. What you are is a part of the Divine.

Mindfulness is paying attention without judgement, not grasping, not pushing away. We are open to what is.

Moderation is essential. Keep those precepts that are important, and use the others as needed.Know when you should adhere to a rule, know when you can set it aside.

Innate morality makes us happy and diminishes our suffering.

Nature provides a ready vector for mindfulness practice.

Nirvana is the reality experienced without clinging to our separate self.

The noble eightfold path is a path of self-transformation: an intellectual, emotional and moral restructuring in which a person is reoriented from selfish limited objectives toward a horizon of possibilities and opportunities for fulfillment.

Now can be the greatest moment of your life when you pay attention to it with mindfulness. Now is, of course, the only moment of your life.

The body is a constant register of what is happening. Occupying it using the body scan can help you monitor what is happening and use it as a refuge.

Be open in meditation to attend to whatever is happening without judgement, control or attempting to fix it.

If we look closely into pain, it weakens and disperses and the urgent need to fix them disappears.

Participation happens when we see through mindfulness and then act with mindfulness.

The path regarding the truths of suffering, old age, death and dissatisfaction is always there. We have to walk on it.

When you embrace patience, you can sit still in your mind, not chasing every mental whim, impulse or desire.

The alternative to the fist hand of perfectionism is the open hand of acceptance.

Start with giving yourself permission to be in this moment.

Mindfulness can be play when we drop into this moment with a sense of exploration.

Move forward with imperfect action, allowing that to be sufficient to move to the next moment and the moment after that. Do not procrastinate.

Quality is this moment and nothing else.

Mindfulness helps us rehabilitate us back into quiet.

Reality is the experience of being alive now; fantasy is the concept of ‘me’ having this life. When you meditate, you endeavour to come back to reality over and over again.

When attention wanders, do not regret, just move on to the next moment.

All relationships are teachers, especially the difficult ones.

Resilience seeks to highlight then abandon the “secondary agenda.” When we give ourselves to this moment, there is nothing to want.

Without resistance we are more resilient and more able to withstand whatever comes at us.

The answer to restlessness is not set ourselves in motion, but to remain at rest with awareness.

Each instance of retrieving our attention from the future, past or commentary is a revolution.

At some level, we are all one energy with no clear boundaries. This is what sangha means.

We need to let go of our ownership of the illusion of a separate self.

If you are not smiling now, give it a try.

When used properly, mindfulness can help us to correct out of a skid into unneeded stress.

Have sympathetic joy in the happiness and success of others.

Choose beneficial thoughts instead of harmful ones.

The experience of timelessness is available to any of us each time we let go of the past, the present and the future, and lose ourselves in the moment.

Tolerance is to be objective about what we can and cannot change.

Uncertainty is the bedrock of our reality.

As our practice of vipassana progresses, we see how we cling and grasp, how we push and get away.

When we are visited by unpleasant memories, just note them and go back to the breath.

To love is to make ourselves vulnerable.

Walk mindfully.

Witness your thoughts and see that they are not the truth.

Wisdom is understanding that there is suffering, there is change and there is no separate self.

The best anxiolytic is mindfulness.

When you do yoga postures, then be aware.

Meditate comfortably.

-inspired from the book: A to Z of Mindfulness by Arnie Kozak


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