Mindfulness has become a popular topic in today’s world of therapy, healing and self-help teachings. I wanted to write something from a less common angle, hopefully stimulating possibilities for fresh understanding and appreciation. I began this article in a prose format but then decided to put it into verse form to allow greater opportunity for you to enter a space of contemplation and deepening experience. Try reading it at a slower pace than you normally would –– as if you were reading it out loud. Allow the gaps and spaces, a comma here and an absence of comma there, to hint at a rhythm in an ever changing current of words, flowing as a stream of intimated meaning. If you find it ‘speaks’ to you, pause and have a ‘sit’. Your reading and understanding has its own current and flow. Then, when you are finished, you might read it again.
How to speak about this mystery?
Mind is that which minds.
Do you mind?
Do you care or have concerns?
Please be mindful of the fact that . . . .
In other words,
be careful and responsive with and to this mystery.
To touch something mindfully implies
touching gently and sensitively;
with respect and caring for the integrity of that
particular ‘what’ that you are touching;
a hand, a hip, a thought, a breath of ineffable.
And as you touch, in turn you are touched.
In mindfulness we don’t hurt this object in the act
of touching it. In other words,
we treat this ‘otherness’ with respect,
this otherness touching their otherness,
that is you.
Surely this applies to all our senses.
Each child finds his or her way;
growing into sensitivity,
clumsy at first, then gradually becoming
smoother and more integrated and
sometimes even graceful.
Think of a toddler
just learning to walk, and then,
a sixteen year old olympic gymnast poised on the balance beam,
vibrantly alert and focussing.
Mind-full-ness is a fullness of knowing,
and fullness of knowing is both detailed and vast discernment;
and so much more.
Mindfulness/carefulness/caring, sensitive, attentive, respectful/engagement,
in the company of parents, then teachers,
then lovers and friends.
We copy each other; imprint on each other;
responding to and with
It matters how we proceed.
To cultivate mindfulness is
to consciously grow,
maturing in the direction of
a smooth functional integration of
embodied, languaging, experience.
An opposite direction leads towards frustration,
pain, agitation, fragmentation and suspicion.
Mindfulness arises in this inter-dancing.
Body, speech and mind,
the entire field of interbeing,
all events and meanings:
self and other, individual and groups,
universes of intelligence unfolding.
this body – physically growing into an increased capacity for
delicacy, harmony, grace, flexibility, and co-ordination.
this speech – skillfully growing in the direction of,
kind, uplifting, supportive and inspiring communication.
this mind – a field of knowing; growing towards attentive inclusiveness,
translucency and multi-leveled acceptance/understanding.
This minding mindful mind is
the universe in process.
Experience is not a subjective representation.
It is not a personal re-presentation of some mysterious otherness.
It is a presentation, always present,
a mutually transforming
interaction of mingling events.
It takes two to ‘language’.
It is not a matter of true or false perception,
as if there was a finite fixed being or universe out there
waiting to be correctly or incorrectly perceived;
something one could or should be mindful of.
Rather, the unfolding dynamic of your living
engages with the dynamic unfolding of ‘other’ in
this combined whirl of ever-fresh transformation
which is your knowing now.
So much more than
a focussed action,
a daily discipline,
a Buddhist meditation
to practice or neglect.
Fully flowered mindfulness is a perfume
that flavors everything,
a quality of being
that transforms everything,
even mundane ordinary living;
this setting up of mindfulnesss,
an always available profound way
and of peace.
Mindfulness is the flavor of a healthy mind in action.
And so . . . returning to the question,
“How to speak about this mystery?”
This thusness – look around you!
This is how we speak.
Words are like tools
and a good craftsperson
cares for his or her tools
fashioning a new handle,
a particular tool for a particular job.
Jargon is a blunt chisel.
May these words dance well in our minding.