ABC of Mindfulness Meditation
Shifting attention from thought-dominated consciousness to the “space between the thoughts."
In my Dharma Talks I have explained the simple “formula” for enlightenment that I have been teaching for many years. That formula is “Enlightenment is as simple as A-B-C”. Attention to A-B-C allows one to enter a state of mindfulness which ultimately opens, awakens and liberates the mind.
Mindfulness is meditative mind in action. Some have described meditation as a way to stop thinking without falling asleep. That is only partially true, because the aim of meditation is not to stop the thought process, but rather to transcend thought-based consciousness and open up to a state of immersed and expanded attentiveness. It is being totally present and immersed in whatever activity you are engaged in, acting with focus, effortlessness and skill. It is being in that state popularly known as “The Zone” or in spiritual circles, “enlightenment” or “awakening”.
Entering a state of mindfulness is as simple as A-B-C. It is simply a function of shifting one’s attention away from thought and emotionally dominated consciousness and shifting it to the space between the thoughts. How do we find that space? That’s where A, B, and C come in.
A is attention to the phenomena in our present moment experience, the “nowness” of your immediate sensory experiences: all of the sights, sounds, touches, smells, tastes, etc. that are occurring in front of us right now. Allowing ourselves to experience these sensations purely, in their “isness”, their “suchness”, without the filter of thinking, label, condition or judgment.
B is attention to the feeling of our breath coming into and leaving our body. Focus on the breath has been an essential feature in the meditative practices of every spiritual tradition throughout history. It is the bridge between matter and spirit, between phenomenon and noumenon, between form and emptiness.
C is Corporal or body awareness, paying attention to what is called our inner body or our energy body. It is the sensation we feel when we place our attention on any part of our body and feel that sense of presence or aliveness that is there. It is feeling our body from the inside out. Often it is described as a tingling or fuzzy sensation. Usually, we miss this feeling because we are not paying attention to it, but when we do attend properly, it is clearly present.
Shifting attention from being dominated by emotionally reactive thoughts to A-B-C is the gateway to mindfulness. When these three elements become the dominant feature of your awareness; when thoughts and emotions have been relegated to the background, that’s it. You are in a state of mindfulness, in the state of immersed/expanded attentiveness.
Consistently entering this A-B-C state allows one then to experience the “D”, which stands for dissolving the boundaries between inside and outside. And when you can feel this dissolution of the artificially created boundaries, and can do this at will, regardless of your surroundings, you have “E”, Enlightenment.
Attention to present moment experience
Enlightenment is Here and Now
Breathing from the Heart
Corporal (Body) Awareness
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