There is a lot of confusion about what mindfulness is about. Some practitioners mistake mindfulness to silent the mind and to stop thoughts altogether. However, mindfulness meditation is an active form of meditation. In addition to being an active form of meditation in daily life, mindfulness is discernment.
What does Mindfulness Discern?
Discernment according to Collins English Dictionary means the ability to judge which things of a particular kind are good and which are bad. After a disciplined period of formal meditation, the mind starts to gain the skill of observation and discernment.
What does a mindfulness practitioner want to discern? Although we attribute much of our happiness to the outside world, we realize they don’t keep us satisfied for long. A brand new Porsche or a limited edition Louis Vuitton bag can only bring pleasure up to a certain level and that happiness of owning it eventually fades.
We may also depend our happiness on that someone special in our life. But when we do that, it adds pressure to the other person to live up to our expectations. It also is unhealthy for the mind because there is no one who can promise to be there for us forever.
Mindfulness gives us the opportunity to catch the direction our mind is going. When the mind becomes angry, how does it feel? When the mind replaces thoughts of self concerns and needs with thoughts of giving and joy towards others’ achievements, how does it feel?
Why Discern with Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is discerning thoughts that arise based on conditions in the situations you face at work and at home. But why do we want to discern our thoughts?
Discernment with the aid of mindfulness brings us wisdom. Wisdom in living a contented life that breeds happiness from within. If we depended on the world to make us happy, chances are, we may never know lasting happiness. Happiness is a deliberate intention. Happiness can only be cultivated if we know how to play the right movie in our minds.
When the mind becomes jealous, we know it feels bad. When the mind is stingy, we know it feels similar to jealousy in that it feels bad – except jealousy gives a kind of sour feeling in the heart while stinginess tightens the heart. Knowing that these types of emotions can hurt our mind and body, we learn to refrain from them and transform these thoughts.
For example, we get jealous when someone we like go out with another person instead. In this case, we can contemplate that the person we like is happier with someone else and not us. There is no guarantee there is happiness even if we enter a relationship. It is easier to transform the feeling of stinginess. We can think of how others can benefit or have fun if we are able to give a little more. Of course, we give based on what we have and not what we do not have. Discernment includes taking care of our own well-being, without being selfish.
Mindfulness helps us change our habitual mind that might have been steeped in unhappiness or anxiety for too long. It can give a sense of security to our minds as well if we know how to use it. Get in touch with us for a mindfulness course so you can start learning to transform your mind.