Thursday, October 27, 2016

Mindfulness of Normal

Courtesy of Forest Farming Community
Recently, I revisited the practice of mindful meditation. For those who aren't aware, it’s simply the ability the focus on the moment.

Now think about it?  How many of us can focus on one thing; for example, a job to be done without distraction; multitasking, listening to headsets while cooking, watching television while texting, or thinking about a multitude of things while walking to work.  
How many of us can concentrate on a single, isolated thought for, say, one minute, 60 seconds?

When we think about mediation, we see ourselves sitting cross legged on the floor with  incense burning and Tibetian Bowls ringing.  Some can to do this in various yoga positions, or like me, through Tai Chi or Qigong.

But is this mindful?

I’m not a true expert, but I’ve been able to summarize mindfulness with these following words.

“Normal, nonjudgmental awareness of experiencing now.”

First word:  Normal.  

In my many years of martial arts training I meditated and attempted balance. It was not inconceivable, a notion, where we all, at one point of our life, sought balance. Television shows, social media and traditional sources reminded us of it.  

Courtesy of The Cracker Door
Just recently I had a conversation with a student who asked me to provide a simple explanation of balance.  I gave verbal examples; pushed him off center; showed him pictures of stones placed in perfect position so that they would remain in a perfect line without falling. Still confused, he asked if there was something else I could use to help him understand. Then I told him to think of the word “normal” and pointed to a tree outside and asked him if it required instructions on how to grow.

He looked at me and then said. “yes I now understand.”

We live in the world where we are pushed and pulled, sometimes knowing the causes, where, how and when...from different sources, many our fault, internally rooted. A lot of it are self-imposed. When he struggled with the word balance, he could not understand how to adjust.  

Each day, his life is based upon achieving goals and what contributes, competes and interchanges with his life. When I mentioned the word normal, as innocuous it sounds, it finally resonated that being normal in a very complicated world was difficult.

He asked how can a person start to become normal? I told him it starts by learning how to breathe normally, which means to breath correctly.

Courtesy of The Creative Post
So as an instructor and he the student, we both embarked on a journey of discovery.  What we did as part of our Tai Chi and Qigong training was to incorporate visualizing, feeling and thinking.  In a small way, we were attempting to balance our basic, emotional and intellectual needs and make them "normal."

This became a new frontier for me as an instructor whose goal is to help people grow.

And so, I’ll be posting my thoughts in future blogs to help bring an understanding to “mindfulness.”  As simple as it seems, it is not easy, and I will find “normal” solutions to help anyone understand and make changes in his/her lives for personal edification and development.




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