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Mindful : October 2019
Welcome Everything, Push Away Nothing To welcome something doesn’t mean we have to like it, and it doesn’t mean we have to agree with it; it just means we have to be willing to meet it. We temporarily suspend our rush to judgment and are simply open to what’s occurring. With welcoming comes the ability to work with what is pres- ent and what is unpleasant. After a while, we begin to discover that our happiness isn’t determined simply by what is external in our life but also what is internal. To be open means to embrace paradox and contradiction; it’s about keeping our minds and hearts available to new information, letting ourselves be informed by life. Openness welcomes the good times and the bad times as equally valid experiences. Openness is the basis of a skillful response to life. At the deepest level, this is an invitation to fearless recep- tivity. To welcome everything and push away nothing can’t be done as an act of will. This is an act of love. Mostly, we think of mindfulness as bringing a very precise attention to what’s happening, as it’s happening. In this way, we bring an almost laser-like attention to our practice. We bring a careful moment-to-moment attention to sensation, to thoughts, to emotions. But sometimes this kind of precise attention can create a sort of tension or struggle in the mind. This is when it’s more useful to try a practice that cultivates an open, boundless awareness. To develop a mind that is vast like space. To allow pleasant and unpleasant experiences to appear and disappear without struggle, resistance, or harm. So, let’s try this practice for welcoming everything and pushing away nothing. Settle back into your seat, relax, and come into the breath and body. Maybe let your eyes close if that feels comfor table for you. Let your breathing be very natural. Begin by being aware of the various sensations in your body: pressure, movement, tingling, the feel of the air on your hands and face. Just feel the waves of sensation. Now, let go of the idea of arms and legs and a body. Become aware of the area above your head. How far does that space extend? Let your awareness sense what’s to the left of you. What’s to the right of you? Let your awareness come into the area below your body. Is there any vibration in your feet or the floor? Let your awareness extend to the area behind your body, so it fills the whole room. Let your awareness be aware of what’s in front of the body, extending out as far as it possibly can, so that there’s this sense of openness, of boundless space; and all of the activities of body, heart, and mind are appearing and disappearing in that open, welcoming space. Explore acceptance in your mindfulness practice by embracing curiosity and fearless receptivity. By Frank Ostaseski m JOIN US Mindful30 Join Frank Ostaseski and other Mindful luminaries for our 2019 Mindful30 event. Sign up at mindful.org/ m30 PRACTICE 58 mindful October 2019