More and more these days – and understandably so because of our fast-paced, unpredictable, and threatening times – we are hearing people talk of Mindfulness and Meditation. Sometimes they are used alone in a context and at other times synonymously.
The need for Mindfulness is a result of the compulsive thinking mind which, try as we may, is not easily tamed. How often we wish we could control our thinking or just turn it off.
Most of the time we are not in control of our mind. It seems to have a life of its own, and when not focused on a specific task or event, creates thoughts, emotions, assumptions, judgments that arise seemingly unbidden and are often negative and therefore unwelcomed.
Our thoughts can torture us at times. They create imagined fears, reminders of unfulfilled ambitions, evoke feelings of being less than or not good enough. They unearth regrets, guilt, envy, anger as easily as a pitch fork unearths soft ground. The Buddha said, “Whatsoever an enemy might do to an enemy or a foe to a foe, the ill-directed mind can do to you even worse.”