I’ve been practicing mindfulness for almost 12 years.
I practice every day. I practice being present. I practice coming back to this moment.
I get lost in thought, and I come back.
Then I get lost again, and I come back again.
I do this over and over and over again.
This is the practice.
We can all learn to be present, to come back to the present moment.
Our minds know how to suck us in, how to get our attention. They know the exact kinds of thoughts that will grab us, that will pull us in. They can have a tantalizing, seductive grip, a way of making us think we need to think about whatever it is they’re bringing us toward. So, we get pulled in, sucked in. We get lost in thought. We lose the moment. We lose ourselves.
This is natural, a tendency of our mind.
But we can train ourselves to be present, to come back to the present.
We can realize when we’re lost in thought and come back. We can come back to our breath, to this moment, to our body in space. We can come back to where we are, to right here, to right now.
This coming back to the present is something we can practice every day, all day, in any moment.
Whenever we get caught up in thought, whenever we get sucked into the mind, we can remember to come back to this moment, to our breath, to where we are right now.
Jon Kabat-Zinn has many wonderful quotes on mindfulness. Here are 10:
1. “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”
2. “The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.”
3. “The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.”
4. “Life only unfolds in moments. The healing power of mindfulness lies in living each of those moments as fully as we can, accepting it as it is as we open to what comes next—in the next moment of now.”
5. “Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now.”
6. “Guess what? When it comes right down to it, wherever you go, there you are. Whatever you wind up doing, that’s what you’ve wound up doing. Whatever you are thinking right now, that’s what’s on your mind. Whatever has happened to you, it has already happened. The important question is, how are you going to handle it? In other words, ‘Now what?’”
7. “We must be willing to encounter darkness and despair when they come up and face them, over and over again if need be, without running away or numbing ourselves in the thousands of ways we conjure up to avoid the unavoidable.”
8. “To allow ourselves to be truly in touch with where we already are, no matter where that is, we have got to pause in our experience long enough to let the present moment sink in; long enough to actually feel the present moment, to see it in its fullness, to hold it in awareness and thereby come to know and understand it better.”
9. “Just watch this moment, without trying to change it at all. What is happening? What do you feel? What do you see? What do you hear?”
10. “Give yourself permission to allow this moment to be exactly as it is, and allow yourself to be exactly as you are.”