• Deborah Bowman

Doorway of Mindfulness

Updated: Oct 20, 2019

"Heaven is indeed a beautiful place but I will not enter it until I have united it with this world in which I live." Houn Jiyu Kennett

One of the best doorways to heaven on earth is mindfulness. Mindfulness helps us notice the beauty in little things; the kindness of our neighbor, the humor in our crazy world and the warmth of our own heart.

Some imagine mindfulness is a cold and distant practice of observation. When we actually take the time to look and feel and hear the world we touch reality with every fiber of our being. This penetrating experience vanishes boundaries and connects us to the richness of our universe.

This kind of contact sounds magnificent yet can also be a little scary. Without practical in-the-world boundaries we are vulnerable to things that may not be so nice. Opening to the bounty of the world takes courage and the practice of mindfulness can be a way of developing this courage one step at a time.

With a step-by-step practice we being to crack open the door of awareness and slowly develop a nuanced approach to opening up. Our hearts open in compassion to our own tangled thoughts and weird patterns. We recognize the suffering behind other people’s troubled behaviors. We learn to hold a sense of boundless love even if we still need to lock our doors at night.

Mindfulness is as much a doorway to the heart as it is to the mind. In fact, this term is often confusing to westerners as we associate the mind to the brain. Mindfulness is a term from Buddhism and eastern culture where the “mind” is considered an amalgam of heart and mind.

Entering the mind is entering the heart where all things are accepted. When we accept the world in which we live, as it is, we see with eyes of clarity and a heart of understanding. Only when we see clearly and understand deeply can we transform what we see, whether it is prejudice, injustice or a misunderstanding. And isn’t this realization the closest thing to heaven on earth?

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