The Mindfulness Toolbox


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Gratitude is a means of shifting awareness and attention.
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It truly is a core mindfulness practice that can alter our mood—not to mention how we can perceive reality.
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Research has shown that gratitude is an evidence-based practice that is useful for mild to moderate depression.
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One study titled “Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life”—conducted by psychologists McCullough, Emmons, and Tsang and published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that those subjects who focused on gratitude and kept a journal reported themselves as being happier, more optimistic about their lives, and even exercised an hour and a half more per week than those subjects who did not practice gratitude.
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In her book, Gratitude , inspirational author Melody Beattie reminds us: Look closely at the ordinary in your life.
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While you’re being grateful, don’t forget to express pure, sheer gratitude for how
beautiful the ordinary really is.
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We can easily overlook the ordinary and take it for granted. The sun rises and sets, the seasons come and go, and we forget how beautiful and sensational the familiar really is.
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There are many forms of expressing gratitude.
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There’s the basic gratitude that Melody Beattie touches on in the aforementioned quote.
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This includes those commonplace and familiar things that are so easy to take for granted—like a roof over our head, a plentiful water supply, and a bed to sleep on, just to name a few.
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beyond Mindfulness

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Notice how your attention keeps wandering off and returning.
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Be aware of the movement of attention as it shifts from one thing to another, from thoughts to feelings to sensations and back again.
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In other words, be aware of awareness itself.
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In doing this, you’re accessing a level of awareness that’s prior to your usual habitual awareness.
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Now ask yourself: If I’m the one who’s aware of my thoughts, who is it who’s aware of the movement of awareness?
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In being aware of the thinking, am I not completely outside of the thinking process itself?
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Can I locate the one who is aware?
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Just sit with this inquiry and see what arises.
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Why Meditate? …. Watching Anxiety with Awareness

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If you notice that you have become anxious—when you are about to miss a plane, for instance—try to simply be fully aware of your anxiety.
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As you continue to do this, you will soon notice that your anxiety begins to be less oppressive and then gradually fades away.
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Why?
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Before you apply mindfulness, anxiety is the main component of your mind, filling its entire landscape.
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As you become aware of it, you experience both anxiety and the awareness of it.
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The part of your mind that is aware of anxiety is not anxious—it is just aware.
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Anxiety is now just one aspect of your mental landscape.
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As your awareness becomes more and more pervasive, anxiety loses its intensity and its grip on your mind.
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Eventually it vanishes.
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If every time a powerful emotion arises you learn to deal with it intelligently, not only will you master the art of liberating emotions at the moment they appear, but you will also erode the very tendencies that cause the emotions to arise.
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In this way, your character traits and your way of being will gradually be transformed.
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Happiness: Ricard

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One must practice the things which produce happiness,
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since if that is present we have everything

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and if it is absent we do everything in order to have it.
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EPICURUS
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Why Meditate: training the mind

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Tibetan master Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche reminds us, that “we don’t need to train our minds to improve our ability to get upset or jealous. We don’t need an anger accelerator or a pride amplifier.”
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By contrast, training the mind is crucial if we want to refine and sharpen our attention; develop emotional balance, inner peace, and wisdom; and cultivate dedication to the welfare of others.
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We have within ourselves the potential to develop these qualities, but they will not develop by themselves or just because we want them to.
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They require training.
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And all training requires perseverance and enthusiasm, as I have already said.
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We won’t learn to ski by practicing one or two minutes a month.
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Awakening to the Dream: Leo Hartong

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Giving up one’s expectations in favor of a willingness to simply accept what is may create a vacuum that could be filled with surprising alternatives.
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For instance, it might be recognized that finding does not come from seeking, but that it may be revealed through giving up the search; that it is not something to see, but the seeing itself; that cherished beliefs might be unmasked as conceptual obstacles, and spiritual practices may turn out to be a way of avoiding a direct seeing into the heart of the matter.
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This direct seeing exposes the illusion of a separate seeker who can arrive at  ‘destination enlightenment’ somewhere in the future.
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Consequently, the seeking and the seeker are both annihilated in the realization that he is already home.
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life has no other discipline

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    Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly.
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    Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end.
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    What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind.
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    Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.
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    Henry Miller
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