Consciousness

Mindfulness Concepts

Introduction

The following is a list of essential elements of mindfulness. It is intended to work as a reference for mindfulness-related material we post on this site.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is being consciously aware of the present without judging it.

The Two Worlds

The Two Worlds are the Thought World and the Present Now. Mindfulness is about experiencing the present now.

The Thought Bubble

Our name for the thought world. This is where analytical and emotional thinking take place. Here we think about the past and the future. This is where we experience our dreams, hopes, ideas, doubts, worries and fears.

Thought Loop

We are stuck in a thought loop when we repeat the same thought pattern over and over. This is common if you worry about something, or if you regret or blame yourself for something that happened.

It is common to get stuck in thought loops, and we tend to think the same thoughts over and over again, day after day. Mindfulness is a way to break such patterns.

True Reality

Our name for the physical present. The here and now of our existence.

The Present Now

What exists here and now. The present now is also referred to as "The Ever-Present Now". Now is always present, and we always exist here and now. To emphasize our physical existence, we use the concept of the "Physical Present"

The Physical Present

The physical present is your body and your surroundings. The ground you are standing on. The air that you are breathing. Directing your awareness to your senses and to the physical present, is a method for exiting the thought bubble and becoming present here and now.

Being Conscious

To be conscious means being aware and knowing that you are aware. It is the ability to observe yourself. To know that you know.

The Witnessing Consciousness

As far as scholars can tell, the concept of the Witnessing Consciousness has its origins in the ancient traditions of Yoga and Buddhism.

Perhaps you can feel something in your body that you feel is "me". That is your consciousness you are feeling.

You can think about something, and then think about something entirely different, but you are still you. You can be sad in one moment, and then be happy in the next moment, but you are still you. You can hold a strong opinion and then later change your opinion entirely, but you are still you.

The Witnessing Consciousness is your inner me that has the ability to observe and experience its own existence.

According to the distinction between consciousness and thoughts, we are not the thoughts we have, we are not the emotions we experience, we are not the likes and dislikes, or the opinions we hold, and we are not the will.

We are the consciousness that experiences all of this.

When we are experiencing ourselves from the point of view of the Witness, we can become free from thoughts about the past and the future, free from emotions, stress and worries. In contact with a state of pure existence.

Mindfulness Scripts

A script is a sequence of words (or "mantras" or "affirmations") that is used to direct awareness to what is here and now.

By using a script, focus is shifted from the thought world to the physical present. Following a script helps to break thought loops and get out of stressful thinking.

Since expressing likes and dislikes drags us back into the thought bubble, scripts use "value-free" words that don't express an opinion or judgment about the present.

You can say a script to yourself (silently or aloud), or listen to a guided recoding of a script. The use of guided recordnings are common in mindfulness. To say the script to yourself (from memory) presents an opportunity to do mindfulness regardless of location and access to an audio device.

Here is an example of a script for coming into contact with the present:

  • I am conscious

  • I am present

  • I am aware of the air that surrounds me

  • I feel my breath

  • I am breathing in

  • I am breathing out

  • I exist here and now

Mindfulness script - Follow a script to connect with the present

Mindfulness script - Follow a script to connect with the present

Being Present

Attention is here and now, not thinking about that which is elsewhere.

One can be present without being conscious. For example, you can be entirely immersed into what you are doing right now (painting, running, swimming). Then you are in a state of "flow".

When you are consciously present, you know that you are present.

Non-Judgmental

To observe or experience something without judging it. This is very fundamental to mindfulness.

Letting go of the judgmental mind is a key to coming into contact with the present now.

As soon as we start analyzing, we are pulled back into the thought bubble.

We may never completely stop thinking, but we can quiet the analytical and emotional part of the mind. This is done by shifting focus to the present with the intenton to experience it as it is. We do that by using a "value-free" mindset to describe and experience the present now.

This is what mindfulness scripts do. The scripts redirect our awareness to the present without using wording that judge or project a value stament onto what is here and now.

Stillness

Absence of emotions and stressful thoughts. A state of tranquillity and calm.

Acceptance

To let it be as it is without having to do anything about it right now. This is a bit like "giving up", but it does not mean you have to accept what is as a permanent condition. It is like saying to yourself, "I accept it is like this right now, since I cannot do much about it at the moment."

Acceptance is related to being non-judgmental.

A main point of acceptance is that there is little use getting irritated or upset by something that you cannot do much about anyway.

Concluding Remark

In our view, mindfulness is not about giving up your will, or your values, and passively accept everything that happens.

Mindfulness is the ability to move between the Two Worlds, the Thought World and the Present Now, so that you don't have to be controlled by your thoughts all the time.

To practice letting go of your thoughts can be like a "mental shower", and open up for seeing your life more clearly.

You can find out what you truly value in life, and stop nitpicking and obsessing over issues that in the end turn out to be of little significance.

Mindfulness is meant to bring perspective and make life less stressful and more enjoyable, by letting go of thoughts and beliefs that have been implanted in us during our lives. It is taking back who we are, experiencing a state of mind few people know about. It is about sharing this knowledge.

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