Practice Mindfulness – Open Yourself to Miracles
“When we practice mindfulness in our daily lives, says Thich Nhat Hanh, we open to the wonders of life and allow the world to heal and nourish us”.
Do You See Everyday Miracles?
Are you ready to Open Yourself To Miracles? I haven’t posted lately on my practice of mindfulness… But I did get to thinking just the other day…
It is Spring… a time for new growth and babies … trees and flowers are blooming; birds are singing happily in our backyard as they are making their nests; and we even have a squirrel… yes, even in the city we can get squirrels.
Not sure about you, but I can get stuck in a rut where I am wishing my days away! It’s been a really long cold winter and I find myself saying things like – can’t wait for the warmer weather so I can get out and walk.
I drag myself into work on Monday mornings, saying I can’t believe it is only Monday and by Wednesday I’m wishing that the weekend was here!
How about you – do you get into these ‘funks’ sometime? I think it’s normal to feel like this sometime where we are wishing for that summer vacation or special holiday or weekend retreat.
A normal day is something we just have to get through until we can have fun! Our everyday life gets to be routine and for lack of a better word ‘boring’. We end up wishing our lives away as we wait for something better or that great future activity.
I propose we look at what a day might look like if we were to change that mindset. Perhaps we need to look at things from a different perspective.
How would your days look if you thought of EACH AND EVERY DAY AS A MIRACLE?
Miracles do not have to be big. They can be just those small every day – ‘little things’ that we often take for granted.
As Thich Nhat Hanh says, “But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize. A blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black curious eyes of a child, our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
Mindfulness is a wonderful way to stay in the present moment and bring about that positive energy that attracts those positive things around you.
The practice of conscious breathing and mindful walking or mindful sitting can help us handle the negative energy that can stir inside us or be all around us.
When you live in the moment, you can generate those energies of focus, insight and mindfulness. It’s these energies that bring about the joy, clarity and happiness you are seeking.
YOUR THINKING CAN BRING ABOUT HAPPINESS OR SUFFERING
Some people believe there can be no happiness without suffering. Often your thinking can bring about suffering in some people, but it can also make you feel free.
Have you ever noticed that whenever you are around a group of people, many of the people in the room can have a positive and happy manner, but others are more negative and unhappy.
WHAT IS ‘RIGHT VIEW’ THINKING?
“Right view” (samyak-dṛṣṭi / sammā-diṭṭhi) or “right understanding according to Wikipedia is one of the eight practices of the Noble Eightfold Path. “ In early Buddhism, these practices started with understanding that the body-mind works in a corrupted way (right view), followed by entering the Buddhist path of self-observance, self-restraint, and cultivating kindness and compassion; and culminating in dhyana or samadhi, which re-inforces these practices for the development of the body-mind.”
It is thought that we need ‘Right View Thinking’ to help us stop our suffering. If there is a group of people living in the same environment, some may be happy and others unhappy. It’s the ability to be a ‘happy’ thinker that is a quality of Right View’ thinkers.
There appears to be some people who are naturally more able to be positive. These people are often referred to as ‘Right View’ thinkers.
They are the types of people who appreciate the little things in life; like the presence of the sun and getting in touch with nature, and all the wonders of life that are around and inside us.
These little things in life are those ‘little miracles’ we experience every day.
But there are some people who don’t have this ability to get in touch with these wonderful things. These people tend to be more negative and see suffering all around them.
Both of these types of people (positive and negative) live their lives in similar conditions and environments, so why are the negative people not happy too?
The conditions of their lives are exactly the same as those of the people who are happy, so why are some people happy and others not?
The answer might be that ‘unhappy’ people may not be able to have a ‘Right View’ thinking mindset. It’s proposed that factors that cause one person to suffer may not cause suffering in another person.
If you are interested in learning more about “Right thinking” (samma sankappa) is the result of right view (samma ditthi) and how to prevent suffering, check out the Tricycle online magazine.
Here’s an excerpt from Tricycle: “If you want to stop suffering, the Buddha taught, there is an eightfold path of practice to that end: right view, right motivation, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. While the word right: carries connotations of orthodox correctness, it is a misleading translation of the Pali word samma, which means perfected, completed, or consummated. The eight limbs of the path are not eight steps to be taken consecutively, but are to be worked on simultaneously. Like the eight branches to one trunk or eight tributaries flowing into one river, each is essential to the elimination of suffering. Of these limbs, none seem plainer than “right speech” or samma-vaca, yet samma-vaca is a powerful practice, and one that we can do anywhere, anytime, and with anyone.”
BE FULLY PRESENT OR MINDFUL
With the practice of mindfulness, you can use your breath in breathing and mindful walking to bring you to the present moment. Essentially you are bringing your wandering mind back to your body.
When your body and mind are brought back together in the present, you are able to ‘get in touch’ with all the little miracles of everyday living.
Mindfulness helps you get in touch with all of these things that are going on with your body, feelings, and perceptions. You can also use mindfulness to see all those other beautiful big or small miracles around you.
Each morning when you wake up, take a deep breath and get in touch with the most important miracle – life!
Through mindfulness, you can find all those little miracles that can heal and nourish you. Mindfulness can bring you joy and happiness.
LITTLE MIRACLES NOW
I decided to take a couple of days and look for all the things around me that could be considered a miracle. I spent some time walking around the small man-made lake by our house. I sat outside on the back deck and listened and watched the birds. I kept my eye out looking for ‘little miracles’ as I drove to work in the morning and home in the evening…
WHAT DID I FIND?
As I was taking my walk I decided to do a bit of mindful breathing. This activity brought about that AH HA moment that – I’m Alive; You’re Alive. Just the fact that we are alive is a miracle in itself.
My daughter is just a few months pregnant and will soon be bringing a new life into this world. We were all once part of that birth process and started out in someone’s womb your birth was a miraculous event.
Do you find yourself running from place to place? You are going so fast sometimes you may feel like you are flying through your day. I suggest that you slow down, pause and look around you right now… Do you see anything that can be considered a ‘little miracle?
As I stopped and paused I could see in front of me a beautiful ‘honking’ Canada goose. He / she seemed to be looking for a place to nest. As I watched her, another goose swooped in. It was pretty apparent the two were looking for a place to nest. Although it was a beautiful sight to see, I’m so glad they didn’t decide to use the roof of our house to nest on!
While out for my walk on a different day. I could feel the warm Spring sun on my face. I was enjoying the warmth and heat of yet another of the miracles we experience every day without giving it much thought.
When you think about the sun, the earth and the sky. You become more aware of the rhythms and cycles of the earth and planets around you. The sun rises every day and the moon sets in the sky every night.
The stars are in the sky even on the days when you can’t always see them due to a cloudy rainy day. Every 24 hours the earth spins on its axes and we get a brand new day. (Miraculous)
Nature will run its course and our seasons change and we don’t have to do anything to make these things happen. They are ‘little miracles’ that we often do not even notice most days.
One day at work, as I was heading to the cash register to pay for my morning coffee, the person in line ahead of me paid for the coffee and muffin of an elderly person in line right behind him. He made this person’s day! This Random act of kindness, was yet another one of those ‘little miracles’ I encountered in my day.
Have you ever thought about how we are a mix of many cultures? I have noticed that there are more and more people speaking their native tongue in our city. Often many of these people have little or no English. I’m touched and amazed at the patience and kindness afforded not only to our new comers, but how it is reciprocated back.
It is amazing how we are still able to communicate, with each other despite the language barrier.
Okay, this little miracle was somewhat unexpected. I came home from work and the power had been out for a bit, but had just recently came back on. What was still not responding was our WiFi.
I wanted to get some writing in on this article so that I could get it posted, but unfortunately the technology was not cooperating. This led me to the appreciation of miracle 6.
Have you become dependent on technology? As I waited for the internet to come back online, I realized how much the way we research, publish, communicate our ideas has changed over the last decade.
Technology is something we rely on every day! Whether it is our smartphone, laptop, tablet – most people have some kind of tech in their lives.
It is amazing that we can now gain access information on just about any topic we want from anywhere in the world from the comforts of our living room.
What about your body! I am mentioning it under ‘little miracles’ but really it is quite miraculous how all the parts of our body work together to keep us alive. Your heart pumps blood to all parts of your body; your lungs take care of your oxygen needs; your skin regenerates; you liver performs many countless jobs to help keep you healthy.
I’m going to combine Friends and Family. I can’t count how many times I’ve appreciated my family and friends over the past few days. I’ve shared my thoughts, hopes, dreams, and troubles of the day with those around me. The support, caring, understanding of family and friend is yet more wonderful ‘little miracles’ that It is everyday miracles that have shown up over the past few days.
There were just a few examples of the ‘little miracles’ that I saw in those few days.
Should we just think of our days as getting through each day until the next exciting ‘big’ event is scheduled or should we savor each and every ‘little miracle’ that we encounter throughout our day.
It’s so exciting to witness these ‘little miracles’ that surround us all the time. Best of all – YOU JUST HAVE TO OPEN YOUR EYES AND YOUR MINDS TO APPRECIATE THEM!
Mary Jean Irion sums this up nicely with her quote – “Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.” ~ Mary Jean Irion
MY FINAL THOUGHTS… ENERGY OF MINDFULNESS OPENS YOU TO ‘LITTLE MIRACLES’
Practicing mindfulness can ‘open yourself to miracles’. Mindfulness makes things real and alive. You can practice mindful walking, sitting, breathing or just pause and notice your surroundings.
When you allow mindfulness to be a part of your everyday activities and events you open yourself up to happiness. You don’t need to hurry and rush through your day.
Take time to slow down and make each moment count. With mindfulness and focus, we can learn to enjoy every moment that is given to us.
What do you thinks? Do you practice Mindfulness? Has it opened your mind to miracles? Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you.
Quote: “Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Affirmation: Today I am filled with positive energy.
Until next time,
P.S. Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links; I may receive a small commission from the various links but there is no extra charge to you.