In this video we will discuss how to be mindful at all times. We are frequently implored to be mindful, which is generally interpreted as being more aware and intentional. However, this interpretation of mindfulness requires a constant state of mental tension that is hard to maintain and actually contradicts the deeper meaning of what it means to be mindful.
In order to be mindful at all times the subconscious must be purified and the conscious mind calmed. In addition to having the subconscious and conscious minds purified and calmed our awareness needs to be identified primarily with that aspect of our awareness which is witnessing awareness.
Generally speaking the mind can be thought of as having three different aspects. There is the subconscious mind which is those thoughts, emotions and memories which are not in conscious awareness but may intentionally or unintentionally be brought into conscious awareness. The conscious mind is the voice in your head. It is those thoughts and emotions that you are currently aware of at any given moment.
These two aspects of consciousness are sometimes thought of as an iceberg. The larger portion which is the subconscious being underwater and unseen, with the smaller portion which is the conscious mind jutting up above the water and in sight.
In addition to these two aspects of mind there is that aspect which we call the witness or witnessing awareness. This aspect of awareness is without content or object. It is a state of awareness that is unmodified by exterior or interior circumstances. It simply witnesses activity unfold.
When we are in a state of witnessing of awareness we are operating from the heart and third eye, and not the solar plexus. Therefore, in an energetic sense the process of becoming more mindful is one of raising our state of consciousness from the solar plexus seat of consciousness to the higher energy centers. When you are stabilized in the higher energy centers you will be mindful at all times.
In order to experience witnessing awareness we need only close our eyes, take a deep breath, move your awareness to the third eye, and wait and watch for a thought to arise. That aspect of awareness waiting and watching for a thought to arise is the witness. The amount of time it takes for a thought to arise can be thought of as the “gap” between the witness and conscious thoughts, which generally speaking is a gauge of how mindful you are. Some may have little to no gap and experience no cessation of thoughts, others may be able to sit comfortably in a thoughtless state for an indefinite period of time. We all exist somewhere on the spectrum.
Mindfulness takes practice. Just like most people can run a few steps but must diligently train to run a marathon, most people can be a little mindful without much practice. However, to be mindful all the time requires daily practice and effort.
The foundation of being mindful is a daily practice of effective meditation. At least once a day for twenty to thirty minutes practice calming the subconscious and conscious mind and identifying your awareness with that aspect of your consciousness which witnesses both. This can be done with a simple breath awareness practice or use of a mantra.
Christian mystic Thomas Keating calls meditation the divine therapy. Because as we calm our mind and develop our identification with witnessing awareness there is a natural detoxing of the subconscious mind and simplifying of the conscious mind. As that happens we are able to operate more and more from that state of witnessing awareness all the time. In so doing we become peaceful, loving and fearless as our default state of being.
Being mindful at all times may seem impossible for many of us. But we can all strive to be more mindful today than we were yesterday. Through daily practice our default seat of awareness naturally moves to the higher energy centers. It then becomes easy to notice when you have been pulled into a reactive state of awareness and are identified with your conscious mind and solar plexus. When that happens you know you just need to move your awareness upward to the heart and/or third eye once more and become the witness.