What is the future anyway, but a thought in your head.
Have you ever been there? Have you ever visited this place that takes up so much attention?
For me, the future takes up a lot of airtime in my head, whether it’s a task I have to do or something that might happen in the future. As I watch this process unfold, I am amazed at the power and durability of this thinking pattern, which serves absolutely no purpose.
Of course, planning ahead is a useful skill, as is the ability to decide what to do next, but true change comes not from planning but from action, which can only be taken now.
So future is, at best, a pale shadow of something useful, or a precursor, a stage we move through before taking action, which is what really matters. Even future as a stage is often not needed, as spontaneous action can emerge without any planning necessary.
At worst, future is a massive drag, a burden that leads humanity down the path of procrastination (which requires a story of the future) and stupidity, because we’re hoping it will all work out in the end. The stress that this process creates is immense, as is the trail of destruction we leave as a future-focussed species.
So the next time you find yourself obsessing over this thing we call future, ask yourself:
Does it even exist?
The resource pictured below and attached was created for you. It is designed to make learning basic mindfulness skills deadly simple. If you like it, please download it, email it to a friend, share it on Facebook and print some out to stick up at your workplace. Comment below and let me know where you put/shared/sent them!
World peace is possible. Become a carrier!
Mindfulness Explained by Oli Doyle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://peacethroughmindfulness.com.au/mindfulness/.
Today I want to teach you how to practice mindfulness in two steps, possibly the simplest concrete teaching in the world. I also want to share the best resources I know for getting unstuck when you feel so angry, upset or lost in drama that you can’t manage even this simple process. Don’t worry, it happens to everyone.
And beyond your learning, I want to invite you, today, to teach this skill to someone else. That may sound like a challenge, but I will spell out how, once I have shown you the skill itself. It starts like this: […more]
Below is an email I sent to my good friend Carolyn, inspired by a common challenge people share with me; how to deal with pain in life through mindfulness.
Today I wanted to share an insight about working with pain, suffering and negative emotions in our mindfulness practice. It’s a common question I get, how to deal with physical and emotional pain using mindfulness, but I have found it more helpful to flip that question.
So how can you use pain to deepen your mindfulness?
First we need to understand the purpose of mindfulness, which is to wake up, to move from thinking about life to experiencing it directly. In that direct experience, there is peace, regardless of what is happening in that instant.
So why is pain so helpful? Because you can’t ignore it! It is easy to daydream your way through a day of good health when everything goes right. Try daydreaming with a splitting headache, a bad back or a broken heart, and you’ll find it’s nearly impossible.
But pain can still become a part of your story, something to think about it, unless you work with it skillfully, here’s how:
Instead of thinking about what caused the pain and how to alleviate it, take some time to experience it. Feel it as you would feel the sun on your back, make friends with the sensation we call pain and use this experience to become more present.
Surrendering to pain like this can quickly deepen your connection with now, but don’t be confused. I’m not suggesting you seek pain or inflict it on yourself, just let life’s frustrations, upsets and physical ups and downs come into your life without resistance.
Practice this and pain becomes fuel for the fire of your mindfulness.
Hope this helps,
In this free sample of my latest audio course, “Where Happiness Dwells”, I will take you quickly into a state of ease and peace with the simplicity of just this breath.
For more information on the course, click here.
If I was to tell you that happiness is who you are, rather than a state you experience, you might look at me funny. Humans are so confused that we believe happiness is something we can get, when really it’s something you have.
Come inside with me today and experience your true self, the experience of true happiness.
Today I would like to share my favourite mindfulness practice, the art of noticing the breath. If you would like to step into peace right now, all you need to do is this:
Notice what is feels like to breathe, but just for this breath. Close your eyes for a moment and try it…
Ok, now feel what it’s like to breathe this breath and notice what happens.
If you get really intimate with the feeling of this breath, thinking either stops or fades to the background, you move from thinking to experience. You also, in that breath, bring your focus into this instant, which is where experience (also known as life) happens.
Thinking, if you watch it, is all about time – past and future – while peace can only be experienced now.
So the essence of mindfulness is simple; think less, live more. The more attention you invest into life this moment, the less there is for painful, repetitive thinking. This shift leads to an ever deepening sense of peace, which is our natural state when thinking doesn’t obscure it.
So today, all you need to do is breathe and notice, breathe and notice, and watch how that peace starts to show itself in this instant.
Below is a photo of one of my favourite mindfulness teachers engaging in this wonderful practice…
In August 2014, I had a rare chance to interview Byron Katie, bestselling author of four books including ‘Loving What Is’, a book that literally changed my practice and my life.
Katie is sharp, awake and clear, and I found the experience of speaking with her delightful and enlightening. I hope it serves you.
Before you watch, I recommend downloading a ‘Judge Your Neighbour’ Worksheet here and filling it in. It will take 5 minutes, but you will get a whole lot more out of the conversation.
Come back on September 26th at 8pm (Greenwich Mean Time) for this live mindfulness class from Oli Doyle.
All human problems arise from the single belief that you exist separately from the rest of the world, so try this:
Close your eyes and take your attention inside right now and see if you can find that thing you call ‘Me’. Find something that is consistent (not like a thought, belief, feeling or body), and something that is undeniably you. Can you find it?
All I can find is awareness, that’s the one consistent part of my life experience, everything else changes.
And that awareness is the same in you, so lucky me, I stopped existing!
Now, life is easy, there’s no-one to be offended, upset, worried or anxious (except when I forget). And since you and I are the same, we can get on great, as I don’t need to compete with you, or fear you, or try to get something from you.
No self, no problem. Easy.