The word “mindfulness” has the connotation of knowing how to live in the present moment, leaving aside the no-longer-existent past and the not-yet-arrived future.
When we stop worrying about things that are out of our hands, it is truly liberating. In order to achieve this, we must examine ourselves.
The Dalai Lama (2015) affirms:
“… There are several methods we can use as tools to examine ourselves, which enable us to embark on the path of self-discovery and development.”
(The World of Tibetan Buddhism. Page 4)
Here we will explore two effective methods used in Tibetan Buddhism, as well as other traditions: single-pointed meditation and analytic meditation.
The single-pointed meditation method comprises focusing our attention on an object, to develop attention and concentration in ourselves. This is the first step.
Although we could use many objects (such as a flower, a statue, or a photograph), we use breath itself since this is a neutral object and causes fewer distractions.
Our minds are absorbed in the distraction and chaos of everyday life. As we progressively develop more attention and concentration and thereby gain control of our mind, we will lead a calmer and more orderly life, with less stress.
All family members can practice this simple but effective meditation.
After calming our mind, the second step is to learn how to practice analytical meditation.
The aim of analytical meditation is to observe our own mind and recognize its reaction to external factors, which can be positive, negative, or neutral.
Then, by being aware of this mental process within us, we understand that feeling happy, angry, or calm depends only on ourselves, not on external conditions.
We apply this training constantly to the analysis of the main disturbing emotions such as anger, jealousy, pride, and sadness. It is in our hands to change the way we perceive the outside world, and thereby become more balanced, healthier, and happier people.