Mindfullness – A Pagans way to stresless thinking

A way of living which has been brought from Buddhism and westernised, is the practice of mindfulness. It is a mindset which has been incorporated with other techniques that the New Age culture has. It can be used in conjunction with meditation, Yoga and Tai Chi. It’s said to be beneficial to people who suffer with depression, anxiety, hyper activity, self esteem issues, stress related illnesses, pain and even dietary issues can be addressed using mindful eating. When “life happens”- this new way of thought processing can bring satisfaction through acceptance, a new way of dealing with problems and a new way of seeing the world around you. This new enlightened state comes from the abandonment of your perception of reality and the illusions which are created by it. It is about establishing awareness of bodily functions but also of mental processes and taking control of reactions to these. It is important to recognise one’s abilities and the boundaries of those said mental and physical capacities, because life is easier when you know these – A developed intuition helps a person to feel subtle changes in the body.
In the modern day world delusions are created by outside influences such by the media such as certain iconology. It is not for anyone to tell you how to behave or dictate to you how to live. Many people in the Pagan community look to the past, such as the Renaissance, to find a more harmonistic way of living. Just as many people within the New Age culture seek a way to shut out this noisy urban environment. To create a state of pure mindfulness these influences which have a hold on the brain must be stripped down and anything that is un-useful cut away. Anything which triggers negative thoughts will create an emotion and then a reaction to that which may be physical or verbal. These responses are normal and natural but can spiral out of control. This reaction is controlled by the primitive part of the brain and can be counter acted by the use of mindfulness and the distraction of breath. By staying in a present state, using concentration and focus we can watch the breath, shutting all else out. The aim of the exercise is not to control the breath or judge it but to calmly observe it. This technique takes much practice to stop the mind from wondering.
This state of being helps people to cope with daily life but also traumatic experiences, and it is said to help faster recovery from such events. It is more than living moment by moment and it is not simply something to be practiced once in a while but it is a way of life. To be mindful is to poses an understanding of events which occur, and as soon as they arrive are processed immediately in a non-judgemental way leading to clarity. In this way thoughts are not left to grow in size and emotions are not left to stagnate. It is important to be able to identify with thoughts rather than react negatively or push them away.  Grant yourself the freedom and right of control of your reactions. The New Age culture is not all hippy-dippy, it takes much of the good from the religions, beliefs and scientific fact which it is built on. Logical reasoning and rational thinking are properties which are a part of mindfulness and help to keep us grounded and in touch with reality, thus we are in touch with nature and the world around us, which is a goal that is sort after within the Pagan Religion.
Mindfulness is a state of awareness; the reason for every conscious and committed action is brought by a sensation or impulse. Some impulses should be restricted, just as something which causes unwanted sensations should be removed and other left “to be”. As soon as mindfulness is practiced self destructive tendencies are broken, concentration and memory improve and life is slowed down. It would be good to start with listening to your body, good thought processing and management of emotions. To be mindful is to be in touch with your core being and to learn to let go of that which is a burden like an old memory, full of trapped emotions like hurt or anger which are no use to you. To learn from the experience is good but to keep reliving it is bad. Release of emotional hang ups are important so that the brain does not have a build up of problems to solve. Detaching yourself and viewing things objectively is difficult but can help when approaching subjects connected with upsetting memories which need to be released. It can help to put things in perspective and permits exploration of self compassion rather than indulgent self pity.
Children are very good at being aware and observant and live very much in the present, and although their minds are always calculating they’re not reaching into the future. Acceptance of the present state can be very difficult, and this is why practicing retention of focus on an object is important, because this ensures that when life is stressful or when physical pain is felt; all can be shut out, in effect helping to eliminate the present mental or physical hurt.  One key feature in the practice is to notice one object and focusing on describing its shape, texture, size, colour and experiencing the sensations it gives you, whilst not letting the mind wonder. There are several techniques which could help one to practice mindfulness, helping to create a loving, trusting relationship with yourself but also to feel stillness whenever you need it, and one usually only found when meditating, at the top of a mountain, within a stone circle, with only the wind and the hills for company. To feel in control when placed in any situation thrown at you makes you a very powerful being and is the start to finding inner peace.  
Mindfulness fits in well with the Pagan religion and it is something which could be practiced with a meditation circle. It could help with boosting your personal energy and thus your magical output would be greater. The concentration level developed would help to better funnel energy needed for any magic workings needing focus. The time devoted to the calming of the mind would be beneficial to the openness needed to converse with spirit guides or conduct Mediumship. Living in the present would help to increase your empathy towards others when healing or counselling, without taking on others negative emotions. Mindfulness is more about acceptance than control, evaluation than judgement and observation rather than analytical thinking. The higher self is activated by the body and mind being connected – communicating with each other. When this is being achieved, the lower self or ego no longer has to be satisfied by menial tasks, which were once thought mandatory. The New Age way of life already comprises many of the features of mindfulness, and the two are easily combined to greater improvement of quality of life.

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