It seems as though everyone is throwing around the word “Mindfulness” these days. It’s sad when a word begins to lose its power due to common usage and familiarity. A video clip from Peaceful Warrior is one of my favorite illustrations of Mindfulness. It is about putting things in proper perspective and clearing the mind of unimportant, negative and distracting material. It is the goal for anyone attempting to live a life in Harmony with oneself and the Universe. In other words, it is the place at which we wish to arrive: Serenity!
Serenity has two main components. The first is that which is truly valuable. This is not always readily apparent even though it may seem to be common sense. In the movie, The Last Samurai two warriors discuss the meaning of “Bushido”, or the way of the warrior. They discuss the importance of ancestry, of finding Life in every day occurrences such as drinking tea, admiring cherry blossoms and breathing. All too often, those things are overshadowed by daily concerns such as paying bills, house or car repair, our children’s grades in school. We fail to appreciate the beauty and Joy that surrounds us and, as a result, fail to understand the degree to which we are fully and abundantly loved.
The second component of Serenity, and Mindfulness, is Joy. It could hardly be called “Serenity” if one were serious all the time and thinking only about what is “really important”. Life is to be enjoyed, savored, experienced. Moments of Joy fly past us daily, many of which are completely unseen. Yet this is the stuff that makes life worth living. This is the reason why we get up and go to work, why we spend hours toiling and struggling, why we pay those annoying bills… in order to enjoy those “simple pleasures”. Mindfulness calls upon us to remember those things and to “live in the moment”. It reminds us that the simplest things in Life are often the most important and cost very little. Mindfulness calls us to live in a place called Serenity and keep things in proper perspective, enjoying that which gives true Joy to the Spirit rather than working and striving for a cheap substitute. It invites us to live in the here and now realizing that we have no promise of tomorrow and that the past is gone; that this moment, right now, is all there “is”.