1. Healing the Divided Self: Our challenge is to learn to accept all of ourselves, not just the parts that we like. Holding all aspects of ourselves gently and with compassion is what heals the divided self and brings unity to our consciousness. ~ Paul Ferrini
2. The Sleeping Christ/Buddha: Each person can overcome separation and rediscover and reclaim the inner unity. The inner unity represents the birth of the One Self within our consciousness. In Truth, each self is the One Self. Every man or woman is either a waking or sleeping Christ or Buddha. ~ Paul Ferrini
3. “Mindfulness is the quality and power of mind that is aware of what’s happening — without judgment and without interference. It is like a mirror that simply reflects whatever comes before it. It serves us in the humblest ways, keeping us connected to brushing our teeth or having a cup of tea. It keeps us connected to the people around us, so that we’re not simply rushing by them in the busyness of our lives. The Dalai Lama is an example of someone who beautifully embodies this quality of caring attention: after one conference in Arizona, His Holiness requested that all the employees of the hotel gather in the lobby so that he could greet each one of them before he left for his next engagement.
The Buddha also spoke of mindfulness as being the path to enlightenment: “This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearing of pain and grief, for the attainment of the Way, for the realization of nirvana.”
We can start the practice of mindfulness meditation with the simple observation and feeling of each breath. Breathing in, we know we’re breathing in; breathing out, we know we’re breathing out. It’s very simple, although not easy. After just a few breaths, we hop on trains of association, getting lost in plans, memories, judgments and fantasies. This habit of wandering mind is very strong, even though our reveries are often not pleasant and sometimes not even true. As Mark Twain so aptly put it, “Some of the worst things in my life never happened.” So we need to train our minds, coming back again and again to the breath, simply beginning again.
Slowly, though, our minds steady and we begin to experience some space of inner calm and peace. This environment of inner stillness makes possible a deeper investigation of our thoughts and emotions. What is a thought—that strange, ephemeral phenomenon that can so dominate our lives? When we look directly at a thought, we see that it is little more than nothing. Yet when it is unnoticed, it wields tremendous power. Notice the difference between being lost in a thought and being mindful that we’re thinking. Becoming aware of the thought is like waking up from a dream or coming out of a movie theater after being absorbed in the story. Through mindfulness, we gradually awaken from the movies of our minds.” ~ Joseph Goldstein