Example Of Buddhist Concept Of Mindfulness And The Effect On One's Well-Being Essay
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Mindfulness is defined as being awake or aware of the present moment, thoughts and feelings without putting too much thought on whether they are right or wrong. According to Hanh, we are gifted with 24 hours each day and it upon us to choose to spend them well. We have enormous blessings right here, whether it is peace or joy they are all within our reach, and we do not have to travel far to feel them. The problem we have is that we prepare for tomorrow but forget to live today (Nhất Hạnh and Kotler pg.20). Smiling is one method we can use to awaken us to our present moments (Nhất Hạnh and Kotler pg.21). Hanh suggests that we should train ourselves to smile first thing in the morning and even go ahead and have something that will remind us to smile, it can be a flower or a painting on the wall (Nhất Hạnh and Kotler pg.21). Another way to make sure we are aware of our present moment would be conscious breathing. According to Hanh, when we practice conscious breathing our minds and body reconnect making us whole again (Nhất Hạnh and Kotler pg.24). Hanh suggests that we should say the following words when doing conscious breathing, “Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment. I know this is a wonderful moment!”(Nhất Hạnh and Kotler pg.25).
In his book, miracle of mindfulness, Hanh says that when we are doing something we should try to focus on that one thing and be aware of what it is that we are doing. For instance, if it is washing dishes, we should only wash dishes and be present to the fact that we are washing dishes (Nhất Hạnh and Vo-Dinh pg.20). Hanh says that we should not do something so that we can move on to the next activity on the list. He uses the example of washing dishes so that we can take tea after washing dishes. Therefore, we wash dishes so that we can sit down and take tea and in the process of washing dishes we are only thinking of the tea and not what we are doing at the moment (Nhất Hạnh and Vo-Dinh pg.22). We end up not feeling or thinking of what we are doing and repeat this process over and again, so when we are taking tea we are thinking of the next activity. When we learn to be awake to our present moment, we will see the many miracles that surround us, from nature, trees, and children playing (Nhất Hạnh and Vo-Dinh pg.29).
Mindfulness helps us avoid behaviors of doing things and not being that we are doing them (Grabovac, Lau and Willet pg.6). This is achieved when we continually try to listen to our thoughts and identify what we are thinking. When we catch ourselves thinking of the future or the past, we should immediately stop and focus on the present. Mindfulness likewise assists to help us understand that when we run away from pain or when we seek after pleasure we will continue to feel miserable. Feelings and thoughts of pain only last for a short time and we should not interpret them as who we are rather as reactions of our bodies. Impacts of mindfulness last forever and they help us reconnect with our inner self and help us view life with a more positive approach (Grabovac et al.pg.6).
Grabovac, Andrea. Lau, Mark. Willet, Brandilyn. Mechanisms of mindfulness: A Buddhist psychology model. Integrative health partners (2011): 1-13. PDF file
Nhất Hạnh, Thich and Kotler, Arnold. Peace Is Every Step. New York, N.Y.: Bantam Books, 1991. Print.
Nhất Hạnh, Thich and Vo-Dinh, Mai. The Miracle of Mindfulness. Boston: Beacon Press, 1987. Print.
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