To focus the mind, allow the body to become as relaxed as possible for the sake of delving deeply into the mind as you do the mind appreciation meditation.
When we practice mindfulness exercises, we become more intimately aware of the nature of the mind. Among the infinite number of functions it is responsible for, the mind plans, predicts, rationalizes, assesses, and judges. While we might sometimes become fed up with all of this rampant activity, the capabilities of the mind are incredible. Rather than becoming caught up in all of its activity, we can practice mind appreciation to further enhance our awareness of its behaviours and to make the most of what it has to offer us.
Some spiritual teachings encourage transcendence of the mind, but another approach we can take is awareness and appreciation of it. The mind allows us to interact with the world in meaningful ways, and when inspired by our clearest and most authentic intentions, it is a powerful force that can be consciously directed. Before we point it in any direction, however, we can practice observing its flow (an inherent part of its nature) and harnessing appreciation and gratitude for the capabilities it provides us with. Rather than becoming caught up in or attached to its activities, we can zoom out to gain a better sense of the way it functions.
The mind can be used as a force for good when we are clear about the intentions and drives behind it. The more we practice various mindfulness exercises, the greater our sense of clarity, control, and focus becomes. We can also consider enrolling in a free 100 Day Mindfulness Challenge to help make mindfulness a new habit.
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]