Mindful Living

Thich Naht Hanh had a really nice way of putting mindfulness...

Suffering is like an baby crying in a room. This could be your anger or your pain. Mindfulness is the mother who comes to sooth the baby. She does so tenderly and calmly. She also is curious about the origin of the suffering, or why the baby is crying. But she isn't upset about the baby being upset, she doesn't beat herself up that the she let the baby cry. She just cares for it.

The meditation to accompany this is:

Breathing in, I see myself as a 5 year old child.
Breathing out, I smile to my 5 year old child.

This emphasizes the feelings of vulnerability and dependency of a young child. These same feelings that are the root of our own pain/shame/anger. This mantra encourages you to show compassion for yourself.

Once you have determined the cause of your suffering, ex: your co-worker makes you very angry, you should do the same and imagine your co-worker as a young child.

Breathing in, I see my co-worker as a 5 year old child.
Breathing out, I smile to the 5 year old child.

This allows us to connect with the root human-ness of all beings. We all suffer the same way. We are all vulnerable and desiring happiness.

We are all worthy of compassion.