Mindfulness is a conscious awareness of being in-the-moment of living. The mind is free to feel feelings and think thoughts in real time while paying attention to every sentient thing. The senses are awake and enlivened with a clarity that arouses a deep spiritual connection. It’s a state of right relationship to our surroundings, our relationships, our Self and all the Universe, regardless of life condition. Mindfulness helps us achieve homeostasis which allows our body’s natural wisdom to maintain a stable, constant condition while internal and external factors are changing. This synergy of mental and physical functions promotes optimal health and equilibrium. The basis of wellness is balance. Wellness is a dynamic, hopeful state of positive health in mind, body and spirit, at any moment and in any environment, that nurtures creative potential in all aspects of living.
Take TIME to be mindful. Yes, take some T-I-M-E for Y-O-U. Pause to find personal balance and be consciously aware of everything and nothing. Be in this moment, in your mind, in the place where you are, with others or alone, with the natural world, and with your creative nature. Tune into the senses. What do you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel at every level of your being? What do you intuit and imagine? What brings you to stillness? Can you detach from the negative chatter and personal fears that steal your mind, and without judgement, be compassionate towards Self and all that exists in this moment? The practice of mindfulness is a way to wellness because it focuses awareness and requires us to be present. This conscious state heightens our sensory perception and activates the flow of creativity. Mindfulness isn’t about creative doing its about creative being, though an expressive experience may be what’s happening in that moment. Mindfully, any task or situation can open the flow of creative expression. Embracing and releasing what we are feeling and thinking makes the still mind full, and fills our heart with peace and bliss.
The joy of this peacefulness can be achieved by anyone at anytime through a combination of mindfulness, moral discipline and wisdom, so the Buddha teaches. Nirvana is here within us, in this moment, in this place. We must overcome inevitable human suffering to find our inner light by our own mastery and live in the balanced Middle Way, an early Buddhist concept of wellness, and by understanding the transitory nature of life and the interconnectedness of everything. May is the month when the birth of Siddhartha Gautama is celebrated, a spiritual seeker who 2,500 years ago became the Buddha. A spring full moon was the time when, at age 35, he achieved enlightenment and “awakened” after a mindful meditation under a Bodhi Tree. Blessings to the Buddha, and to all Buddhists celebrating the sacred traditions of the May full moon. Blessings to the people of Nepal and the victims of the earthquake, and prayers for recovery and rebuilding. From ruin to resilience, the Buddha’s love and light emanates in every sentient being and place, always.
Inspired and awake? With spring in full bloom join me for a peaceful retreat at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art on Friday, May 29, 10am to noon. Art HOPE Drawing on the Moment: The Art of Mindfulness is an opportunity to tune into the senses and enjoy the wellness benefits of creative mindfulness through observational drawing, writing, and being in-the-moment in the Museum’s galleries and gardens. I am an Ogunquit artist and pleased to host this special expressive arts gathering in my hometown, truly a beautiful place by the sea.