By Pamela J. Wells
When you are consciously aware, you are 100% present and consciously aware of your thoughts, what you are doing, what you see, hear, smell, feel. You are fully present and not off somewhere else in your mind. You are not thinking about the past or the future. You are mentally present and aware of what you are doing at that moment. If you are washing dishes, you are 100% present and consciously aware of washing the dishes. You are not mentally distracted by something else. When someone is talking to you, you are 100% present, consciously aware of what they are saying to you. You are listening to every word that they are saying and not thinking about something else. Conscious awareness involves the mind and being alert, being aware of what you are doing or thinking or seeing in the present moment. Awareness, by itself, does not involve the mind and thinking. What I am talking about is conscious awareness. I will discuss awareness in another article.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk, teaches the <a href=”http://www.plumvillage.org/mindfulness-practice.html” target=”_blank”>Art of Mindful Living</a>, which is being awake and aware to the present moment—what you are doing and who you are with—whether you are washing dishes or driving your car, you are mindful of what you are doing. You are mindful of even the smallest tasks: walking, sitting, eating, and brushing your teeth. Being consciously aware or mindful of what you are doing at any given moment is a great way to relax and calm your mind and be fully present in what you are doing. Thinking about other things, such as dwelling on things that you need to do, or thinking about something that happened in the past, or worrying about the future, only causes stress.
When you slow your mind down, pause, and then make the decision to be consciously aware of what you are doing and not off somewhere else in your mind, you are then able to relax and feel peaceful; so you can experience your natural state of peace, not just in traditional meditation, where you are sitting in a certain position and silencing your mind, but you can relax and feel peaceful with whatever it is you are doing. And if you are with another person, your attention is on them, being there for them, being fully present, and listening to them, showing that you care. When you are consciously aware of the other person, listening to them, and what they are saying to you, this brings more peace and openness to the relationship. The relationship is in harmony. You are in tune with that other person.
Pick one thing to start out with and to be consciously aware of, such as when you are washing dishes or washing your hands; and then, the more you practice and get used to that, you can then practice being consciously aware of other things and another person, when you are in their presence.
<p style=”text-align: center;”>Copyright © 2012 Pamela J. Wells. All Rights Reserved
Originally Published on February 24, 2012</p>