Mindfulness (quotes)


Mindfulness is giving non-judgmental attention to what is here now


Attention is a magical thing that can transform life

  • I think the one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention. Diane Sawyer     
  • Life is denied by lack of attention, whether it be to cleaning windows or trying to write a masterpiece. Nadia Boulanger
  • The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention. Julia Cameron
  • To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work. Mary Oliver
  • Living mindlessly . . . takes an enormous toll. What we get from each moment depends on the attention we give it, and the quality of our experience reflects the quality of our awareness.  Roger Walsh
  • AttentionAwarenessMeditationLive in the presentPresenceBeing

Mindfulness is about deepening your attention and awareness…

  • We hear the word “mindful” more and more these days, but what does it actually mean? Being mindful simply means having good control over your attention: you can place your attention wherever you want and it stays there; when you want to shift it to something else, you can. When your attention is steady, so is your mind: not rattled or hijacked by whatever pops into awareness, but stably present, grounded, and unshakable. Attention is like a spotlight, and what it illuminates streams into your mind and shapes your brain. Consequently, developing greater control over your attention is perhaps the single most powerful way to reshape your brain and thus your mind. Rick Hanson
  • Observe what is with undivided awareness. Bruce Lee
  • Mindfulness is the practice of noticing. Adyashanti
  • Mindfulness is awareness and it’s cultivated by paying attention. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • I think the one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention. Diane Sawyer
  • Mindfulness: The trait of staying aware (paying close attention to) your responsibilities and/or being present in the moment. Webster Dictionary
  • Remember one thing: meditation means awareness. Whatsoever you do with awareness is meditation. Action is not the question, but the quality that you bring to your action. Walking can be a meditation if you walk alertly. Sitting can be a meditation if you listen with awareness. Just listening to the inner noise of your mind can be a meditation if you remain alert and watchful. Osho
  • AttentionAwareness

… especially your attention to the present moment …

  • Mindfulness is at the heart of Buddhist meditation practices that teach followers to pay attention to the present moment—defining it as the only moment that exists, in which we exist, an ever- present “now”. Through meditation, you can learn to focus on the present and not worry about the future or regret the past. In letting go of day-to-day preoccupations, you are left with an appreciation of the big picture, the joy of being alive right now, and the recognition of breath, mind, body, and inner spirit. Alison Conte
  • Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Mindfulness means being in the present moment, but slightly detached. It means fully absorbing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences without being swept away by them.  Richard O’Connor
  • Mindfulness is about stopping and being present, that is all. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Mindfulness was experienced as not holding onto the past, the future, or ‘nowness’ but relaxing into the immediacy of whatever was happening. Alan Wallace
  • Mindfulness, simply stated, means paying attention to what is actually happening; it’s about what is really going on. Nell Newman
  • Mindfulness is the cultivation of awareness, bringing the attention to the moment over and over until there is a constant consciousness. This awareness is without comment, without discrimination, without judgment … Steven Harrison
  • To be mindful is to be fully in the present moment. William Alexander
  • Mindfulness refers to keeping one’s consciousness alive to the present reality. It is the miracle by which we master and restore ourselves. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • No technique, no communication skill or psychological process can come anywhere close to the effectiveness of being 100% present. It is not an easy thing to do. Danaan Parry
  • If you are doing mindfulness meditation, you are doing it with your ability to attend to the moment. Daniel Goleman
  • This is the real secret of life ~ to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play. Alan Watts
  • The purpose of meditation practice is not enlightenment; it is to pay attention even at extraordinary times, to be of the present, nothing- but-in-the-present, to bear this mindfulness of now into each event of ordinary life. Peter Matthiessen
  • Most of us take for granted that time flies, meaning that it passes too quickly. But in the mindful state, time doesn’t really pass at all. There is only a single instant of time that keeps renewing itself over and over with infinite variety. Deepak Chopra
  • Live in the present

… accepting things exactly as they are in this moment without judgement

  • Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it. Sylvia Boorstein
  • Mindfulness is a way of being which involves bringing awareness to the unfolding of present experience, moment-to- moment, with curiosity, openness and acceptance. It involves a process of becoming more aware and accepting towards all your experiences—including the unpleasant ones. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Being mindful means that we suspend judgment for a time, set aside our immediate goals for the future, and take in the present moment as it is rather than as we would like it to be. Mark Williams
  • Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t). James Baraz
  • Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose in the present moment without judgement. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • It will support and deepen your mindfulness to bring an attitude of curiosity, openness, non- judgmental acceptance, and even a kind of friendliness to the things you’re aware of. Rick Hanson
  • Mindfulness is deliberately paying full attention to what is happening around you—in your body, heart and mind. Mindfulness is awareness without criticism or judgment. Jan Chozen Bays
  • To observe what is the mind must be free of all comparison, of the ideal, of the opposite. Then you will see what actually is is far more important than what should be. Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • Let go of the need to judge

Mindfulness is more than simple concentration

  • Some people do not know the difference between mindfulness and concentration. They concentrate on what they’re doing, thinking that is being mindful. … We can concentrate on what we are doing, but if we are not mindful at the same time, with the ability to reflect on the moment, then if somebody interferes with our concentration, we may blow up, get carried away by anger at being frustrated. If we are mindful, we are aware of the tendency to first concentrate and then to feel anger when something interferes with that concentration. With mindfulness we can concentrate when it is appropriate to do so and not concentrate when it is appropriate not to do so. Ajahn Sumedho
  • Concentration

Mindfulness is all about awareness and noticing

  • Observe what is with undivided awareness. Bruce Lee
  • Mindfulness is the practice of noticing. Adyashanti
  • Mindfulness is awareness and it’s cultivated by paying attention. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness. James Thurber
  • Awareness in itself is healing. Fritz Pearls
  • There is no mental or physical process that should not be observed or that we should not be mindful of as it is. Each and every mental or physical process or phenomenon must be observed, watched as it is. Sayadaw U Janakabhivamsa
  • Attention

Mindfulness is about being awake

  • Those who are awake live in a state of constant amazement. Shakyamuni Buddha
  • Mindfulness is about falling awake rather than asleep. Relaxation is more of a side effect. Mindfulness is about being in the present, taking things one moment at a time and being aware of whatever arises – not creating a pleasant experience. Shamash Alidina
  • To be awake is to be alive. Henry David Thoreau
  • Mindfulness is about falling awake rather than asleep. Shamash Alidina
  • Awakening

The rewards of mindfulness


Mindfulness brings rich rewards

  • Mindfulness is being aware of yourself, others, and your surroundings in the moment. When consciously and kindly focusing awareness on life as it unfolds minute by precious minute, you are better able to savor each experience.  Also, being closely attentive gives you the opportunity to change unwise or painful feelings and responses quickly.  In fact, being truly present in a mindful way is an excellent stress reducer and, because of that, can be seen as consciousness conditioning, a strengthening workout for body, mind, heart, and spirit.  Sue Patton Thoele
  • Mindfulness makes our eyes, our heart, our non-toothache, the moon, and the trees deep and beautiful. And when we touch our suffering with mindfulness, we begin to transform it.  Mindfulness is like a mother holding her baby in her arms and caring for her baby’s pain.  When our pain is held by mindfulness it loses some of its strength. . . . Mindfulness recognizes what is there, and concentration allows you to be deeply present with whatever it is.  Concentration is the ground of happiness.  If you live twenty-four hours a day in mindfulness and concentration, one day is a lot.  Thich Nhat Hanh

Mindfulness brings greater happiness, peace and health

  • A series of studies conducted at the University of Rochester focused on people high in mindfulness – that is, those who are prone to be mindfully attentive to the here and now and keenly aware of their surroundings. It turns out that such individuals are models of flourishing and positive mental health.  Relative to the average person, they are more likely to be happy, optimistic, self- confident, and satisfied with their lives and less likely to be depressed, angry, anxious or self- conscious.  Sonja Lyubomirsky
  • Later studies showed that if “normal” people practiced mindfulness, they experienced the kinds of brain changes that are associated with positive moods, and their immune systems were strengthened. I would like to point out here that if a patentable drug were showing such results, the drug company owning the patent would soon become the richest in the land, and we would be seeing at least three television commercials per night touting its benefits.  But because mindfulness seems so simple, yet at the same time requires self- discipline, it’s not going to generate such heat.  Richard O’Connor
  • The foundation of happiness is mindfulness. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention. Julia Cameron
  • Mindfulness is the cure for everything; the essence of being alive. Ellen Langer
  • To be mindfully engaged is the most natural, creative state we can be in. Ellen Langler
  • Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Studies have shown that being mindful increases activation of the left prefrontal cortex and thus lifts mood (since that part of the brain puts the brakes on negative emotions) and it decreases activation of the amygdala, the alarm bell of the brain. Rick Hanson
  • The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. Amit Ray
  • HappinessInner peaceHealth

Mindfulness can help you discover much about yourself …

  • Mindfulness also means deliberately learning to use your mind in a new way. It’s learning to watch your mind at work, looking at yourself with compassionate curiosity.  Compassion, like a close friend, suffers with us a little but also sees the patterns that we’re normally too close to see.  Curiosity shows us that there’s really nothing to be afraid of in our own heads, but a lot we could learn.   Richard O’Connor
  • The highest form of human intelligence is to observe yourself without judgement. Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • Self-observation is the first step of inner unfolding. Amit Ray
  • Discovery

… especially the workings of your own mind

  • The habit of ignoring our present moments in favor of others yet to come leads directly to a pervasive lack of awareness of the web of life in which we are embedded. This includes a lack of awareness and understanding of our own mind and how it influences our perceptions and our actions. It severely limits our perspective on what it means to be a person and how we are connected to each other and the world around us. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Mindfulness, then, is the unfailing master key for knowing the mind, and is thus the starting point; the perfect tool for shaping the mind and is thus the focal point; the lofty manifestation of the achieved freedom of the mind, and is thus the culminating point. Nyanaponika Thera
  • The mind

Mindfulness helps you witness your life experiences without being swept away by them

  • Mindfulness has lots of benefits. It brings important information about what’s happening around you and inside you. It helps you witness your experience without being swept away by it, and to hold it in a larger context; as your mindful awareness increases, negative experiences have less impact on you. Rick Hanson
  • You can only look deeply into something if you can sustain your looking without being constantly thrown off by distractions or by the agitation of your own mind. The deeper your concentration, the deeper the potential for mindfulness. Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness allows you to experience the world more directly and more deeply

  • Get out of our heads and learn to experience the world directly, experientially, without the relentless commentary of our thoughts. We might just open ourselves up to the limitless possibilities for happiness that life has to offer us . Mark Williams
  • Listen – life is really going on, right now, around us. Do you see it? Sometimes I lose it but if I sit still and listen, it comes back, and then I think, How funny, this is what being alive is. Robin Morgan
  • In this way, little by little, moment by moment, life can slip by without us being fully here for it. Always preoccupied with getting somewhere else, we are hardly ever where we actually are and attentive to what is actually unfolding in this moment. Mark Williams
  • Meditation allows us to directly participate in our lives instead of living life as an afterthought. Stephen Levine
  • When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Experience

Mindfulness makes you more fully alive

  • Was there ever a time when you felt suddenly alive? It was like the doors of the world opened for a minute and you could see directly into life. You were able to touch life directly and were not lost in your fears and worries.  This experience may not have been during a big event like performing in a play or playing in a championship game; it may have been while walking in the woods or talking to a friend.  All of a sudden you felt alive, awake. This quality of waking up, or penetrating into life, we could call mindfulness. Mindfulness simply means being aware, being present.  When you are breathing and know that you are breathing, that is mindfulness of breathing. Soren Gordhamer
  • While driving on the Ohio Turnpike I saw a sign exhorting drivers. “Stay Awake, Stay Alive,” it cried.  These words, it seems to me, have even deeper significance as a way of life.  The more awake we are to what goes on around us the more alive we will be.  Being wide awake opens the way to experiencing the infinite riches of body, mind, heart and spirit.  Wilferd A. Peterson
  • You have to remember one life, one death–this one! To enter fully the day, the hour, the moment whether it appears as life or death, whether we catch it on the inbreath or outbreath, requires only a moment, this moment. And along with it all the mindfulness we can muster, and each stage of our ongoing birth, and the confident joy of our inherent luminosity. Stephen Levine
  • VitalityBeing fully alive

Mindfulness can make you less reactionary to your emotions and impulses

  • Practice makes us more observant and deliberate; we become more thoughtful about reacting to emotions and impulses; more curious, ready to look beneath the surface, not so hasty about jumping to conclusions; kinder, more patient, more tolerant of others and ourselves. One of the key elements in mindfulness is detaching a little from thoughts, worries, and impulses; not taking immediate action but expecting that if you take a step back, think, and look inside yourself, you’ll probably make a wiser decision. Richard O’Connor
  • Mindful meditation has been discovered to foster the ability to inhibit those very quick emotional impulses. Daniel Goleman
  • EmotionsSelf-controlWill power

Mindfulness opens up creativity, wisdom and intelligence

  • I have learned over the years that the most creative and trustworthy actions come from meditative awareness. Eric Klein
  • To be mindfully engaged is the most natural, creative state we can be in. Ellen Langler
  • Intelligence is the door to freedom and alert attention is the mother of intelligence. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • If we learn how to inhabit now more – with awareness – then it’s almost as if the universe becomes your teacher. Because there’s no boundary to awareness. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Mindfulness of oneself cultivates wisdom. Mindfulness of others cultivates compassion. Stonepeace
  • CreativityWisdomIntelligence

Mindfulness helps you do things differently

  • You can’t keep saying and doing the same things and expect better results. When you see your behavior clearly you can frame new responses.  There are many techniques for increasing self- awareness.  Most involve mindfulness– observing what’s happening in the present moment:  your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations.  Joan Duncan Oliver
  • Mindfulness can be summed up in two words: pay attention.  Once you notice what you’re doing, you have the power to change it. Michelle Burford

Mindfulness develops your capacity for calm concentration and attention

  • Concentration is a cornerstone of mindfulness practice. Your mindfulness will only be as robust as the capacity of your mind to be calm and stable. Without calmness, the mirror of mindfulness will have an agitated and choppy surface and will not be able to reflect things with any accuracy. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Mindfulness develops attention, concentration and the ability to simply be present with little or no future orientation, past orientation or goal orientation—choosing to be a human being rather than a human doing. Ian Gawler
  • Mindfulness is the energy that sheds light on all things and all activities, producing the power of concentration, bringing forth deep insight and awakening. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • ConcentrationAttention

Ways mindfulness can be practiced


Mindfulness can be done through formal meditation

  • Have you ever sat very quietly with closed eyes and watched the movement of your own thinking? Have you watched your mind working? Or rather, has your mind watched itself in operation, just to see what your thoughts are, what your feelings are, how you look at the trees, at the flowers, at the birds, at people, how you respond to a suggestion or react to a new idea? Have you ever done this? Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • Mindfulness meditation is sometimes referred to as “living in the now.” This is because you don’t seek to focus your attention on any one single thought, object or sound. Instead, you allow your mind to wander, and you welcome all experiences. However, here is the key: When you practice mindfulness meditation, you’re a detached observer. You don’t react to what you’re witnessing. Rachel Rofe
  • When we are engaged in the mindfulness of our body-mind process, we need not choose any mental or physical process as the object of our meditation for if we do this, it means that we are attached to the object of meditation. When we meditate on the body-mind process, the ‘noting mind’ or ‘observing mind’ will choose the object itself. Sayadaw U Janakabhivamsa
  • Meditation

Mindfulness can also be practiced during everyday activities

  • In your everyday life, you can practice this by taking any routine activity that normally is only a means to an end and giving it your fullest attention, so that it becomes an end in itself. Eckhart Tolle
  • Make a spot meditation of everyday things. Watering the plant. Brushing your teeth. Walking. Focus on the world of your senses. Be fully aware of moment to moment sense perceptions such as sounds, smells and physical sensations.
  • Whatever activity you choose, the point is to focus on the activity itself. Pay attention to the way your body feels. Pay attention to the work in front of you. Pay attention to what you feel (but do not become attached to any feelings). Rachel Rofe
  • Try it for an hour. Every single thing you do should be done mindfully and given equal importance — whether that’s putting something away, walking from one spot to another, picking up the phone, or talking to someone. Leo Babauta
  • Turn your actions into concentrated practices. Belsebuub
  • Restore your attention or bring it to a new level by dramatically slowing down whatever you’re doing. Sharon Salzberg
  • Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life. Marcus Aurelius
  • To be mindful is to be fully present with whatever we are doing. If you are drinking tea, just drink your tea. Do not drink your worries, your projects, your regrets. When you hold your cup, you may like to breathe in, to bring your mind back to your body, stop your thinking, and become fully present. In that moment, you become real and the cup of tea becomes real. In this state of true presence and freedom you enjoy simply drinking your tea. Thich Nhat Hanh

Bring mindfulness to all your experiences

  • As we encounter new experiences with a mindful and wise attention, we discover that one of three things will happen to our new experience: it will go away, it will stay the same, or it will get more intense. whatever happens does not really matter. Jack Kornfield
  • Mindfulness, also called wise attention, helps us see what we’re adding to our experiences, not only during meditation sessions but also elsewhere. Sharon Salzberg
  • We use mindfulness to observe the way we cling to pleasant experiences and push away unpleasant ones. Sharon Salzberg

In so doing, mindfulness allows you to extend your spiritual practice into your daily life …

  • Meditation is a valuable exercise, but eventually you have to open up your eyes and look around. Dan Millman
  • When we pay attention, whatever we are doing…is transformed and becomes a part of our spiritual path. We begin to notice details and textures that we never noticed before’ everyday life becomes clearer, sharper, and at the same time more spacious. Rick Fields et al
  • If mindfulness is deeply important to you, then every moment is an opportunity to practice. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • All life is yoga. Every moment is an opportunity for training the mind. Eknath Easwaran
  • If we can only change our vision and the thought, whatever we do becomes spiritual practice. Sri Swami Satchidananda
  • This is a time of revolution. There’s no holding back. So I’m about tearing down the monastery walls and seeing the whole world as the monastery, as the practice, as the spiritual temple. What we’re all working on is this very being, this very life. This is the temple, it has no walls. Genpo Roshi
  • When experience is viewed in a certain way, it presents nothing but doorways into the soul. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine. Shunryu Suzuki
  • . . . I feel we don’t really need scriptures. The entire life is an open book, a scripture. Read it. Learn while digging a pit or chopping some wood or cooking some food. If you can’t learn from your daily activities, how are you going to understand the scriptures? Swami Satchidananda

… transforming the ordinary and mundane into something special and sacred

  • Could all of us reclaim lost hours of our lives by making everything—the commonplace along with the extraordinary—a part of our practice? George Leonard
  • How can you make more of the mundane moments a part of your practice? Brian Johnson
  • You can find the sacred in the most ordinary of things. Oprah Winfrey
  • Every normal function of life holds some delight. Will Durant
  • 90% of life is little things. Be present in them.  Eckhart Tolle
  • By changing the way you do routine things you allow a new man to grow inside you. Paulo Coelho
  • When he is forced to perform the same task several times, the Warrior uses this tactic and transforms work into prayer. Paulo Coelho
  • The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine. Shunryu Suzuki
  • Ritual is routine infused with mindfulness. It is habit made holy. Kent Nerburn
  • Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • SacrednessLife is in the little things

Enter into mindfulness by focusing on the breath …

  • Most of the time, we think too much, and mindful breathing helps us to be calm, relaxed, and peaceful. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • …breathing deeply and regularly is not only the key to remaining calm, but also instantly connects us to a higher vibration. When we’re stressed or fearful, we tend to hold our breath, which cuts us off from our Higher Self and our intuitive vibes. Sonia Choquette
  • Remind yourself to breathe deeply through your nose and into your abdomen. Breathe out through your mouth, slowly. This relaxes and releases stress. Focus on your breath and notice your body and mind saying goodbye to tension. Henri Junttila
  • Our way to practice is one step at a time, one breath at a time. Shunryu Suzuki
  • An upright posture and a few relaxed breaths can make a great difference. Buddhist Meditation Master
  • BreathingFocus

… allowing your breath to become your anchor to the present moment …

  • Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • It helps to have a focus for your attention, an anchor line to tether you to the present moment and to guide you back when the mind wanders. The breath serves this purpose exceedingly well. It can be a true ally. Bringing awareness to our breathing, we remind ourselves that we are here now, so we might as well be fully awake for whatever is already happening. Jon Kabat-Zinn

… and the link between your body and your mind

  • Breathing in and out is very important, and it is enjoyable. Our breathing is the link between our body and our mind. Sometimes our mind is thinking of one thing and our body is doing another, and mind and body are not unified. By concentrating on our breathing, “In” and “Out,” we bring body and mind back together, and become whole again. Conscious breathing is an important bridge. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • The mindThe body

Incorporate mindful breaths into your day

  • Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes. Etty Hillesum
  • Do one minute of mindfulness (15 mindful breaths) each hour of the day.
  • Take 5 mindful breaths upon waking and before going to sleep.
  • Regularly become aware of the movement of the breath, particularly noticing if breathing has become shallow or irregular
  • Living consciously

Enter into mindfulness by bringing awareness to your body

  • Attention to the human body brings healing and regeneration. Through awareness of the body we remember who we really are. Jack Kornfield
  • The mind’s first step to self-awareness must be through the body. George Sheehan
  • Mindfulness of the body is awareness of… the taste and smell of this moment. Steve Hagen
  • The mind’s first step to self-awareness must be through the body George Sheehan
  • Awareness

Enter into mindfulness by paying attention to your senses

  • You can stop and pay attention to the present moment at least five different times during the day (not counting your meditation sessions). That way you can pay attention to a different sense every time. In other words, rotate through your senses all through the day. Rachel Rofe
  • Be fully aware of moment to moment sense perceptions such as sounds, smells and physical sensations.
  • Notice, look, feel, listen, sense, and give yourself fully to the experience you are having, and you will drop into the Now. Gina Lake
  • In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you. Leo Tolstoy
  • Get out of the attic of your mind and into the world of wonder and senses. Eckhart Tolle
  • Use your senses fully. Be where you are. Look around. Just look, don’t interpret. See the light, shapes, colors, textures. Be aware of the silent presence of each thing. Be aware of the space that allows everything to be. Listen to the sounds; don’t judge them. Listen to the silence underneath the sounds. Touch something – anything – and feel and acknowledge its Being. Observe the rhythm of your breathing; feel the air flowing in and out, feel the life energy inside your body. Allow everything to be, within and without. Allow the “isness” of all things. Move deeply into the Now. Eckhart Tolle
  • The senses are fundamentally the only way we can know the world. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Sense perception is closer to who you are than thought. Eckhart Tolle
  • The sense perception is the foreground and the awareness of the perceiver is the background. The background is an underlying stillness, an awareness of the “I am.” Eckhart Tolle
  • In what is seen there must be just the seen; in what is heard there must be just the heard; in what is sensed (a small, taste or touch) there must be just what is sensed; in what is thought there must be just the thought. I Udana
  • The senses

Enter into mindfulness by looking deeply at things without needing to label or judge them

  • The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. Henry Miller
  • If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change. Buddha
  • Even a stone, and more easily a flower or a bird, could show you the way back to God, to the Source, to yourself. When you look at it or hold it and let it be without imposing a word or mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you. Its essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you. Eckhart Tolle
  • You can only look deeply into something if you can sustain your looking without being constantly thrown off by distractions or by the agitation of your own mind. The deeper your concentration, the deeper the potential for mindfulness. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Let go of the need to always name and label

Mindfulness check-ins throughout the day


The big thing about mindfulness is remembering to be mindful

  • Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it. Sharon Salzberg
  • …it is often more difficult to remember to be mindful than to be mindful itself. Donald Rothberg

Notice how your mind and body feel throughout the day through regular mindful check-ins

  • A moment of stopping, turning inside, checking yourself out, noticing how you feel, and observing your thoughts without buying into them, is a profoundly significant moment. It will give you the power to act from a resourceful, skilled place. Sally Kempton
  • Note how the mind and body feel throughout the day in various circumstances; noticing the body posture, sensations, and areas of tension.

Notice judgements you make and your reactions to them

  • Notice automatic judgments as they occur (“positive”, “negative”, or “neutral”), and the habitual reactions connected to them: do you contract from the unpleasant, cling to the pleasant, and become bored with the neutral? Begin to develop awareness of the effects that these automatic reactions may be having on you. NDSU Counseling Center

Notice any multi-tasking

  • Notice when you are “multi-tasking’ and note the contrast in feeling when you bring yourself to fully attend to one thing at a time. Anthony Lambert

Mindfulness and exercise


Make walking into a mindfulness practice …

  • You can make the focus of your concentration ‘wide-angle’— that is, all the sensations you experience while you walk. Alternatively, you can ‘zoom’ your focus very specifically on the sensations of your feet touching the ground. Just as with breathing, the more you focus, the more detail you become aware of. David Michie
  • The difference between walking as a form of meditation and just regular walking is that you are not trying to get anywhere. Instead it is about being fully there with every step.
  • Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Mindfully experience your foot, the ground and the connection between your foot and the ground. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Walking is an ancient meditation posture.
  • WalkingHiking

… by attending to the experience of walking itself instead of the thoughts in your mind

  • One thing that you find out when you have been practicing mindfulness for a while is that nothing is quite as simple as it appears. This is as true for walking as it is for anything else.  For one thing, we carry our mind around with us when we walk, so we are usually absorbed in our own thoughts to one extent or another.  We are hardly ever just walking, even when we are just going out for a walk.  Walking meditation involves intentionally attending to the experience of walking itself.  This brings your attention to the actual experience of walking as you are doing it, focusing on the sensations in your feet and legs, feeling your whole body moving.  You can also integrate awareness of your breathing with the experience.  John Kabat-Zinn

Turn exercising into a mindfulness practice

  • Instead of zoning out or staring at a TV as you exercise, try focusing your attention on your body. If you’re resistance training, for example, focus on coordinating your breathing with your movements and pay attention to how your body feels as you raise and lower the weights. Jeanne Segal
  • Exercise

Mindfulness in relationships


Make giving into a mindfulness practice

  • Generosity is another quality which, like patience, letting go, non-judging, and trust, provides a solid foundation for mindfulness practice. You might experiment with using the cultivation of generosity as a vehicle for deep self- observation and inquiry as well as an exercise in giving. A good place to start is with yourself. See if you can give yourself gifts that may be true blessings, such as self- acceptance, or some time each day with no purpose. Practice feeling deserving enough to accept these gifts without obligation-to simply receive from yourself, and from the universe. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Cultivating a generous spirit starts with mindfulness. Nell Newman

Be mindful in your relationships

  • The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • It’s almost impossible to really know someone. You have to get out of your own way an awful lot to not just see the projections on to that person of your own mind.  Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Listen deeply to others, giving them your full attention, without multi- tasking or thinking about what you are going to say next.
  • Speak mindfully: pausing before speaking, asking yourself “Is it necessary? Is it harmful? Is it true?”
  • In a true you-and-I relationship, we are present mindfully, non-intrusively, the way we are present with things in nature. We do not tell a birch tree it should be more like an elm. We face it with no agenda, only an appreciation that becomes participation: ‘I love looking at this birch’ becomes ‘I am this birch’ and then ‘I and this birch are opening to a mystery that transcends and holds us both.  David Richo
  • Principles for healthy relationships

Practical uses for mindfulness


Use mindfulness to regain inner harmony after losing it

  • Begin with the small things. We tend to let ourselves get bothered by the little, meaningless things that happen every day. For example, somebody beeps at you at the stoplight. As these little things happen, you will notice your energy change. The moment you feel a change, relax your shoulders and relax the area around your heart. The moment the energy moves, you simply relax and release. Play with letting go and falling behind this sense of being bothered. Michael Singer
  • If you can learn to remain centered with the smaller things, you will see that you can also remain centered with the bigger things. Over time, you will find that you can even remain centered with the really big things. Michael Singer
  • When force of circumstance upsets your equanimity, lose no time in recovering your self- control, and do not remain out of tune longer than you can help. Habitual recurrence to the harmony will increase your mastery of it. Marcus Aurelius
  • If, in the fray, the soldier drops his sword, In fright, he swiftly takes it up again. So, likewise, if the arm of mindfulness is lost, In fear of hell, I’ll quickly get it back! Bodhisattva
  • When you find yourself off balance and life has kicked you in the butt, see how fast you can get back in balance. The more you practice this, the better you’ll get. Brian Johnson
  • HarmonyEquanimity

Use mindfulness to manage negative emotions like anger and fear

  • Focus attention on the feeling inside you. Know that it is the pain-body. Accept that it is there. Don’t think about it – don’t let the feeling turn into thinking. Don’t judge or analyze. Don’t make an identity for yourself out of it. Stay present and continue to be the observer of what is happening inside you. Become aware not only of the emotional pain but also of “the one who observes,” the silent watcher. This is the power of the Now, the power of your own conscious presence. Then see what happens. Eckhart Tolle
  • We must become acquainted with our emotional household: we must see our feelings as they actually are, not as we assume they are. This breaks their hypnotic and damaging hold on us. Vernon Howard
  • Watch your emotional responses with detachment (i.e. sense their physiological effect on your body and breathing.) Observe them. Feel them but calmly, not tensed up. The emotion will move through you and soften up. Unblock emotions in this way. Bob Parsons
  • Your practice is to become a curious witness to your feelings so that feelings become more familiar and less scary. Ultimately, you will notice that feelings aren’t permanent, that they change and move through us, if we let them. Rivka Simmons
  • Let go of negative emotions through mindfulness

Use mindfulness to manage pain

  • Mindfulness is much more than simply being aware. We can be aware of pain without being at all mindful of it. Mindfulness is a particular kind of awareness, which is purposeful, focused, curious, and rooted in our moment- by- moment experience. Bodhipaksa
  • In mindfulness meditation we observe more than just any pain that may happen to be present. We become aware of the whole physical body, emotions, and thoughts, and of how each of these interacts with the others. One thing we can then begin to see is that although pain is present in our experience it isn’t the whole of our experience. Mindfulness gives us a sense of the physical and mental “landscape” within which our pain is experienced, and which helps to give a sense of perspective to our experience of it. Bodhipaksa
  • When we touch our suffering with mindfulness, we begin to transform it. Mindfulness is like a mother holding her baby in her arms and caring for her baby’s pain.  When our pain is held by mindfulness it loses some of its strength…  Thich Nhat Hanh
  • PainPhysical painSuffering

See mindfulness as necessary mental hygiene

  • Do we ever question the need to brush our teeth? Or say, “today I do not have time for brushing teeth?”  Can we go a week without brushing?  What that would be like?  Please imagine it right now.  How will the mouth and teeth feel?  Do we believe if we brush teeth we will never need a dentist?  And how about putting in a comparable amount of time, energy and regular practice to keep the mind clear, fresh, and refreshed?  Or regularly brushing and clearing the mind from harmful residue?  I view Mindfulness as a way of maintaining mental hygiene the same way brushing is needed for dental hygiene.  And, from time to time, we may even need professional help for best results.  Rezvan Ameli

Mindfulness and spirituality


Mindfulness can have a powerful spiritual dimension …

  • The habit of ignoring our present moments in favor of others yet to come leads directly to a pervasive lack of awareness of the web of life in which we are embedded. This includes a lack of awareness and understanding of our own mind and how it influences our perceptions and our actions. It severely limits our perspective on what it means to be a person and how we are connected to each other and the world around us. Religion has traditionally been the domain of such fundamental inquiries within a spiritual framework, but mindfulness has little to do with religion, except in the most fundamental meaning of the word, as an attempt to appreciate the deep mystery of being alive and to acknowledge being vitally connected to all that exists. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • When experience is viewed in a certain way, it presents nothing but doorways into the soul. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Try to be mindful, and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become still in any surroundings, like a clear forest pool. All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all things. You will see many strange and wonderful things come and go, but you will be still. Ajahn Chah
  • Enlightenment is the result of the daily practice of mindfulness. Shinjo Ito
  • Spirituality

… one that is free of unnecessary belief and ideology

  • Mindfulness is not concerned with anything transcendent or divine. It serves as an antidote to theism, a cure for sentimental piety, a scalpel for excising the tumor of metaphysical belief. Stephen Batchelor

Final thoughts

  • You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Mindfulness is not just a word or a discourse by the Buddha, but a meaningful state of mind.
  • If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart… Pema Chodron
  • You have to remember one life, one death–this one! To enter fully the day, the hour, the moment whether it appears as life or death, whether we catch it on the inbreath or outbreath, requires only a moment, this moment. And along with it all the mindfulness we can muster, and each stage of our ongoing birth, and the confident joy of our inherent luminosity. Stephen Levine
  • The practice of mindfulness begins in the small, remote cave of your unconscious mind and blossoms with the sunlight of your conscious life, reaching far beyond the people and places you can see. Earon Davis.

On a lighter note

  • Life is sweet when you pay attention. When it doesn’t seem sweet, put a sticker on your nose and do a funky dance. Whitney Scott
  • If it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent. Ani Pema Chodron
  • Meditation… dissolves the mind. It erases itself. Throws the ego out on its big brittle ass. Tom Robbins
  • My son has taken up meditation – at least it’s better than sitting around doing nothing. Max Kaufman
  • The key to meditation is learning to stay. (Two dogs on mat)
  • Convent – a place of retirement for women who wish for leisure to meditate upon the sin of idleness. Ambrose Bierce
  • I wore flowers in my hair and meditated for hours on end. I was finding God all over the place. He kept ditching me.   Christopher Lloyd
  • Hutchison’s Law: Any occurrence requiring undivided attention will be accompanied by a compelling distraction. Robert Bloch
  • Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves. Albert Einstein
  • I’m so poor I can’t even pay attention. Ron Kittle
  • Mindfulness (funny quotes)Meditation (funny quotes)