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Ordinary and Extraordinary Mindfulness: What’s the Difference?

Secular Mindfulness | Buddhist Mindfulness

People throw the word “mindfulness” about these days as a panacea for almost every possible trouble from pain to high blood pressure to psoriasis.  For many people, mindfulness does indeed offer an effective solution for an array of practical challenges.  Research backs up its potency too, in studies conducted with participants who have received bona fide mindfulness training.

More and more, people view mindfulness as a self-help technique, entirely divorced from its origin or ultimate purpose.  This single word describes a spectrum of awareness training used in such oddly different places as the military and law enforcement, elementary schools, health care settings, cognitive behavioral therapy, and traditional Buddhist centers.

This concerns me because secular mindfulness typically differs from traditional mindfulness in significant ways.  The modern world has appropriated the word “mindfulness,” just like it swallowed up the word “zen,” which originally contained such profound meaning.

That’s why I would like to clearly distinguish between two types of mindfulness, which I’ll call ordinary mindfulness (or secular mindfulness) and extraordinary mindfulness.

Let me be clear: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with ordinary mindfulness when it’s taught by a properly trained instructor.  The benefits can be far-reaching.  Who would deny anyone better health, more happiness, and greater ease?

Let’s just not confuse secular mindfulness with extraordinary mindfulness.

What is Ordinary Mindfulness

Psychology Today defines mindfulness like this:

“Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.”

That’s a fairly good definition of ordinary mindfulness, but I would add “relaxed” to active and open.  I would clarify that by “active” we mean there’s a conscious intention to stay aware.  That doesn’t mean super concentration, which can lead to tension rather than ease.  In mindfulness practice, we aim for a balance of relaxed alertness.

Let’s also clarify that “without judging” doesn’t mean you lose all sense of what’s beneficial and what’s harmful.

Ordinary mindfulness typically involves self-improvement as an end-goal.  For example, you practice ordinary mindfulness to:

  • Be better at your job.
  • Increase your productivity.
  • Sharpen your focus.
  • Improve your health.
  • Cope more effectively with stress.
  • Manage pain.
  • Change habits.
  • Learn to skillfully work with difficult emotions and deep-seated patterns.

Ordinary mindfulness can be a powerful way to feel and be better at what you do.

But, generally speaking, it’s not steeped in spiritual values like love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, generosity, or wisdom.  Of course, this depends on your teacher and your training program.

Consider this, through ordinary mindfulness:

  • You could become a mindful killer in military training.
  • You could become rich as a mindful entrepreneur but still be dominated by greed and/or dissatisfaction.
  • You could feel happier momentarily because you’re intentionally steering your life, but accumulating far more possessions than you really need, which won’t lead to genuine happiness on the long run.

Ordinary mindfulness, will not necessarily make you a more humane person.  It’s primarily meant to improve your life and to achieve something for yourself.

It’s a short-sighted goal, however, to just want to feel good all the time.  This may come to pass for a while through ordinary mindfulness, but unless you address the root of your suffering, the magical effects of secular mindfulness wear off sooner or later.

Extraordinary Mindfulness

On the other hand, you cannot separate extraordinary mindfulness from spiritual values; they are inextricably linked.

Extraordinary mindfulness is intended to be:

  • An effective antidote to attachment and desire, the wish to constantly acquire more, which eventually brings suffering.
  • A powerful approach for taming negative emotions because you understand the harm they bring for yourself and others.
  • An amazing way to foster connection with others because you realize everyone is another you.
  • A practical path to understanding the nature of reality, which completely transforms your perception of yourself, others, and the world.

And more.

Mindfulness is not the end point. It’s just the first stage of meditation, which provides the necessary foundation for higher levels of realization.

In short, extraordinary mindfulness helps you to:

  • Refrain from harmful actions by cultivating peace.
  • Develop your capacity to benefit others through generating love and compassion.
  • Understand the nature of reality as impermanent and as it actually is rather than filtering it through the projections of your mind.

Peace, compassion, and wisdom – these are the 3 cornerstones of the Buddhist teachings, which are intended to bring a permanent end to suffering.  The end of suffering cannot be accomplished by ordinary mindfulness alone.  However, you don’t have to be a Buddhist to practice mindfulness or to appreciate and embody these spiritual ideas and qualities

Extraordinary mindfulness, you see, is more than a self-help technique.  It’s more than enhancing your own experience by being present when you exercise or take a walk in nature.  It’s more than amplifying your gastronomic delight.  It’s more than reducing your own pain.

Through mindfulness:

  • You can sense a baby’s distress and bring relief.
  • You can see an elderly person struggle to carry their heavy groceries and offer assistance.
  • You can feel another person’s grief and open your heart in care and kindness.
  • You can notice disharmony and bring resolution.
  • You can tame your own mind, so your thoughts and emotions no longer bring distress for yourself and others.

Many of us first seek mindfulness to heal our own pain.  That’s okay.  But ultimately, extraordinary mindfulness is not all about YOU (or me) even though it’s vitally important to work with and transform our own mind and heart first so we can gradually be of real help to others.

There’s a big difference between ordinary mindfulness employed as a self-help technique and mindfulness as the basis for complete self realization.  How do I know?  I’ve been studying and practicing mindfulness with authentic teachers for more than 20 years.  Even so, I’m still fine-tuning my understanding of mindfulness.

That’s not to say that mindfulness is complicated, difficult, or impossible to learn.  It’s just a bit more than paying attention in the moment.  You actually need to learn how to pay attention or you could be off on the wrong track.  The ordinary mind can be ingenious in its methods of deception.

Okay, this is a bit of a rant.  But honestly, this isn’t a dig on secular mindfulness.  My own e-course – Living with Ease, the Mindful Way to Dissolve Less Stress revolves around ordinary mindfulness.  It’s created small miracles in many peoples’ lives.  I know ordinary mindfulness can bring incredible benefits.

But before you jump into mindfulness – ordinary or extraordinary – be sure to check your teacher’s credentials and the solidity of the program you’re joining.  So many people these days write about and teach mindful living – online or live – because it’s a hot topic, but they don’t necessarily have the training needed to make an actual difference in your life.

I’m glad there’s a mindfulness movement.  I just wish there were two different words to describe the two different approaches of ordinary and extraordinary mindfulness.  I just wish people wouldn’t turn mindfulness into a commodity to promote themselves, when they have a minuscule amount of training behind them.  I just wish people wouldn’t make outrageous claims about mindfulness that have no basis in reality whatsoever – like you only need 6 minutes of mindfulness meditation per day to let go of stress and be a success.  Yes, I actually saw that online.

There’s no question, mindfulness is powerful.  It’s one of the best steps you can take to secure your own peace and happiness and begin to extend love, kindness, and compassion to others as well.  I hope you’ll find the real deal and give it a try.

Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra

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29 Comments

  1. Sandra; First off, thank you for this post. I recently opened “Mindful” magazine to an ad for high-end jewelry geared to mindfulness and my first thought was “WTF, when did mindfulness become about selling expensive jewelry?” It was a very clear illustration of how society has warped the practice.

    Second, how does one go about finding a qualified teacher/mentor and what can someone do if money is limited and they can’t devote income to a teacher in this moment? In other words, how can a person begin an extraordinary mindfulness practice on one’s own?

    • Thank you so much for your feedback, Jacki. I’m glad this post made sense to you. Thanks for the example of the ad. It seems like everything becomes commercialized in our society.

      Here are some ideas for you in terms of beginning a mindfulness practice:
      1. You could do the 10-step meditation video program at What Meditation Really Is – http://whatmeditationreallyis.com/index.php/lang-en/dare-to-meditate.html It’s free and quite short, each video is only about 5 minutes long. It will give an excellent foundation in the practice of mindfulness.
      2. You can watch any/all of the other videos there from a selection of meditation teachers – Western and Asian – from Sharon Salzberg to Daniel Goleman to Mingyur Rinpoche and Sogyal Rinpoche.
      3. You could go through the free resources (audio, video, and written) in my article A Treasury of Free Resources to Inspire Your Meditation, Compassion, and Wisdom: http://alwayswellwithin.com/2012/12/09/free-resources-meditation-compassion-and-wisdom/ You could get a sense of the teachers/teacher you connect with by listening to different programs.

      *All the above is free and would keep you going for a few months probably.*
      4. There are so many great books out now, but my classics, which I often refer to are:
      -The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche / Chapter 5 is on Mindfulness and the book contains so much more.
      -The Joy of Living, Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness / Has an excellent section on mindfulness/meditation and compassion as well.
      *Both of the above books were NY Times bestsellers*
      -Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Suzuki Roishi

      All the above are free or low cost. The follow will cost more.
      1.You could check to see if there is a Buddhist Center in a city near you and whether they offer a mindfulness course. It’s good to know that there are different approaches within Buddhism (from the basic vehicle to the mahayana to varjayana) so if you don’t like one, try another.

      2. You could take an online course in mindfulness. For example, the 6-part What Meditation Really Is Course Program at Rigpa. I instruct Modules 2 and 3 in this program. http://rigpaonlinecourses.org/en/about-us/rigpa-online-courses-america.html There are many other programs too so it’s a matter of putting on your researcher hat.

      3. You could purchase an audio program from Sounds True. I recommend Ani Peme Chodron or Sharon Salzberg. There could be some other wonderful teachers there too, but I’m not sure of all their offerings. These two teachers are Westerners and very well received.

      4. Lastly, if you want to take a course in ordinary mindfulness, I recommend the 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program created by Jon Kabat Zinn at the U of Mass, Center for Mindfulness in Medicine and Society. If you check out the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine and Society website, you’ll see a link for programs offered all over the world, maybe even in Iowa. I think they have an online program now too. I would definitely read Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat Zinn and consider getting his audio program on mindfulness, which has all the exercises included in the book. There’s also A Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Workbook by Bob Stahl, which includes a CD of the mindfulness exercises. These courses are secular, but they are rooted in Buddhism.

      I hope something here clicks for you! I appreciate how open you are.

  2. Hi Sandra,

    I think it is important to distinguish between ordinary and extraordinary mindfulness.

    I also think one has to employ just one type of mindfulness on a given situation, at any given time, before employing the other one. Though either could come first–what do you think?

    I’m learning a lot from your blog, like from this post, thank you.

    I never thought that ordinary mindfulness can be dangerous, but I also realize extraordinary mindfulness can also be as dangerous, because the latter wouldn’t really encourage bringing out the real you, in my opinion.

    It’s important to know the difference between them, and why they’re different.

    I appreciate how a balance should work between them.

    You should be aggressive on becoming who you want to be, but you should be careful with such an endeavor. Know your “why”; there should be a bigger reason beyond everything you do.

    The “extra” there sure makes a big difference.

    Great and interesting post. Thanks, Sandra. 🙂

    • Hi Ethan,

      I appreciate the thought you are giving to this topic!

      I practice traditional mindfulness and mindfulness-based stress reduction. Since I understand mindfulness quite well, I bring that to my practice of mindfulness-based stress reduction, but I realize the latter practice is for a practical end.

      “I never thought that ordinary mindfulness can be dangerous, but I also realize extraordinary mindfulness can also be as dangerous, because the latter wouldn’t really encourage bringing out the real you, in my opinion.”

      I’m not sure what you mean. Why do you think the extraordinary mindfulness wouldn’t bring out the real in you? In my experience, it helps us to be more genuine and real. But of course any spiritual practice can be dangerous if we let the ego be in charge of it!

      Thanks for your interest!

      • Hi Sandra! Thanks for taking the time to reply.

        Well, I simply think that extraordinary mindfulness is an activity that balances out with ordinary mindfulness.

        Like with your example, there would be no way to know that you can be dominated by greed or dissatisfaction but through ordinary mindfulness. But what if those traits were replaced by something actually good that it could be your only aggressive trait to succeed in life? Ordinary mindfulness allows you to discover more about yourself, right?

        Now, if you employ only extraordinary mindfulness, which I understand is the balancing force, without identifying your “aggressive ” (good) traits, then that may only result to holding back–you’ll never discover those good traits.

        What I’m saying is, I think it’s a must that we employ BOTH ordinary and extraordinary mindfulness as we carry on with our life. We have to determine what could potentially harm us, and work them out through extraordinary mindfulness.

        Please note Sandra, that I’m learning from you. There’s obviously some sort of confusion here, and I’m willing to stand corrected. 🙂

        Thank you so much again, Sandra!

  3. I’m right with you on this one, Sandra. Love the way you distinguish between “ordinary” and “extraordinary.” I’ve been playing with the concept of “socially responsible mindfulness,” which is another version of what you are describing as “extraordinary.” Mindfulness was never meant as a standalone practice in traditional Buddhism… it was always one spoke of the Eightfold Path and to realize the most profound layer of practice it’s important for us to be in relationship to all 8 of the pathways…. view, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration. Thank you for holding the holistic picture, and for all you do!

    • Thank you so much, Maia, for taking this a step further and folding mindfulness into the Eightfold Path. That’s not an element of Buddhism that I’ve studied myself so I appreciate this additional knowledge, which puts mindfulness in context.

      I tend to look at mindfulness in the context of the 2 types of meditation: calm abiding (mindfulness) and clear seeing (vipashyana, but not the vipassana generally taught in the West.) Or as the first stage in the 4 stages of Mahamudra. But again, it’s so helpful to be reminded of it’s role in the Eightfold Path. You’ve actually given me more to think about. Many thanks!

  4. I love this distinction….I started with practicing being mindful personally to gain deeper connection and understanding but we do have to move to extraordinary in our evolving as a humane person. I would love to study this more in depth with a qualified teacher one day!

  5. I completely agree! I started by learning ordinary mindfulness myself but I was lucky enough to find an excellent teacher and I’ve since completed two 8 week courses which has moved my practice towards extraordinary mindfulness which has made a big difference to my life.

    I do believe that any mindfulness is good but what really worries me here in the UK is that ordinary mindfulness is used as a treatment for depression and is taught by therapists that have very little training or understanding of the concept. Patients just get a couple of sessions and are then left to fend for themselves – I’m not convinced this solveds any problems as there is so much more to mindfulness than can ever be taught in a couple of sessions!

    • I’m inspired to hear that learning mindfulness has made a big difference in your life and that your practice has moved toward the extraordinary side! I hear your concern about the treatment of depression. I’ve heard leaders in mindfulness education say that Buddhist practitioners can make the best mindfulness teachers even in a secular context because they have the whole context. Using mindfulness effectively can be more challenging for therapists if they take a brief training and don’t have the complete background. As I mentioned, mindfulness is more than just paying attention so if the wrong person is guiding you, it can be confusing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and concerns.

  6. Although I have never thought about the types of mindfulness, this makes perfect sense to me, Sandra. Thank you for opening up this topic a little wider for me. I looked at the little film What Meditation Is, and one of the other videos—–really a great resource! Thanks so much! I will go back and watch the other videos. Thanks so much!

    • You’re so welcome, Jean. I’m glad you enjoyed the meditation video course and see it as a great resource, it says and shows so much in a short time! I think mindfulness may enhance creativity. 🙂 I appreciate you and thanks for your presence.

  7. Hi Sandra,

    I’m definitely a mindfulness beginner and love having you as my teacher. Is there a way to combine those two types of mindfulness?

    I see mindfulness as a way of life rather than something you do in ten minutes a day. That’s something I’m aiming for anyway although at the moment my mindful way of life generally just relates to me noticing at key points of the day that I haven’t been acting mindfully at all 😉

    Such a great discipline. I want to learn more about it and practice it more.

    • Hi Annabel,
      It seems like you’ve made great progress in the last year or two with mindfulness, Annabel! Yes, these two types of mindfulness can be combined and I’m sure some teachers do that.

      I so agree with you that mindfulness is a way of life. Time on the cushion only provides the foundation for being mindful and aware in life. Noticing when we’re not aware is a moment of awareness! That’s a step forward than being constantly lost in our thoughts and emotions or completely spaced out. It’s an essential part of learning to be mindful so we can see it positively.

      Yes, it is a discipline, isn’t it! I wish you the best with your practice. I’m impressed with how much you know and how far you’ve come.

  8. How fascinating Sandra.

    Truth be told I’ve never really paid much attention to mindfulness in and of itself. As you say it’s all over the internet.

    But in reading your article I can see that the elements of extraordinary mindfulness play a huge part in my own personal development. Taming negative emotions – Develop your capacity to benefit others – Understand the nature of reality as impermanent and as it actually is, are enormously important in my life as an integral part of developing myself.

    I love the way you’ve described the difference between ordinary and extraordinary and speaking for myself, I could probably use a little more ordinary mindfulness than I currently practice – just to stay grounded!

    BTW, I don’t see this as a rant at all. It’s like all your articles, well thought out and expressed and as I said at the beginning, it’s fascinating. 🙂

    Love Elle

    • Hi Elle,

      I sense that awareness is a big part of your life and what you share on your blog as it’s the first step to changing habits and finding more happiness, and it’s another word for mindfulness. I can see how the elements of extraordinary mindfulness play a big part in your own personal development. It’s like the difference between being focused solely on world pursuits and being a spiritual person. You’re definitely a spiritual person. Yes, I think we could all use a bit more mindfulness to stay grounded – me included. Thanks for your positive feedback. I appreciate it! Love to you, Elle.

  9. BAM. Sorry, that’s the first thing that came to mind after reading. Great post, the distinction is absolutely necessary to understand for anyone just beginning their mindfulness practice.

    There definitely will be more talk about this as time goes on, as this ties directly in to the conversation of “extracting” mindfulness from it’s Buddhist roots. I’m seeing more and more articles about both topics crop up as time goes on.

    I’m not saying I have a problem with doing so necessarily if it’s done the right way, but the way it’s being done now people are missing a huge part of what mindfulness is all about because our interest in it is being driven by our intensely materialistic society.

    In any case, practicing mindfulness inevitably leads one who practices diligently to certain insights, even if they lack a teacher and community of practice, so ultimately it’s better that it’s catching on than if it were not.

    Compared to the East, the Western world is so young. And so while we are intelligent, collectively we’re not very wise yet. I think we’ll see a healthy turn and that this could be the beginning of a beautiful awakening for an entire generation.

    Thank you for the great article Sandra, I promise to do my part to teach the distinction between both to perpetuate a healthy understanding of mindfulness. 🙂

    • Very well said, Matt. I like the point of how our interest in mindfulness is being driven by our intensely materialistic orientation.

      I think you’re right, practicing mindfulness will most likely make us more insightful and in the end that’s going to be beneficial. It would be so wonderful if we were to have a healthy turn toward wisdom in the coming years! That’s a beautiful vision to hold within our heart.

      That’s a sweet promise and an inspiration for me to consider as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  10. Great post, Sandra and definitely something to think about with valid points. I do agree that mindfulness, like “zen” and many other new-agy principles, has gotten commercialized, exploited, hyped, and far from the original meaning.

    Although I respect your opinions, I have to disagree.

    Even this ego-based, trendy approach is a first step in growth and moving towards a more actualized society. Even if people pursue mindfulness as a self-help tool to better themselves, it’s still a step in the right direction.

    I think it is a disservice to promote the idea that you have to be officially trained in mindfulness to be proficient at it. That is simply not true at all from my own experience and many others.

    It’s just like yoga. With hip hop yoga, nude yoga and more, ypga has gotten so far removed from what yoga really is or was. However even these varieties provide benefit for those people and there is really no need to tag any form as the “real” yoga. What will help that person is what they will gravitate towards. Different flavors for different folks.

    I got into yoga for completely the wrong ego-centric reasons and not the traditional kind. Even so, it has transformed and taught me just like the ancient practice. Any form of mindfulness will do the same for others. It’s a start.

    Respectfully,

    Debbie

    • Thanks for sharing your perspective, Debbie! I think it’s terrific to have different viewpoints. I tried to say in my article that I’m not against secular mindfulness, just clarifying that there’s more to be gained from the practice. I’m sorry that wasn’t clear.

      This is where we do disagree > “I think it is a disservice to promote the idea that you have to be officially trained in mindfulness to be proficient at it. That is simply not true at all from my own experience and many others.”

      Of course, we can get some benefit from simply learning to pay attention in life. This has been my experience though after teaching mindfulness to hundreds of people. Most people run into challenges when they try to learn mindfulness. They may get frustrated and give up or get it wrong if they don’t have the support of a trained teacher or a written guide from a trained teacher. They might think that mindfulness means having no thoughts. They might think concentration is the same as mindfulness, which is not the case at all. There are many points where people can go off track when learning mindfulness. UCLA and the University of Mass. Medical Center both offer teacher training programs in mindfulness-based stress reduction, which seem to indicate at least to me that there’s something to learn about teaching mindfulness.

      I’m glad that mindfulness and yoga have been so beneficial as tools on your path. You’re an incredibly determined person and I appreciate all that you have learned and share about building a better brain on your blog.

      Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  11. Thank you for this article, Sandra. You clearly define the difference between ordinary and extraordinary mindfulness which is so helpful. I love the idea of mindfulness being a way to help others, rather than just being focused on ourselves. That is wonderful that you have had so much training in mindfulness. It is a term that is thrown around loosely and good to have more clarity on the topic.

    • You’re welcome, Cathy. I’m glad you found it help. I so agree that mindfulness is a term that is thrown about loosely and I’m glad that you appreciate the clarity. That’s kind of the case with so much in this online world, but there are so many people offering an authentic approach as well.

  12. Sandra,
    Your descriptions of the two kinds of mindfulness are right on but I think it’s a process to get from ordinary to extraordinary mindfulness. In my years of practicing and writing about mindfulness, I can tell you that, when I started practicing ordinary mindfulness, I wasn’t in a place where I could truly understand extraordinary mindfulness. So many of us live on a more superficial level, just trying to keep up. When we live more intentionally and focus on making mindfulness a constant practice, it changes who we are and how we see and interact with the world. Extraordinary mindfulness is what ordinary mindfulness can evolve into with a dedicated practice.

    As far as the commercialization of mindfulness, I see a corollary with yoga. “Ordinary” yoga is touted as simply physical exercise. When I started practicing fifteen years ago, that’s all I saw. But practicing regularly for all this time, it’s become something else completely for me. It helps me to see myself differently (and with more mindfulness) physically, emotionally and spiritually. That also translates into how I see others and the world we all live in.

    Both practices have helped me to develop the love, acceptance and compassion that I never felt I was capable of. Neither are just something you do for a few minutes a day. Over time, they become a part of you and change you from the inside out.

    We all have to start somewhere and it’s usually with the “quick and easy” superficial version. With time and practice, that beginning can lead to an amazing journey.

    • Hi Paige,
      It’s wonderful to hear how starting with basic mindfulness and yoga have helped you to evolve personally. That certainly can be the case and that’s why I’m not opposed to ordinary or secular mindfulness at all when it’s taught by someone who has received proper training.

      My path has been just the opposite of yours. I started with extraordinary mindfulness. I’ve only taken mindfulness-based stress reduction courses in recent years, which didn’t really show me anything new in terms of mindfulness, but I did learn more about the mechanics of stress and how mindfulness can relieve stress.

      Thanks so much for adding your thoughts and experience. Your experience so beautifully illustrates how there is more to mindfulness than we might think and shows people the possibility of an amazing journey ahead.

  13. Sandra,
    Thank you for explaining the difference between ordinary and extraordinary mindfulness. I think I’m one of those people who have lumped everything I know about mindfulness into one definition. I’ve been practicing ordinary mindfulness and would like to go to the next level. Thanks for your thoughts in the comments, too. I’m going to check out some of the ideas you gave Jacki and see if I can go on to that next level.
    Cheers!
    Betsy

    • You’re welcome, Betsy. I’m inspired by your openness and interest. I hope some of those resources resonate for you! Good luck on your journey to the next level. And thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  14. Nicely put, Sandra.

    One thing I’ve realized though: If you continue with even “ordinary” mindfulness and take it deeply, you can’t help but notice changes on a spiritual level. Paying attention to what is going on in your own mind, and questioning and redefining fear-based thoughts will eventually lead us to question and redefine EVERYTHING, including who we are and our basic nature.

    I don’t think it is possible to truly act out of accordance with love and be mindful. Because anything not based in love is based in fear, and anything based in fear is based on misundertanding and mindlessness.

    • Thanks, Bethany! I think this can be so true for some people, that they naturally roll over into a more extraordinary mindfulness. But as you say, it requires taking mindfulness deeply. I think there are plenty of people who learn ordinary mindfulness and don’t take it to that level or just drop it entirely. We’re all so different!

      This is a beautiful idea, but I don’t always see it in action: “I don’t think it is possible to truly act out of accordance with love and be mindful. Because anything not based in love is based in fear, and anything based in fear is based on misundertanding and mindlessness.” I think people can get the techniques of mindfulness without allowing it to take them to a heart level.

      I’m glad you’ve had such a positive experience, Bethany. It’s very inspiring!

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