HEARTFULNESS & EMBODIMENT

by contemplativeinquiry

I decided to kindle a Mindfulness 101 book* and do a spot check out how far my own practice meets ‘mindfulness’ criteria as currently understood. I was glad to find – as a wayward intuitive Druid – that I still seem to be incorporating the essential principles. I especially enjoyed the comment: “Ask someone from Tibet where their mind is and they may point to their chest – the word for mind and heart in Tibetan, and many other eastern languages, is the same. When we practice mindfulness, we’re recalibrating our centre downwards – as such, the practice might better be described as ‘heartfulness’ or even ‘bodyfulness’.” On this reading mindfulness becomes “an open hearted awareness of what’s happening, and learning from what we find” so that something which in English sounds like a quality of thinking in fact brings us down from our heads and into our whole bodies. Body sensations are driven at a deeper level than thought, which is why we can’t change how we feel simply be thinking about it. “By bringing attention to sensations within the body … we work with them more skilfully.”

My personal practice includes devotional, energetic and meditative elements with the meditative slightly more emphasised than the others. It includes a review of body, senses, life energy, feelings, thoughts and images. It also includes a period of either breath meditation or ‘choiceless awareness’. All of these elements are in the mindfulness book. What re-assured me most was the implicit validation of my recent choice of Duidsg mo chridhe/dooshk mo chree (awaken my heart) as an affirmation and reminder phrase during this period. This phrase comes from a Ceile De Fonn, and called to me strongly when I chose it. I’d already thought of ‘heartfulness’ as my preferred term for an awakened state – a fuller, more spacious and generous kind of presence than is conveyed to me by the term mindfulness itself. So I liked getting synchronous support from a book about mindfulness practice.

* Ed Halliwell Mindfulness: how to live well by paying attention Hay House Basics

Information about the Ceile De is available on http://www.ceilede.co.uk