Roughly five hundred years before Christ, Socrates issued his famous dictum, “That a life unexamined was a life not worth living: Know thyself.”
At approximately the same time in Northern India the ascetic wanderer Siddhartha Gautama, soon to be known at the Awakened One, the Buddha, was exploring the depths of mind, consciousness, and body through a process called mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the ability to non-judgmentally and non-reactively observe thoughts, emotions and physical sensate experiences (pain and pleasure) come and go without attachment. The result of this process is a deep inner-contentment, a joyful release, and a freeing of being pushed and pulled by sense faculty desires and aversions, stories created by the mind and the ensuing emotions that follow. Freedom from stress and suffering – in the beginning a temporary freedom, and finally a lasting freedom known as awakening or enlightenment. In effect, mindfulness at its deepest levels is a knowing (insight) of oneself that finally transcends the very egoistic self that was restlessly pursuing the very freedom it was seeking. This realization is known as Nirvana.
In the interim there is a massive reduction in the production of the four primary stress hormones (cortisol being primary), high blood pressure, insulin levels, bone density loss, a massive reduction in afflictive and destructive emotions such as anger, anxiety, depression and guilt. All of this is quite testable and done without medication. A deep acceptance, love, and compassion for oneself and others are the results of long-term practice.
Our next ten day retreat begins the day after Christmas and can be found at:
Please put aside the typical excuses such as I can’t sit still or my mind can’t calm down..of course we know this already, this is what everyone says..this is precisely what we do, we help you learn exactly how to manage and understand these very processes.
We do not promote Buddhism or any other religion, only introspection and self-examination. There is no need to be frightened by the process of sitting quietly with your own mind and body without electronic distractions for a few days. Unplugging is good for you – healthy, and inspiring. You will have a penetrative understanding of your own being, you will learn so much about yourself by sitting still and being radically simple that you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done this sooner.
Thousands of people of all ages, races, genders and sexual orientation walk through our doors each week (donation only) from all levels of socio-economic status.
Mindfulness is for everyone.