A brief summary of how basic mindfullness practice appears to me now:
- Attention is brought to the body, the breath and so on (something that is indesputably in the present).
- The center of gravity shifts to pure awareness, the seeing, the witness.
- This allows us to notice the space it all – all the content of our experiences – unfold within, and this allow them to come and go with less, or without, stickiness.
- In this, there is a taste of freedom, of liberation from being caught up in the content, of liberation from suffering.
- As we become more used to this, and explore it further, it tends to clarify, deepen and stabilize. At some point, we may realize that there is no I as a segment of all this – not even as pure awareness – and we realize that all this was just a preview of who we really are and how we naturally function in the realization of selflessness.
So in summary: By coming to something tangible that is undisputably in the present, the center of gravity shifts to the Witness. And that which we tend to be caught up in – emotions and thoughts – are temporarily bypassed. They are allowed to unfold on their own with less resistance and less being caught up in them.
This happens throughout the day in various ways.
For instance, sitting at a cafe with someone eating nosily next to me, seeing a slight irritation come up, take a breath, and allow it all to unfold without needing to attach to or fuel it – a taste of liberation.
Walking in pouring rain, seeing myself beginning to mentally complain, and bringing the attention to the fresh air and the movements of walking, and again finding myself as the space and awareness everything unfolds within – a taste of freedom.