What does it mean to be mindful, or have mindfulness? How does the role of mindfulness play a role in our spiritual evolution? It’s interesting to consider the word, ‘mindfulness’. In a sense, the enlightened state that meditators, yogis, and mystics have sought is really found more from mind emptiness. So the term ‘mindfulness’ is truly more representative of the way in which it is used or practiced. It is the idea that mindfulness is your ability to keep your focus on the things you want your mind to be focused upon.
A basic problem that blocks spiritual progression is that the mind is full of information and ideas, and mostly what’s been put in there is just information. The more the mind becomes empty, however, the more the soul is able to come through with guidance and the emanation of itself, which is the emanation of love. It is not the act of becoming more aware of the information, but is instead letting information go. Mindfulness, however, does allow us to get more focused, and become more purposeful. We are able to take our focus off distractions, be singular in our focus, and utilize our mind in a changeable and valuable way. The emptier the mind is, the more power you have to focus it.
If we can get beyond the mind and become the observer, we can use our ability to focus the mind and come to a state of no thought. If we are observant enough and sufficiently get to the point of observation where within our consciousness we are observing the place wherein thought arises (as if it’s really a place), the moment a thought starts to emerge, we can suppress the mind’s intention to create it in form. If we can hold ourselves entirely present in the moment of observation, the mind’s capacity to create thought or the form that is the thought is disabled.
Remember, we’re not trying to hold the mind still. We’re not trying to hold focus on one point. We’re trying to hold the focus in the moment and become entirely present. As we are entirely present, thought cannot take shape and emerge, and that undermines the process of the mind. It is, then, that empty state that is present and on which we should focus. There is a deliciousness to that empty state; a relief from struggle, turmoil and urgency that tends to be the human experience for most people.
The empty place is not the highest state, however. It’s not true enlightenment, but it is a wonderful and powerful step forward. We are more able to know and experience God than those who are caught up in the anxiousness of normal mentalization. Spirit lives in everything and everyone. It is beyond time or space. Therefore, it is always found most fully now, in the moment. The mind, through its basic process, takes us away from the moment, whether it is contemplation of what has happened or in forecasting what is to come. The mind is either remembering or anticipating; the soul does neither. The soul is entirely present, so in coming present we possess our souls.
Coming to the state of mastery of the mind is not an absolute requirement in our own spiritual progress and awakening. Bridging beyond the mind toward the spirit does not require that the mind comes to stillness, but it is a positive and useful step that can lead us on a more direct route of ascension. We must become aware; become awake to the divine, to be awake to God, to be awake to love as the truth of all existence. We do not come awake through the mind. Therefore, anything we do with or without the mind is really not the essential thing. The essential thing is that it is the divine coming awake through us, and it awakens itself through the consciousness that has been holding within us.
We look often for evidence of our progression. We accept the journey of awakening as an overcoming of obstacles, and as a movement we make from one level of perception to another. But that’s only how it appears here. From the spirit it’s really almost a reverse of that. It is viewed as an undoing or releasing of the fabrication that we’ve been identified with. The bubble of misidentification pops and we are free. God knows God, and God always is, and yet we don’t experience ourselves knowing God. We can even doubt God exists. We can live in ways that are contrary to our desires and contrary to what we perceive as the right thing and the highest thing. But in God, it’s all the same, because it’s all moving within God. In this life, this dream we are participating in, God is beyond and above all of it, but is also that ultimate witness that views it all and sees it all simultaneously.
When we fully wake up to God, to the divine, we realize that the great journey, the great path of becoming that for so many years and lifetimes has been a struggle, is only leading us back to ourselves. We have always been there. We know that from the very first step of that journey to the very last, we’ve always been the same and the one we come to is the one we started as. We just didn’t know it. So we find God, and we find that we have always been God. We find that our search was for something we already have. It is always so. It is always true and will always be true.
The greater peace and ecstasy that mystic’s talk about is not based so much from silencing their minds, but through transcending their minds, and thus becoming awake to what is. The mind in itself falls silent because there is no place for participation. However, for our experience of living in the human form, being more mindful can truly help us on our journey through this world. Not only for having success in this level, but for learning and growing from the experience of this level. Our prime directive of the soul’s appearance into this level and into this human condition is to learn and to grow. So the mindful quality supports us to learn and grow, and move through our karma in a much more effective way. Eventually, we become mindful of our mind’s emptiness and we become the great observer, and observe the divine within.