Why Mindfulness really is Mind-FULL-ness and Not Mind-EMPTY-ness

Many people like to say that mindfulness is a bit of a misnomer; it implies that the mind is FULL, when they see mindfulness as an emptying of the mind. However, mindfulness is not emptying the mind.

It involves a stilling and quieting of the mind, but not an emptying of it.

You see, mindfulness is an opening and expanding of your conscious awareness.

It is the ‘conscious directing of your awareness towards the fullness of the present moment’.

You can read more about mindfulness in, ‘What Is Mindfulness?’.

When we are being mindful, we become ever more conscious of what the present moment holds; from the sounds of the traffic and voices around us, the physical sensations and emotions arising within us, the energies flowing through our body, through the room or through the heavens in space!Mindfulness is not emptying the mind

The present moment holds a limitless expanse of energies and information of which we can become consciously aware of.

But what does it mean to be consciously aware?

It simply means that you are aware of the fact that you are being aware!

(Awareness and Mindfulness are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. You can read about it in my article,‘The Difference Between Mindfulness and Awareness’.)

Conscious Awareness

Being ‘consciously aware’ means that the energy, sensations and information you are receiving through your physical and intuitive senses are being directed to your conscious mind, rather than diverted to your sub-conscious.

It means that instead of your mind being full of the repetitive thoughts, habits and conditioning of the subconscious, your mind becomes infused with a conscious awareness of the present moment.

This present-moment fullness is not the same as the dead, repetitive and chaotic fullness of a mind distracted and consumed by repetitive thoughts.

In this case, the mind is full from holding on to thoughts of the past and future, often to the extent that there is no room left for the present-moment.

However, mindfulness gives rise to a present-moment fullness:mind-FULL-ness in a fullness of consciousness

A fullness which is alive and vibrant, and which is constantly being re-born and renewed;

A fullness which transcends thought as the mind becomes full of simply being and of witnessing.

This is a fullness in which the mind holds on to nothing, but simply allows all-that-is to flow through it freely.

So, you see, mindfulness is not an emptying of the mind – the mind can never be empty.

Mindfulness just changes the quality of the content with which your mind – your consciousness – is filled.

Like A Breath Of Fresh Air

It is a little like your breath:

You can breathe automatically, allowing your lungs to fill and empty without any conscious awareness from your mind.

You may be vaguely aware of the fact you are breathing, but there is little or no awareness of the depth of your breath or the air as it flows into your lungs, the contraction of your diaphragm, or the feelings and sensations connected to the breath.

Then, if you bring your attention to your breath, either through a conscious breathing practice or simply as you take a deep breath in a moment of contemplation, your lungs don’t stop and become empty.

When you breathe consciously, your lungs work with greater effort:

They expand beyond their normal capacity and become fuller, taking in more air and utilizing the full power of your breath and lungs.

And So It Is With Mindfulness

It’s the same with mindfulness:

When you use your mind consciously, through mindfulness, you don’t stop or empty your mind.

You fill it with an awareness of the NOW, utilizing its power more fully.

What’s In A Name?

Of course, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what we call it, because all names are just names. But sometimes a different interpretation can help to shift our perspective and allow us to come a little closer to the truth.

By viewing the mind as something which needs to be subdued or controlled, simply creates resistance to it. And if we are Embracing The Mindresisting our own mind, we are resisting a part of our self, a part of life, which means we are not being mindful of it.

We cannot be mindful of something which we are resisting, because to resist something is to judge it. Then, we see it only through the conditioning of our own judgments rather than seeing it clearly as it is.

However, by viewing mindfulness as an opening of the mind, you may find it easier to embrace the mind and utilize its power and resources to keep expanding your conscious awareness.

And the mind, when harnessed consciously, is an incredibly powerful tool to have, so why try to suppress its vitality and creativity by emptying it?

With this embracing perspective of mindfulness, there is no battle to be done with your mind, no inner conflict to be overcome.

There is merely an acceptance, an allowing, as you gently and simply turn your mind towards the present moment.

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