Is Mindfulness Enough?Anthony Strano
Mindfulness, an awareness of everyday living, creates the capacity to see how one’s thoughts, words, feelings and actions impact and create our reality. One of the aims of mindfulness is to create new possibilities for betterment and new horizons of understanding. Mindfulness cherishes the value of being and enhances its respect.
However, is mindfulness enough in order to increase personal and collective well-being? It is certainly a huge step and to be esteemed, however, when it is aligned to “heartfulness,” the quality of our living is far more complete.
We can look more closely at mindless versus mindful and heartless versus heartful. These types of consciousness could include a number of the following characteristics.
Mindless: Blaming, complaining ,comparing, competing, criticizing, blinkered thinking, irresponsible, routine existing, living in the past, fearful of the future and thus forgetting the opportunity of the now.
Mindful: Awake, checks and adjusts, discerns, responsible, aware of choice and its consequence, sees connectedness, takes care, new and refined perspectives, values each moment.
Ultimately, in true mindfulness one does not keep thinking, but reaches a point where he or she remains in a state of awareness — peaceful, stable, detached.
Possible traps of only being mindful include being over-detached, too much the observer, subtly critical, often over-analytical, clinical, or self-absorbed, with few reference points outside one’s own perception of what is appropriate.
Heartless: Too intellectual or too emotional — that is, dogmatic and/or impulsive, violent, callous, mechanical, deceitful, hypocritical, compassionless, exclusive, narcissistic, nationalistic and possessive, in other words, a parochial heart.
Heartful: Involved, open, humble, appreciative, adventurous, inclusive benevolence, generous, selfless, spontaneous, sense of serving, renewal, heals.
The heartful naturally generates the heartfelt, that is, the intuition beyond logical knowing. In the heartfelt state, the truth of something comes to you. It is received, like a blessing. You feel it rather than think it out. This may not happen if one is only mindful because in heartfulness one taps into a higher source. There is surrender to a trusted presence greater than you.
Mindfulness and heartfulness catalyze a partnership of opposites. They integrate together meaningfully to effect a more functional quality to daily living. For example, one steps back and observes but also steps in and participates fully; one detaches and acquires perspective but also, at the right moment, becomes involved in necessary detail; one needs to focus with concentration to access deeper understanding but also to flow generously into life and offer.
Such integrations require the flexibility and ability to move from mindfulness into heartfulness at the appropriate moment. It is a matter of feeling the right timing.
Integrated mindful/heartful people go beyond themselves as sole reference points. They acknowledge and tap into a higher source that is beyond this world of action, sound, time and especially human logic.
The heartful consciousness uses the heart, in other words, the feeling of linking to that source and so there is a personal experience of the divine. Such experience cannot solely be facilitated by the mind.
The mindful consciousness moves inward and outward, creating clarity and realization.
The heartful consciousness also moves inward and outward but incorporates an extra move, the movement upward away from one’s mind, one’s thinking and connects to the timeless, subtle, non-physical source. The source is the pure “energy socket” to which the mind and heart connect and are revitalized, recharged. Plugged into the divine source, grace is bestowed upon the individual. It is a communication with the sacred that allows the flow of transformative silence to inundate the person’s whole being thus facilitating wonders to happen. Wonders are facilitated, they do not just happen.
Ultimately, real knowing is with the heart, not with the mind, because it is feeling. It is an experience.
It is like the many seeds of mother nature and sunlight. The seeds are many, all have their uniqueness; but no matter how much one marvels at their uniqueness, without the energy coming from the source of light, the sun, they cannot express. Light facilitates their uniqueness to manifest. Manifestation cannot be facilitated by another seed, no matter how great. This can be accomplished only by light.
We human beings are the same — no matter what good things we learn from others, no matter the inspiration we receive from others, no matter how much our mind can be successfully mindful, in the final analysis, it is the connection with the divine source that manifests our unique purpose and being. That source is the eternal wellspring of any renaissance, whether personal or global. Some traditions have put off many people from approaching the source because so many crooked and opportunistic things have been proclaimed. However, simply to understand that the source is universal, benevolent and accessible to anyone whose intention is clean.
Direct knowing is actual experience, which comes through heartfelt, personal experience combined with mindful, silent awareness.
Indirect knowledge is the description of what is possible. We inhabit a world deluged by indirect knowing: We know about love, about truth, about peace, about integrity, about equality, etc. Yes, it is all possible. However, the fact that there is so much violence, corruption and brutal selfishness reflects that many do not really know. It appears that they do not experience that genuine state of love, of truth, of peace, of integrity, of equality. For we never act contrary to what we experience, since what we experience creates who we are.
At this time, there is a dire need for direct knowing. Only when there is a direct experience can there be real, genuine empowering, which shifts consciousness into an authentic state of respectful relationship — whether with the self, persons, society, nature, time, money, resources.