The Importance of Mindfulness

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


When is the last time you did nothing at all? Not even thinking? It's probably been a while. It seems almost impossible in our modern day, fast paced lives to find the time to just... breathe.


It's hard to convince someone that doing essentially nothing -- not even reminiscing or listening to music, but simply breathing and listening to each breath -- is the best way to clear the clutter of your mind, and better see your thoughts objectively.

Meditation is not a complicated thing. Yes, it takes practice to be able to turn away your thoughts and focus solely on breathing for 5-20 minutes, but we all have to start somewhere. The word "meditation" can be daunting, but it does not take special powers or years of mastery to do it. I've only really begun meditating this year. I find a quiet place, cross my legs, lower my eyes or close them, rest my hands on my knees, and breath deeply in and out for as long as I feel comfortable.

Don't breathe in too deeply, to the point where it makes you yawn. Just consistent, long ins and outs. Try to bring the breath into the lower part of your lungs (so your tummy puffs out when you inhale). Then exhale for the same amount of time. While all of this is happening, try to only focus on your breath. It is inevitable that thoughts are going to come into your mind (Oh god... I have work to do, What does he/she think of me?, Remember that time when..., and so on.), but the objective of meditation, unlike our usual state of mind, is to realize that you are thinking, and not get lost in a train of thought. Acknowledge that "I am thinking something." See it objectively as "just a thought." Then, gently turn the thought away, because it's not welcome in that moment. Go back to just listening and feeling your breath. Repeat as many times as necessary.

At this point, I can only meditate for about 15 minutes, but I intend to reach 20 soon. I feel such clarity of mind and an odd sense of bliss after meditating. All of my worries and fears seem smaller, and I realize that so much of my anxiety in day to day life just comes from my state of mind. By looking at my worries objectively as simply "thoughts" and nothing more, I can realize the unimportance of these things that I choose to clutter my mind.

Favorite Books on Mindfulness:
Thich Nhat Hanh: The Miracle of Mindfulness
Dr. David Hawkins: Transcending the Levels of Consciousness
Pema Chodron: How to Meditate

Podcast:
A Quiet Mind with Robert Jackson

Retreats & Classes:
Esalen in Big Sur, CA: Moderately priced meditation retreats (Economical sleeping bag option)
Kadampa Meditation Center in New York, NY: $10 meditation classes

18 comments :

  1. Thankyou for reiterating this to me petal, I could not have read this at a better time, it is hard to remember to practice mindfulness.

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  2. What are your thoughts on the philosophy of Buddhism? (Karma, forgiveness, compassion) I recently started reading a lot about it because it has to do with meditation and such! Thank you

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    1. I do appreciate and try my best to exercise Buddhism as a way of life. I support Buddhism's hint that we typically misinterpret our "point of view" to mean that we are a singular conscious being, as opposed to a part of a greater, non-linear, universal consciousness. Like how some say "It's not your life -- It's life!"

      In terms of Karma in Buddhism, I do believe in the Buddha's statements that our present mental and temperamental differences between one another are due to our own actions and tendencies, now and in the past. Our interpretation, for example, that we are unequal to another is simply that -- an interpretation. We create this inequality ourselves.

      I also really support the philosophy that pure happiness stems from transcending desire, aversion, and delusion. In other words, happiness comes from seeing through & surpassing the man-made value of earthly pleasures. Pleasures even being emotions... Let's take pride for example. You asked about forgiveness. People tend to not be compassionate and forgiving because they want to keep their pride intact. This, however, is a very low and earthly (animalistic) level of consciousness that drains the universal plane of consciousness... To raise that level, and bring happiness to you both, you must be compassionate.

      I hope this all makes sense -- I just started ranting :) The Wisdom of Thich Naht Hanh is a good book if you're looking for more insight on the subject.

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  3. don't preach something you know nothing about. this is a very inaccurate description of meditating. and considering you live in new york city I'm positive you have never actually reached meditation before. it is NOT simple. it takes years or even a lifetime to reach meditation. and don't claim that you value Buddhist ideals. you're a model who owns lots of beauty products and said you get something from Zara (one of THE most expensive companies) practically every two weeks. people like you, who are very materialistic, though you may be minimalist simultaneously, are extremely irritating when you put on this 'peace with myself and totally zen and relaxed' kind of attitude. not only annoying and fake but offensive. if you want to make a post about how you get everything you want with your looks, feel free. but don't barge into a spirituality that you don't have.

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    1. Yes this is very "zen" of you to be so condescending :) tell me more

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    2. 1.) I'm not the one claiming to be "zen". you are.
      2.) it's not condescending. I never once said I was better than you. I'm pointing something out that bothers me. I'm allowed to do that. Don't use such topics that are actually soulfully important to individuals to feed your aesthetics.
      3.) Not at all condescending of you to turn this back around on me like you could not possibly do anything wrong.

      And with your sudden fame credited to your bf and looks, your responses to others show that you have quite the air of superiority over your fans and haters.

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    3. Dear Anon,
      Hate is very unbecoming for someone who claims that meditation isn't simple. You're just wasting your time here. The term meditation means different things to different people. To some it's just feeling relaxed and at peace with their surroundings, and to others it's the absolute moksha. You gotta learn to respect the different interpretations of the word, because ultimately being negative and projecting hostility towards others is probably the reason why you find your definition of meditation "not simple". Trust me, if it wasn't simple, only the monks would be doing it. Learn to respect others, even if you disagree with them. You don't know her personally, as she doesn't know you personally. You might actually be a sweetheart to your family and friends, care for a pet, get really good grades, but because of your comment we can't help but make bad assumptions about you. Just like how she's multifaceted and nuanced in ways her blog and Instagram cannot possibly show us, so are you behind that mask of Anonymity.

      I send you all the love and well wishes, because all of us could use a little more of that in this world.

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    4. For that Anon: if Dayna wants to engaged herself in meditation and such, who are you to say no and limit her, she clearly stated that she just started this year, how is she being annoying, fake and offensive, i quite appreciate her blogs actually it's always bare and honest, not to mention literary, they are not sugarcoated and it's always something to think about.. if you think her words are not much to please you and your 'own' understanding of meditation then it's not her problem anymore. You, you have a problem about yourself you're clearly not happy and contented, to the point that you (oh look I'm using your terms "barge into" against you) barge into someone's innocent business. I'm kinda pissed to people like you who just throw hates just bec your 'own beliefs' are not being reached/met by other people. Tbh, there's not so much peace in this world bec people like you force your opinions to other people, when in the first place, YOU SHOULDN'T. You have low points as well, why are you hating on her beauty products, zara freebies, her famous bf (so what? actually she doesn't even mention him that much or brags about him) and her looks.. And to relate that to spirituality or anything about that(i don't really know anything about that sorry but i know Life), just something to think about I'm not forcing you on this.. we all have those material things (if not how on earth do you live) and i want those zara freebies (but i'm not gonna die or kill myself if i din't get one of those), but what it really is about, is how you treat those material things, are you possessive about it, do you prioritize having this (material) than that (happiness), are you going to cry like a little brat if you weren't able to get this or that.. it is still how you are with things God has given us, materials, nature, bf!, friends, family blah blah. How can you judge her just bec she have this or that, you don't even know any stories behind these things.

      Also, I know that I know nothing about meditation, but I feel like you know nothing too, you my friend are clearly not a relaxed person. Go back and study the whole thing again, I think you lost your way there.

      If you think this is an attack, well you have to rethink your first post up there, this is just a product of what you put up there. You're the one who's being wrong here, in a sense that you shouldn't be sounding offensive if you just really want to say something, but clearly you just want to hate.

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  4. Wish u posted more about beauty

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  5. I really enjoyed this post! There's this song/talk I listen to it's short, but very helpful, I think you'd like it too! It's called Just Breathe by Felicia Brown :)

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  6. Wish you could post something about failures and how to get back up/ how to beat depression or negative people?

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  7. I really hope that rude anon is not the reason why you haven't posted anything in a while. I keep checking every day to make sure I don't miss anything you say! I absolutely love your blog. Also, would you mind doing a post about work out routines and stuff? You have a super nice shape and I would love to know how you got it!!
    I hope you have a wonderful day! :-)

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  8. I've followed your instagram for awhile but never clicked the link in your bio until today and I've read a few of your posts and I'm addicted! (sorry if that sounds creepy) Seriously though, you've done an awesome job with this blog! :D

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  9. Dayna,
    I really enjoy reading your blog, and thank you for sharing parts of your life with us! I'm so excited to see what you'll write about next.
    <3 <3

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  10. What can you say about The Bible? Are you believer? Do you think that Buddhism answers to all the questions about life? In my opinion, the bible's more powerful if people would acknowledge them more often. Some people think it is a religion but it isn't. It's just sad that we cling more to ourselves than cling on to the one who truly brought us life. Lets be honest, no matter how many times people meditate.. everything is meaningless. I want to know your personal opinion on this :)

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LEATHER PETAL

By Dayna Frazer

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