Many of us consider the path of “mindfulness meditation” as a path of perfection. My experiences lead me to believe this is a mistake. Mindfulness meditation is a path of liberation, not perfection. Perfectionists are often impossible to live with. Humans are happy around those who are happy. A great deal of happiness requires us to accept ourselves.
The Reality of Every Moment
Mindfulness meditation makes us confront the reality of every moment. This reality involves observing the present moment as it is. Mindfulness meditation teaches us to stop asking life for things it cannot give us. It allows us to become aware and accept life’s realities. Moments keep changing and passing us by. Holding onto them causes suffering. We become unhappy and unsatisfied with ourselves when we ask life to give us something it cannot provide.
Knowing Your Limits
Observing and accepting our limits is a great part of mindfulness meditation. This practice observes that all phenomenon are conditionals. Things don’t exist by themselves. They happen due to conditions. We experience discomfort and dissatisfaction when we criticize ourselves. Observing situations with conditions makes acceptance easier. Mindfulness meditation teaches us that we’re not blamed personally for what’s happening. We learn that existing conditions are responsible.
Taking Responsibility for Our Happiness
Mindfulness meditation helps us to stop taking things personally. We feel responsible for our actions. We are the one who can influence the conditions in our surroundings since we have the power to do so. This power is different from blaming ourselves. It has everything to do with our capacity to influence our future by modifying the conditions at the present moment. We become active in our life and feel more satisfied with the results.
Putting it All Together
Becoming mindful of the conditions of the present moment, while avoiding the desire to take things personally, is within our responsibility. We want to put the right conditions in our environment in order to get desired results: to make us happier and become more confident human beings.
About the Author
Pierre Gagnon practised concentration and insight meditation intensively from 2010 to 2012, then went on to study meditation at Wat Suan Mokkh with the venerable Ajahn Po from 2013 to 2015. As well as his own practice, he has coordinated meditation retreats in the south of Thailand which were attended by more than 1,000 people.
Having a great passion in the field of neuroscience, he likes to integrate these concepts into meditation practice. He believes that much of our life is lived resisting and defending against internal and external experiences that people perceive as threats. Through the development of concentration and meditation, we can insightfully see that all experiences are harmless and there is no need to defend of contract around them. Pierre has experience coordinating concentration and insight meditation retreats, teaching the relationship that exists between Buddhism and neuroscience.