Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life
By Karen Armstrong

Part One, Step Five - Mindfulness

BC 5th Henrita

Mindfulness During Challenging Times

After much reading, reflecting and searching on mindfulness as a companion in my life, I was walking through the Christine Center’s bookstore and suddenly was attracted to a Children’s Book by Susan Verde: “I Am Peace – A Book of Mindfulness.”  It is what I needed.  It enabled me to move with memories of my long journey with acquiring mindfulness. Even now each day is a learning.

Each definition I find on mindfulness is basically presenting the same meaning: “Mindfulness means paying attention, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally” (Jon Kabat-Zinn).  As I reflect on mindfulness in my life, many of my past years seemed overcome with busyness, and mindfulness was definitely neglected.  For many years I know that anxiety, stress and fear were present because of a sizeable work schedule.  However, I embraced it willingly for the needs of my community.  Now I am grateful that my present life situation fosters mindfulness in my daily life.

For me, I believe my faithful relationship with mindfulness took on renewed life in 2007, when everyday Mindfulness awareness and practices from Mahamudra Retreats became essential to my daily life.  The graces that I pray for each day are love, compassion and wisdom for myself and for all beings, that they may be free from suffering and that Peace may come.

You may notice that the picture at the beginning of these words with the background of the coronavirus, is a symbol of mindfulness for our times.  Perhaps it is a call to be mindful of all those suffering from the virus, to remember them in prayer, and hope for their well-being.    

Henrita Frost, SSND – May 8, 2020

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