Seven Factors of Non-Reactivity
These seven factors support our meditation practice; we learn how to be less reactive and more responsive to challenging situations and events.
Mindfulness Meditation – Concentration, Awareness, with Compassion
Mindfulness is awareness that arises by paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Mindfulness involves training in attention, awareness, concentration, and compassion.
Key aspects of mindfulness: Concentration – the ability to stay focused on one object, one-pointedness. Awareness – another way of knowing that is non-cognitive, experiential, in the present moment – now, not being caught-up in the future or in the past. The heart of mindfulness is a gentle, curious attention to whatever arises in mind and body. Just directly observing the sensations themselves, as the moment unfolds, with nothing added. This practice is done with Compassion – coming to know and understand yourself in a deeper, experiential way to relieve stress and other forms of suffering. Keep in mind, as with developing any art or skill, mindfulness requires practice and patience.
Mindfulness practice allows you to respond rather than react to stressful situations. Reactions are often automatic, unconscious, and habitual. Responses are conscious choices arising from mindfulness – perception, appraisal, awareness of what’s actually happening in the moment. This process results in not identifying as closely with our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, which in-turn loosens attachment to them, allowing space for creative conscious choices.
Seven Factors of Non-Reactivity
These seven factors or ways to approach meditation practice help in its development, leading to being less reactive and more responsive or in short, to experience less stress.
Mindfulness – is awareness that arises when we pay attention on purpose, in the present moment without judgment. Mindfulness helps to balance these factors.
Investigation – we inquire into the nature of things, identify skillful patterns of mind to cultivate and unskillful patterns of mind to let go or abandon. We investigate, to see more clearly and identify our biases, assumptions, and views. In other words, knowing what is what. This is also called the discerning factor.
Energy – it takes effort or work to investigate, though mindfulness, our relationship with ourselves, others, and our environment. A wise effort – the expenditure of energy is balanced.
Joy or Happiness – understanding that practice will bring you more peace, to be more non-reactive, experience less stress and anxiety. This understanding, in turn, will help bring you more happiness and help to deepen your meditation practice. You might try bringing a slight smile to your face and see how that changes how you feel.
Tranquility or Relaxation – is experienced as calmness of mind and body; it’s a feeling of contentment. You have, most likely, already have noticed this with the Awareness of Breath practice.
Concentration – is one pointedness of mind. We focus all of our mental faculties on one object. The Awareness of Breath Meditation helps to cultivate this factor.
Equanimity – is a balanced mind. It is a mind that is non-reactive. When we are more responsive and less reactive to challenging situations and events we are equanimous. We are developing an evenness of mind or inner equipoise. Reactivity lessens.
You may notice there is a progression to these factors. Each one builds on the one before it. Mindfulness is the starting point and helps to keep the factors in balance.
Online Mindfulness Practice Opportunities
Mindfulness Practice Evening is Free, Live, and on Zoom – that meets the second Friday of each month from 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. We explore different aspects of mindfulness through discussions and practices. All are welcome – whether you are just curious about mindfulness and its benefits or have a regular practice. For more information and the necessary Zoom link please, contact Mike Healy at email@example.com.
The Dedicated Mindfulness Practitioners Group meets every Saturday from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. This is an opportunity to practice and discuss your mindfulness practice – all are welcome to this free gathering. Now offered online with Zoom. For questions please and the necessary Zoom link, please contact Richard Shoemaker at Richardshoe@gmail.com.
Rick Hanson – Meditations for Happiness, Love, and Inner Peace
A wide variety of Mindfulness Meditations with Tara Brach
Mindful Living Center, Mike Healy Instructor offers – Free mindfulness guided meditation for realizing greater health and happiness – https://mindfuliving.org/meditation-mindfulness-resources-athens/
Individualize Mindfulness for Stress Reduction Program – flexible schedule!!!
The Mindfulness Practice Evening is facilitated by Mike Healy, Ed.D., certified to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction by the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and is a certified Integral Hatha Yoga instructor, RYT 200. For more information about enrolling in an individual MBSR workshop with a schedule that fits yours, contact Mike Healy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 706-248-8918 or visit: www.MindfuLiving.Org
LET IT GO – BY DANNA FAULDS
Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold, the holding of plans or dreams or expectations – Let it all go.
Save your strength to swim with the tide.
The choice to fight what is here before you now will only result in struggle, fear, and desperate attempts to flee from the very energy you long for.
Let go. Let it all go and flow with the grace that washes through your days whether you received it gently or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders.
Take this on faith; the mind may never find the explanations that it seeks, but you will move forward nonetheless.
Let go, and the wave’s crest will carry you to unknown shores, beyond your wildest dreams or destinations.
Let it all go and find the place of rest and peace, and certain transformation.
In Blackwater Woods
Look, the trees
their own bodies
into pillars of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
the long tapers
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its name is, is
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this:
the fires and the black river of loss
whose other side is salvation,
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
To love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones
knowing your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.