Quotations on Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to things as they are.” -- Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (Guilford Press, 2007), p. 47

Present Moment

“Now is all the time, and it is choiceless. There is always now, always now. The forms and memories of the past are always in relation to now. The future also is a situation relative to now. There’s always this precision of now, which is there all the time and which helps us to relate with the past and the future. With now, we know where we are, and therefore how we relate with other things. Of course, by the time you’re trying to relate with a situation, the actual experience has gone past. Still, there is some anchor somewhere, of now, now, now, which goes on all the time. From this point of view, the choices we make depend on how much we are accurately in the now.” Chogyam Trungpa, Work, Sex, Money: Real Life on the Path of Mindfulness, (Shambhala, 2011), p. 75

“The way to practice without having any goal is to limit your activity, or to be concentrated on what you are doing in this moment. Instead of having some particular object in mind, you should limit your activity. When your mind is wandering about elsewhere you have no chance to express yourself. But if you limit your activity to what you can do just now, in this moment, then you can express fully your true nature.” Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, (Weatherhill, 1997), p. 75

“When we commit ourselves to paying attention in an open way, without falling prey to our own likes and dislikes, opinions and prejudices, projections and expectations, new possibilities open up and we have a chance to free ourselves from the straitjacket of unconsciousness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go There You Are, (Hyperion, 1994), p. 6

Being Non-Judgmental and Making Friends with Yourself

“The moment when you label your thoughts ‘thinking’ is probably the key place in the technique where you cultivate gentleness, sympathy, and loving-kindness. (Chogyam Trungpa) Rinpoche used to say, “Notice your tone of voice when you say ‘thinking’.” It might be really harsh, but actually it’s just a euphemism for ‘Drat! You were thinking again, gosh darn it, you dummy.’ You might really be saying, ‘You fool, you absolutely miserable meditator, you’re hopeless…’ If you notice that you’re being harsh, say it a second time just to cultivate the feeling that you could say it to yourself with gentleness and kindness, in other words, that you are cultivating a non-judgmental attitude. You are not criticizing yourself. You are just seeing what is, with precision and gentleness. That is how this technique cultivates not only precision, but also softness, gentleness, a sense of warmth towards oneself. The honesty of precision and the goodheartedness of gentleness are qualities of making friends with yourself.” Pema Chodron, Awakening Loving-Kindness, (Shambhala, 1996), pp. 36, 37

Mindful Communication

“Today, communication between individuals, families, and nations has become very difficult. However, there are concrete ways to train ourselves to communicate nonviolently so that compassion for one another is awakened and mutual understanding becomes possible again. Speaking and listening with compassion are the essential practices of nonviolent communication. Mindful communication means to be aware of what we are saying, and to use conscious, loving speech. It also means listening deeply to the other person to hear what is being said and what is not being said. We can use these methods in any situation, at any time, wherever we are.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh, (Shambhala, 2012), p. 147


“Meditation is one of the main tools we have to develop and practice mindfulness. It is a way to look at ourselves scientifically, so that we can see our psychological situation precisely. Meditation practice is not an exotic or out-of-reach approach. It is immediate and personal, and it involves an intimate relationship with ourselves. It is getting to know ourselves by examining our actual psychological process without being ashamed of it. We are often critical of ourselves to the point where we may become our own enemies. Meditation is a way of ending that quarrel by making friends with ourselves.” Chogyam Trungpa, Mindfulness in Action, (Shambhala 2015), p. 3

“Meditation is so important for us because it is a way of actual response that leads us away from self…It is a way that brings us into that liberty of spirit that arises when we are no longer thinking about ourselves, our plans, our self-development and our fulfillment.” John Main, The Heart of Creation, (Crossroad, 1989), p. 68

Andrew Safer – (709) 722-2716