Skillful Action

A client asked me how to resolve the seeming contradiction between acceptance and taking action. This is a common misconception about mindfulness, that it is a state of blissful inaction wherein the practitioner stops thinking. I suppose this idea could be a by-product of the concept of heaven, the reward for being good. Mindfulness, though, is a very different state.

Instead of stopping thinking, one becomes fully aware of thinking. After all, the average brain generates something like 60,000 thoughts a day. It seems unlikely that such a thought-generator could be made to stop. The process of meditation is simple, set an intention to focus on an object (such as the breath), notice when the mind has wandered off the intention (usually to thoughts about the past or the future), and gently direct it back to the intention. Over, and over, and over…

Mindfulness is about full engagement with present-moment experience while directing the mind away from the tendency to get caught up in thinking about the experience. Due to our reliance on thinking, direct contact with experience is something we rarely have. When was the last time you paid attention without judgment to the full set of sensations in your body while feeling anger or sadness? Or noticed your opinions about a topic that evokes your passion without believing that your opinions were absolutely true and right?

Full engagement includes taking action in your life, far from sitting passively and blissed out. The Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism instructs how to free oneself from suffering by acting skillfully. Rather than cool detachment, mindfulness engages one with being fully present and involved. The focus is on the skillful use of thoughts, words, actions, and vocation to contribute to peace and the liberation of all beings from suffering (attachment to impermanent existence).

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy has a similar goal, to help the client step out of thinking about action and step into full, committed action. The compass point that shows the course of action is one’s values, the personal qualities and ongoing states of action that engage one in life in a meaningful, vital, and empowered way. For example, if I want to have better communication with my partner, I could notice the thoughts and feelings I have when we argue, step out of attachment to being right, and step into the values of cooperation and acting lovingly. I would still have the feelings of anger, resentment, etc., and the thought “I’m right and he needs to see that he’s wrong,” and from the place of values I would choose to speak kindly while working through the argument. I would show up completely, without the protection of my thoughts. Bold action, indeed.

32 replies
  1. z3mh5iv041
    z3mh5iv041 says:

    http://www.gginza.com/%E3%83%90%E3%83%83%E3%82%B0/bottegaveneta/index.html
    日本超人気のスーパーコピーブランド激安通販専門店!┏━━━━━2016年人気最高品質━━━━━┓ ◎━ 腕時計、バッグ、財布、アクセサリ ━◎最新入荷!主に販売商品:ロレックスコピー、カルティエコピー、エルメスコピー、ブラダコピー、ルイヴィトンコピー、シャネルコピー、グッチコピー等一流のブランドコピー品。商品の数量は多い、品質はよい、高品質のブランドコピーを超激安な価格で販売しています。信用第一、商品は絶対の自信が御座います!驚きと満足を保証致します。ぜひご来店くださいませ!★ 2016年注文割引開催中,全部の商品割引10% ★ 在庫情報随時更新! ★ 実物写真、付属品を完備する。 ★ 100%品質を保証する。 ★ 送料は無料です(日本全国)!★ 経営方針: 品質を重視、納期も厳守、信用第一!税関の没収する商品は再度無料にして発送します!}}}}}}

  2. Noel Schoenberger
    Noel Schoenberger says:

    erythromycin target bacteria erythromycin eye price dr. abelardo aguilar discovered erythromycin how to buy erythromycin erythromycin mail order erythromycin next day delivery erythromycin buy lotion discovered ilosone erythromycin who discovered ilosone

  3. rehearsal dinner dress anthropologie bedding
    rehearsal dinner dress anthropologie bedding says:

    Celebrations of Christmas festival begin on the eve of Christmas on 24th December and continue till New Year’s Day.
    The bride should be the only man or women at the wedding party wearing white-colored.
    eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],’brighthubeducation_com-medrectangle-3′]));.

    Use these borders for all of your more elegant affairs:
    Bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, and black tie events.
    Follow the above advice and you will be on the way to really enjoying that special evening or event adorning those stunning Dresses For A Special Occasion. Remember to make sure your evening
    look is appropriate for the time of year, skyscraper heels and short
    dresses are not a good idea in the depths of winter
    (unless you. To figure out which with the evening garments to add
    to your personal summer wardrobe, check out the designer
    label collections coming from different online fashion outlets.

  4. Sanda Berner
    Sanda Berner says:

    I’m excited to find this page. I need to to thank you for ones time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely savored every part of it and i also have you bookmarked to see new stuff on your blog.|

  5. Bedemand Slagelse
    Bedemand Slagelse says:

    Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers! It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!

  6. имоти в софия
    имоти в софия says:

    There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as wellyou have a great blog here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?

  7. СКОЛЬКО СТОИТ РАЗРАБОТКА ВЕБ САЙТА
    СКОЛЬКО СТОИТ РАЗРАБОТКА ВЕБ САЙТА says:

    Excellent goods from you, man. I have consider your stuff previous to and you’re just too fantastic. I really like what you have acquired right here, certainly like what you’re stating and the best way in which you assert it. You are making it enjoyable and you still take care of to stay it wise. I cant wait to read far more from you. That is actually a terrific website.|

  8. РЕКЛАМА ВКОНТАКТЕ
    РЕКЛАМА ВКОНТАКТЕ says:

    I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.|

  9. imoti sofia
    imoti sofia says:

    This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

  10. Richard Intveld
    Richard Intveld says:

    Hey there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

Comments are closed.