one moment of mindfulness


“One suggestion of how to maintain awareness, is to have a sense of humility and simplicity. These things help. There is a monk at Amaravati who tends to strive too hard, then fail, then get depressed, then frustrated by the thought that he needs more solitude, more isolation and a different environment. He thinks there are too many distractions at Amaravati, too many people. One way I have of handling this is to be grateful for the moments I am mindful. If I get caught up in the life of the monastery, pulled this way and that and am not very mindful, then suddenly—I remember! And I treasure that; I value that rather than think, ‘Oh, I’m trying to be mindful but I can’t do it,’ and beating myself up because I vowed in the morning to be mindful the whole day, but failed. I would go into these states of, ‘Oh, there I go again; I shouldn’t have done that!’ and nag myself, criticize myself and feel like a failure. But even if there is only one moment in the whole day when I am mindful, I can feel this ‘thank you!’ To me that is more helpful than beating yourself up, because that doesn’t help you in any way. Meditation is not a matter of success, of being able to achieve goals and prove ourselves. Remember that.”

~ Ajahn Sumedho
from “Don’t Take Your Life Personally”

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