Reading the New York Times article detailing the use of mindfulness techniques in approaches to elementary school children has gotten me thinking more deeply about the profound effects of meditation and mindfulness. I think it was Mahatma Gandhi who once said that if we could get 1 percent of the world meditating we could eliminate war. Character education is routinely taught in schools. It’s a good thing too, but mindfulness is more about living than thinking. Character education is thinking good thoughts and thinking can never outdo doing. You can act your way into good thinking but very rarely if ever can you think your way into good acting. Therefore mindfulness education is one very simple way to nurture thoughtfulness from which will flow the other virtues that most character education programs would seek.
Yesterday’s post on Separating truth from half truth contained this line:
..how does one stop to separate the truth from the half- truth, the event form the pseudo-event, reality from the manufactured image?–Thomas Merton
Daily we are surrounded with images and words that call us to mindlessness. These come in the form of both events and pseudo events and how do we really know that we aren’t being manipulated for some purpose. What is reality and what is manufactured? We are surrounded by invitations to mindlessness, Both terrorism and the war on terror invite us to mindlessness. Terrorism and the war on it are two sides of the same sword. The answer lies in not hitting back but in sitting mindfully in the present moment and encouraging others to do the same. What has happened, what can happen and what will happen are not reality. What is happening at this instant is reality and that is where our focus ought to be.