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  • Thomas Bien

Mindfulness as Love

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To love someone means first of all to be present to that person, to see them as really there, existing in their individual, distinctive, and startling reality. To love someone means to produce our true presence, to make a space in ourselves to be open to that person, to be truly available. It also means that we have a deep intention to understand, even if at times we cannot do so.

It is these very qualities and attitudes that constitute the essence of mindfulness. When we are mindful, we see what is there, acknowledging its presence. We become present ourselves, and we look deeply into the nature of the what we are present with so that we understand it as it actually is.

In this way, we may even say that we “love” a cloud, a tree, a rock, because we will feel something like love even for things we normally call inanimate.

So to be mindful is really not something different from love. And why not begin with being mindful of yourself, aware of what is actually going on with you, what you are thinking and feeling and experiencing, just as it is, with presence and appreciation, with care, attention, and tenderness?

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