Petronella Phillips Devaney
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August 2014

Be here now


SAM_1071Are you looking for wholeness in your life?  Is achieving wholeness your goal, your aim?  People talk about wholeness, but what do they actually mean by it?  What is it we seem to be lacking, or sense is broken in us? What is it that needs to be made whole?

Recently I’ve been reflecting on the concept of wholeness in connection with the practice of mindfulness, which is – very basically – about being more present to ourselves and to the way we live our lives.  It’s about being more fully conscious of what’s happening in and around us, more fully aware.

Mindfulness and consciousness are not exactly the same thing, but they’re close.  You could say, mindfulness is the awareness of being conscious.  And you could also say that the complete awareness of consciousness equals wholeness.

So there you are:  a series of little metaphysical equations, leading to completeness.  Something we may be looking for but rarely seem to find.   Or if we do, not for long.  Just brief moments.  Gazing at a perfect sunset, experiencing the stillness and silence of a forest glade, filling our senses with the scent and sound of the sea – these kind of moments, when we’re suddenly made aware of the sheer power and beauty of nature, can call us vividly into the present.

And when we’re present like this, with our entire attention, our entire being, you could say that’s an experience of wholeness.  We experience it in ourselves and at the same time we’re connected to a greater cosmic wholeness.  It feels almost supernaturally good, but actually it’s our normal existence that’s out of sync with this ever-present, healing connection to nature, and to a more natural and wholesome way of being.

We search for wholeness because we feel fragmented.  Because our attention is scattered, our minds bombarded with thought upon thought.  Lost in thinking and busyness, we lose conscious awareness of the reality of our lives.  Living in our heads, our actual living becomes mindless.  It’s as if we ourselves have become scattered, broken into pieces.  We become prone to anxiety, to depression, to addictions.  We need to make the pieces fit together again.

Living mindfully, we find that the brokenness was an illusion.  We were complete and whole all along!  And the more moments of mindful integration we experience, the more aware of our unbroken – unbreakable – wholeness we become.

Try it.  Still your mind for a few minutes.  Be here now.