A Mindful Meditation
“ Lasting Happiness cannot be found in pursuit of any goal or achievement. It does not reside in fortune or fame. It resides only in the human mind and heart, and it is here that we hope you will find it” 
“ We Have Lost The Art of Daydreaming” CJ
Why is it important for us to develop a Mindful Meditation Practice? We lead very busy lives. With both parents working to make ends meet. We have become driven by the pull of what society dictates we should be achieving. Success is a measurable thing according to the world at large. How do we measure up is a large part of our ego's. It's a never ending cycle of examining ourselves inwardly to discover we just somehow don't measure up. The demands are endless to the questions of, “ what do you do”. I always found this to be a question flanked with a need for the person asking it to somehow compete with a response of something better then the one it's directed at.
Expectations are high on what it is you actually do in life. It's never a question of who are you, but what do you do. I guess what we do for a living is a reflection of who we are. In reality though it's a very slim line of reality. A person is much more then their achievements. Influences from society have almost pushed many of us over the edge in our ever growing world of capitalism. We are urged to have the biggest house which makes a fashion statement, we need to be the best dressed, the best at hosting, the best parent, the best spouse, the best conversationalist, the best employee and the never ending lists of bests continue within our inner dialogue. Other wise our contribution to life just doesn't quit measure up. The pressure is immense to become something we essentially are not. We are forever working on the outside of ourselves. It's the need to look our best as this is a reflection of who we are. It's products lathered in promises of beauty, masculinity, strength, endurance and if you present the part you must be the part... hmm
Of course many of us are very religiously based. Many work on their inner selves through the practice of belief through God, Church and connections within these realms. This is essential for our inner workings as well. We need this realm of existence to ensure we have direction, faith, compassion, acceptance. There is nothing wrong with having faith in a religious base. In fact it is a different area of acknowledgement of self existence. It is often a leadership direction of our morality, and validation of our existence through a God. A power beyond ourselves which strengthens us in right direction. Gives us hope.
What I'm talking about here with meditation is not necessarily faith based. Although you can bring faith and beliefs into it. Prayer is a prime example of a meditative state. We have numerous meditative practices. Zen, Transcendental or Guided Meditation. What I would like to introduce is Vipassana Meditation. It is a practice of calming one's physical body in order to exercise the mind to develop awareness of self, which is then reflected back to the environment we are in. It is from the Buddha and Buddhism. It is also to recognize our suffering, our perceptions, our state of being just as we are. Instead of looking outward to the world for gratification by chasing after moments or objects, which we believe will make us happy. We begin to recognize ourselves, acknowledging happiness is a state of being. In developing clear insight we can then become aware of our essential needs in life.
This does not mean we do not continue to achieve successes. What it does do is allow us to recognize self within these parameters. It is not up to civilization to change as this action is a slow progression of events. It is up to people to change on an individual basis by initiating, understanding and control of their own minds. To recognize their own behavior by stepping aside from misconceptions, ego, hate and jealousy. To really see things as they really are! To stand outside of issues instead of becoming emotionally involved each and every time an issue arises.
Mindful Meditation enables us to see ourselves clearly. Without interruptions from others, or who others tell us we are. It is acceptance of self. This is a discovery of self and although it has far reaching ramifications to interactions outside of ourselves, it is still a personal journey to alleviate suffering within ourselves. We begin to accept ourselves just as we are. We are not perfect. We blunder through ego, pushing to obtain our own supremacy. Our selfish needs are reduced by becoming aware in a deep heartfelt manner that material or gratification from others will not ease our suffering. In fact it often increases it. However, material needs of course are essential to living and one must obtain a certain level of functionality through this. We need food, shelter, clothing, relationships and yes we do need pleasurable things. This difference is, we will be able to now look at these needs with an acute awareness of need and self gratification. Purpose versus pleasure. Through a meditation practice we can see clearly the difference. We can stop, assess, understand and control our impulses. We can see where we are lacking emotionally so we do not have a need to continuously want the mundane. We discover our spiritual selves. Our mind selves and the voices within. You begin to exist as a individual on a journey through life, with a purpose, strength, character. We become more honest with ourselves. We drop the pretence of societies pressure on us to become what they want us to become. We then have a piece of chocolate and really enjoy the moment of it by being mindful of what we are experiencing.
In order to master self, you first need to discover self. This is done through a Meditation Practice. We find the backbone of ourselves through our own minds. Normally we are not aware of every conscious moment within ourselves. We are complicated beings. Fragile yet strong. Defensive yet timid. We drift through life with little mind to anything, except to reach our goal, then to the next, the next and next. We wonder have we really really enjoyed anything on this journey of ours.
Meditation requires dedication, to the practice yes, but also to yourself. This requires emotional acceptance. In understanding our quick world of instantaneous gratification we will not quit because we don't discover anything in a day, or week or months. It's a slow dawning of realization of self. We are aware often of our bodies, but are we aware of our minds, other then the continuous dialogue ever present in the back of them. Whatever that dialogue is saying to us. We will begin to develop a keen sense of awareness and concentration level to control our impulses. Reaching a deeper level of who we truly are and who we truly show the world.
We can read all sorts of books, explaining how we can achieve our true purpose in life. We can practice all sorts of directions from others and their journeys in discovering self. But the answer lies within you. When we begin to enjoy ourselves, we can then feel happiness around us, through us, through others and through our lives.
Begin the journey even if it's just a few moments in the morning of verbally expressing your gratitude or a 2 minute acknowledgement. We can then move into a 5 minute meditation moment, to a 10 minute until you are moving towards self discovery. Wouldn't this be the best journey you ever took.
“ No dark fate determines the future. We do. Each day and each moment, we are able to create and re-create our lives and the quality of human life on our planet. This is the power we wield” 
Remember: Every day is a new opportunity to begin again.
With Loving Friendliness
The Book of Joy; His Holiness the Dalai Lama; Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams; Introduction page. Copyright 2016.
Mindfulness in Plain English; Bhante Gunaratana; Copyright 2014
3) Buddhist Meditation; Wikipedia.