The Mindfulness Blog

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Mercy, Mercy Me

Yep-- you guessed it. An anthem for the future of our world (first recorded almost 50 years ago) featuring the dulcet voice of Marvin Gaye. The lyrics still resonate, and the song is truly timeless.

I wrote a short piece in April entitled, "Mindful Agency" and this song reminds me that we all need to regularly revisit the notion of agency in urgent times-- which we can all do quite effectively, through mindfulness and meditation.

Many people associate the two with inward-facing observation or contemplation, but they can also be very powerful outward-facing practices that guide us toward intentional action involving causes or conditions that are very much of-this-world, like climate change social injustice or protection of voting rights.

As Sharon Salzburg put it, "We [proponents of mindfulness and meditation] still fight. We just don't hate". Mindfulness is not about checking out, and meditation is not about wiping our minds blank. Quite to the contrary, both practices can encourage us to continue fighting for things that matter, without an emotion-fueled approach that eclipses fact or reason.

Awareness of the moment is awareness of the details of life, and awareness of those details can also inform a heightened appreciation of larger matters-- matters that span, or impact, many of our moments.

Whether, and how, one chooses to engage with those larger matters is, of course, a personal choice. As long as it is grounded in an intention that is informed dispassionately, by one's awareness of the moment, it'll be a mindful choice.

Turns out that mindfulness and meditation are a lot more expansive than many of us might imagine-- mercy, mercy me!


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