A girl on top of a mountain practicing mindful meditation.
Photo by Matteo Di Iorio on Unsplash

5 examples of mindfulness drawn from Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now.

Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present. It’s being aware of every thought, emotion, and experience without becoming overly reactive or overwhelmed.

Although mindfulness was first used in Buddhism, it has been widely used as a mental health alternative as it has shown numerous benefits. Because of this, we have compiled 5 examples of mindfulness that will ground you in the present moment.

#1. Embrace the Present Moment

It is part of our human nature to suffer when things don’t go as planned.

But what if you were to accept and embrace things as they are? Resisting the reality of a situation generates pain and suffering; whereas, accepting the present moment as is, sets you free.

For instance, an unexpected diagnosis can lead to a spiritual awakening, a painful loss can take you to inner growth, and a missed job opportunity can guide you to a better career path.

As in the words of spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle,

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.”

On that same token, another important example of mindfulness is to:

#2. Embrace Every Thought and Emotion Without Emitting Judgment

Imagine feeling anger towards someone due to their past actions. You find yourself clinging onto this emotion, allowing it to persist, and consequently experiencing suffering. The thoughts that repeatedly surface in your mind include questions like, “How could they have done such a thing?” and judgments like, “They are awful, and I did not deserve to be treated that way.”

Without realizing it, by engaging with your emotions and emitting judgment, you have become your anger. This emotion has taken control of you and is making you unhappy and miserable.

Tolle invites you to disidentify from your thoughts and emotions by engaging in a simple act of observation. Instead of getting entangled in them, accept the emotions and allow yourself to experience them fully. As for the thoughts, view them as distinct entities separate from your true self. Merely observe these thoughts without becoming entwined in them. By doing so, you can fully embrace the present moment and live in the Now.

This takes us to #3 in our examples of mindfulness:

#3. Don’t Let Your Thoughts Wander to the Past or the Future

The past is merely a memory trace, and the future is an imagined moment —an illusion. You can’t change the past, and you can’t live in the future, so why invest time in anything else than the present moment? It’s all you’ll ever truly have, so make sure it’s your life’s main focus.

Being able to ground yourself in the present moment is also an effective tool against anxiety and depression.  By avoiding a trip down memory lane, or creating hypothetical case scenarios of the future, you put an immediate stop to catastrophic thinking.

Catastrophic thinking is focusing on worst-case scenarios with a high expectation of imminent failure. This type of thinking makes you suffer uselessly. Grounding yourself in the present moment through the power of mindfulness can help you stop this negative and distorted thought rumination.

Another of Tolle’s examples of mindfulness for returning to the present moment is to:

#4. Set the Intention of Becoming Aware of Everything that Happens Around You

Become involved. Invest yourself deeply into everything you experience.

Are you washing the dishes? Pay close attention as you rinse every dish or spoon. Are you having a conversation with someone? Don’t jump to conclusions or judge what they’re saying. Listen openly and ask thorough questions —this is a great anchor to mindfulness. It will also make you insightful and will deepen your connection with others.

That said, take any opportunity to become mindful. Aim on being more attentive to everything that’s going on around you. For instance, if you’re in the grocery store, pay attention to the fruits and vegetables as you pass them by. Listen attentively to the things the cashier says as you pay for your groceries, and notice the aisles as you walk out of the store. Use each moment to soak up every detail around you.

However, a perfect scenery for setting in motion this example of mindfulness is nature. So…

#5. Become Immersed in Nature

If you live in the city, consider taking a walk in the park, or visiting the countryside more often. Try to be in touch with nature. But make sure you appreciate the environment, from the chirping of birds to the greenery around you. Quiet your mind and live in the present moment. Your total presence is essential.

A study done in 2019 established that practicing mindfulness in nature can boost feelings of connectedness with nature and improve mood.

Additionally, when you free yourself of wandering thoughts and become mindful, you get to connect with that place within where true creativity and beauty arise. You access your wise intuitive self.

That said, mindfulness nurtures your intuition.

Living in the present moment awakens you. It allows you to see yourself truthfully and completely. In effect, being aware of your true essence —your thoughts, emotions, as well as your preferences and dislikes, allows you to make intuitive decisions derived from the heart.

Practicing mindfulness also takes you to notice the outside world in a way that allows you to unconsciously decipher patterns you wouldn’t have ever discovered otherwise. This is the perfect definition of being intuitive.

“Something could happen at any moment, and if you’re not absolutely awake, absolutely still, you will miss it.” Eckhart Tolle

So consider incorporating these examples of mindfulness into your everyday routine. Instill them as a mental habit. It will protect you from anxiety and depression while making you self-aware and intuitive.

However, mindfulness is only one pillar for accessing your intuition. If you want to find out practical ways for enhancing your intuition, download our eBook, The Psychology of Intuition.

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Sarah Peláez is a Clinical Psychologist, Learning Therapist, and author of “The Psychology of Intuition.”