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A Life Worth Living by Jason D. Mitchell

Mindfulness. Everything in life is worth examining. 
Our ability to look at the world that we live in, including ourselves, has allowed humanity to evolve and transform both the world that we live in and ourselves. While we can, and should, debate the benefits of some of the choices we’ve made, what is absolutely true is the gift that this is for each of us individually. You do not have to wait on anyone else to tell you about your life. Whether we are in a physical prison, following the orders of prison guards, going through a PhD program completing assignments or working out with a personal trainer none of the individuals or organizations dictate what is happening within us.

Socrates is given credit for the quote, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” When this quote was introduced to me it immediately resonated and rooted itself in my consciousness. As I grew in my commitment to spiritual study the practice of mindfulness was introduced to me through the writings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. He has said, “that mindfulness is the capacity to be aware of what is going on, of what is there.” The more I practice mindfulness the more I’ve found the connections between being present and examining my own life. Our lives are the sum total of our thoughts and actions. As I am more present with my thoughts – about life, about people, about my choices, about my journey – I am able to bring a greater awareness into my choices. Rev Michael Bernard Beckwith teaches that, “choice is a product of awareness.” We can only make choices about those things that we are aware of. Sometimes we appear to be making choices when we’re really just running the default programming of our mind. 

Whether you give yourself to the practice of mindfulness, or another spiritual technology, it is essential for your growth, development and spiritual unfoldment that you increase your awareness of your own thoughts. Whether it is while you’re in a prison cell, taking an exam, having a conversation with your beloved or sitting at home alone; your awareness of your thoughts is key. You cannot change your life, or your experience of the world that we live in until, through awareness, you recognize the patterns. Once you’ve realized how you’ve been thinking you can elevate your thoughts, establish habits that are beneficial to your well being and step into a life worth living. 

Thich Nhat Hanh – What is Mindfulness