When we practice mindfulness we learn to be aware of our experience as it enfolds moment by moment. But how doe we deal with moments which are especially difficult and painful? This is a challenge we all face sooner or later, vulnerable as we are to adversity, loss, ageing and dying.
The key is that we not only learn to meet life with mindfulness but also with compassion or heartfulness – with a heartful mind and a mindful heart. But often, we are harsh upon ourselves. We think we should not be vulnerable, blame ourselves and isolate ourselves form others. We listen to an inner critic, while we need an inner helper. And if we do not take good care of ourselves, it may also be difficult to sense what others need.