Gently, Gently, Gently

From Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, Chapter 14 ("Mindfulness versus Concentration"):

You can't develop mindfulness by force. Active teeth-gritting willpower won't do you any good at all. As a matter of fact, it will hinder progress. Mindfulness cannot be cultivated by struggle. It grows by realizing, by letting go, by just settling down in the moment and letting yourself get comfortable with whatever you are experiencing. This does not mean that mindfulness happens all by itself. Far from it. Energy is required. Effort is required. But this effort is different from force. Mindfulness is cultivated by a gentle effort, by effortless effort. You cultivate mindfulness by constantly reminding yourself in a gentle way to maintain your awareness of whatever is happening right now. Persistence and a light touch are the secrets. Mindfulness is cultivated by constantly pulling oneself back to a state of awareness, gently, gently, gently.

(cf. Cultivation of Wisdom (2009-02-09), Mindfulness, Concentration, and Distraction (2015-11-23), Awareness of Thoughts (2016-04-01), Bare Attention (2016-06-20), ...) - ^z - 2016-08-13