Originally Posted by opalescent
I'm also trying to be more mindful and present. I find this almost impossible. I take comfort in the fact that the Buddha and other spiritual geniuses also found this extremely hard.
Is it extremely hard (difficult)?
I'd say Yes and No. (How Zen is that?!)
It is extremely difficult to be in mindfulness about everything all of the time.
Yet it is very easy to be aware of some things pretty continuously. Example: breathing. One can be aware of one's breathing without losing track of one's awareness of breathing fairly readily, especially with a little practice. Even when thoughts arise in sitting meditation on mindfulness on breathing, one can simply notice that this is so and still maintain awareness of breathing.
The hard part is often treating our arising thoughts, habits of perception and reaction, etc., with metta (lovingkindness), which is a part of mindfulness practice as many teach it. Some will insist that the metta part is absolutely crucial. And that's difficult to practice ... usually because most of us are really pretty hard on ourselves--which is to say, unkind toward ourselves. We are habitually harsh on ourselves. (And some of the harshest toward themselves will deny this completely!, saying they're not yet hard enough on themselves!)
Early on, I thought of mindfulness practice as a practice of neutral noticing of the arising sensations, thoughts, habits, etc. But some of the best teachers (I'll name them if asked) insist that we bring metta to ourselves in our mindfulness practices, rather than neutrality -- probably because they know and understand their audience--, a bunch of neurotics!