Arnie Kozak is the founder of Exquisite Mind, a consultation service for individuals (in the form mindfulness-based psychotherapy), as well as for the community, healthcare, and other professionals, and corporations. He has spent 25 years meditating, studying Buddhism, and being a mental health professional. In this creative work, Kozak defines mindfulness as "a process of self-inquiry directed at what is happening in the moment, often focused on how the body feels, on how we embody this moment. Mindfulness is an intentional directing of attention to experience as it unfolds in the present moment, one moment following the next the very happening of experience as it is happening without inner commentary, judgment, or storytelling."
The author has gathered 108 metaphors for mindfulness from his own experience and from literature on mindfulness and Buddhism. They are arranged into five thematic categories:
• Metaphors for Mind
• Metaphors for Self
• Metaphors for Emotion, Change, and "Ordinary Craziness"
• Metaphors for Acceptance, Resistance, and Space
• Metaphors for Practice
Like a poet who comes up with many different ways to look at a pond, a child or a wolf, Kozak spins out his web of fresh material. He refers to the "fierce attention" of the meditator, a term coined by David Whyte. He suggests pressing "the inner mute button" on distractions. He observes that "mindfulness is to the mind what a spam blocker is to your mailbox." He compares sitting practice to simmering down, and he reveals that meditation practice helps acquaint us with our deprivation mind which always complains about not having enough. He chortles at the wisdom of a bumper sticker which says "Don't Believe Everything You Think." He notes that the informal practice of mindfulness overflows into daily activities such as cooking or gardening.