“Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.”
~ Sylvia Boorstein
There is a saying words once spoken cannot be retrieved. The hidden meaning is that we have to be mindful of whatever we do especially what we speak. Speaking comes to us so effortlessly but does watching what we utter comes as easily to us ?
Make conscious breathing your anchor.
The moment has three inherent gifts for you if you’re willing to be in it. It rewards you with plenty of time, freedom to be precisely as you should be and notably infinite possibility.
The moment says “I exist in the space between your thoughts.”
You’re waiting in the line in a movie ticket queue and assume you have absolutely no patience. You are eager to watch the movie yet waiting in the line seems tediously boring. Define boredom to yourself. Boredom is an unproductive feeling while doing a task. What if I tell waiting in line is a virtue. It makes you mindful to the situation.
You can listen to music while standing in the queue or just contemplate. Be with your thoughts. Notice the commotion. Write something on your phone or text your friend.
By the time your turn at the waiting line halts you would be cursing the other way round. You would perhaps wonder why the queue dismissed so soon..
Being engrossed in the moment helps to a large extent by making the present environment seem very calm and accommodating. Even in situations where you wish to be not ‘there’, being in the moment lets you actually escape from the very ‘presence’ you wanna ward off.
Doesn’t that seem like a happy irony ?
Mindfulness is a challenge for a restless soul yet bringing your attention to the pace of your galloping thoughts makes it seems like an easy task.
If mindfulness is the process of actively noticing new things, then even new lyrics that you come across each time to replay your favourite song, is being mindful.
An Urdu word called ‘Sitam’ means oppression. I learnt this while listening to ‘Jaago Zara’ of Viva band. Random things like these catch your unwavering mind as unknowingly you are being mindful without making the slightest of effort.
I just realised recently that talking to someone in an online forum is much different from talking to them in real life. Of course in ideal scenario, it should be the same if the person doesn’t have two personalities reserved for the virtual and real world separately.
You see I was being mindful here.
Just to tell you it isn’t a conscious process most of the time. It is ingrained within us and can come as naturally to as breathing.
I found something really insightful in this blog
For a change someone acknowledged that thoughts belong to the present moment. When we talk of the present we avoid thinking as a process. Thoughts are current and cannot be grasped as they are continual flowing like a river.
Its bizarre to pay conscious attention to them or get rid of them.
You don’t have to attend ardently to every freaking passing moment. Mindfulness isn’t about detaching yourself from your thoughts. Just like a camera cant click a picture of itself. You cant be the observer of your thoughts from a technical viewpoint.
“What’s useful — and interesting — is to note how we are thinking, how we relate to our thoughts, where our thoughts lead, under what conditions different types of thinking arise, and how we become aware of our thoughts.” –Matthew Young
You don’t have give up thinking altogether while being mindful. Every type of thinking occurs in the present. When we can pay attention to the environment in which we exist and the immediate objects and sounds around us.
Why can’t we just include our thoughts under the purview of being calm ?
Who said being mindful and serene has to do with completely ignoring your thoughts ? Isn’t that more if a delusion that evading thoughts helps us to concentrate on our breath ?
What if we allow our thoughts and intentions to interact with our body and it’s breathing pace ?
We naturally assume that our thoughts are bothersome and they have to be observed like clouds hovering in sky. This is senseless because they are a part of us. Who said thoughts have to be analysed from such a weird perspective ?
Why cant we just let the thoughts come and see from where they evolve ? Where do they lead ? They aren’t destructive in the first place and they try to tell us something important to the peace of our mind.
It creates a pressure on the mind when we force ourselves to empty it of thoughts. What would the mind subsist on ?
Mind needs thoughts. Even enlightened souls have thoughts. Just that their mind is placid and their thoughts are not in conflict with their body.
Their mind is at ease.
Concentration becomes easier when we allow ourselves to get distracted by the pervasive thoughts.
There is no golden rule that mindfulness is achieved by a vacuum state of mind. A mind full of thoughts yet knowing how to deal with them without fighting them out is more calmer than the one trying to ward off thoughts in a bid to be calm.
Extinguishing a flame is easy but thoughts are inflammatory. They only come again and again and with more force if you try to douse them. So why not just let them exist as per their need and wishes. They would fade away without even you trying to curb them.
They exist because of you and not vice-versa.
Mindfulness doesn’t mean overpowering your thoughts. It means being with your thoughts and yet not let them steal your joy of the present. You can investigate your thinking while being in the present.
You can have the best of both worlds.