Sunday, October 27, 2019

Meditation Practice: Mindful Meditation

Children, our daily life is just like a tangerine. Just as a tangerine is comprised of sections, each day is comprised of twenty-four hours. One hour is like one section of a tangerine. Living all twenty-four hours of a day is like eating all the sections of a tangerine. The path I have found is the path of living each hour of the day in awareness, mind and body always dwelling in the present moment. The opposite is to live in forgetfulness, we do not know that we are alive. We do not fully experience life because our mind and body are not dwelling in the here and now

This is the fundamental issue with our minds. It's eternally living in another moment, a moment we crave for and desire. In doing so, we completely miss the beauty and bliss of the present moment. The current moment is called 'present' for a reason, it's a gift. A restless mind, however, is either dwelling in the past of dreaming abut the future. The practice of mindful meditation brings you to the present moment, the moment of truth

Mindfulness is about paying attention to every thought (for every action stems from a thought) without discriminating a good thought from a bad thought. When you will begin to watch every action of yours, as you become more mindful, a remarkable thing will happen to you: your mind will start downplaying depressing and hurtful thoughts of the past. Your reaction to anything thrown at you will become a mindful act rather than a knee-jerk response. This leads to a great sense of ease and calm, and you begin to feel more in control. 

On a daily basis, we do so many things mindlessly, without paying attention to our thoughts, emotions, action and inaction. Mindful meditation is the art of doing everything with a sense of awareness and the only way to master this art is by way of practice. 

Mindful meditation is one of the proven and tested ways to break your age-old habits, to shed your old tendencies. Awareness does that naturally, it transforms you into a calm, centered being. This is the easiest way of becoming superconscious of your own actions. With practice, as you transform most of your actions from instinctual to conscious acts, your intelligence gets sharpened because, unlike instinctual actions, performing any conscious act requires a degree of intelligence. The more you use it, the brighter it gets. Mindfulness makes you alert, attentive and watchful.

How to Do It Right

Mindful meditation does not require you to sit in a certain posture. You need not take deep breaths before you start it. On the contrary, it is a practice you have to inculcate in your everyday life, in every waking moment. 
At the heart of the practice of mindful meditation is a simple question: what am I doing now?
Your question and the answers to it, both are in the present continuous tense. In this manner you capture the essence of any moment as it’s passing. 

Within a matter of weeks, you will find yourself calmer, sharper and more alert. You will slow down only to become a lot more efficient. You will eat less but you will gain more (not calories but nutrition) from each bite. Most people forget to chew their food, you won’t. As you become an adept at this meditation, you will get most of your work done without the slightest of stress. As you progress, not only do you become aware of your actions, you become increasingly aware of your emotions, feelings and thoughts.

Next time you have trouble sleeping, ask yourself, what am I doing right now? Now, I’m sleeping. Your mind may feel restless and wander off to thoughts to keep you awake, ask yourself the question again and answer it again. Keep doing it each time your mind drifts away and before long, you will be fast asleep. This meditation is the easiest way to remove distractions. Practicing it also makes you better at other methods of meditation because you are able to filter out distractions. 

If you choose to practice this meditation in a timed session of meditation, where you are sitting on your cushion and meditating, the question will change. 
Instead of saying what am I doing now, you have to ask: “Which thought is on my mind right now?” 
As soon as you will ask this question, you will experience a subtle thoughtless state for a few moments. It is a beautiful experience, addictive even. After a little while, your mind will wander off into its world of thoughts again. Repeat the question. It will come back to the present moment. Keep bringing your mind back to the present moment with the imperative question: “Which thought is on my mind right now?” Gradually, the duration of thoughtlessness will increase and you will become increasingly joyous and composed. 

The mindful practice is a powerful way of staying in the present moment. And the present moment is always stress free. 

It is complete in every sense of the word. Above all, the present moment is the only one we are actually in touch with. It’s the only moment in which we can act or do anything to affect a change.

Similar to the story of Buddha eating tangerine, there’s a famous tea ritual in Zen meditations, where you make, pour, and take every sip with utmost awareness. In Zen, there’s also another form of meditation called kinhin or walking meditation. It’s a type of mindful meditation where you take each step with complete awareness, feeling how your body weight shifts from one step to another. It’s a remarkable way of building mindfulness in the simple act of walking that we take for granted.

Let’s not lose the present moment for this is nature’s greatest ‘present’ that we are alive in this moment. This moment is the only guarantee of life. Put it to use, mindfully.

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