No matter how diligently you work hard and stress yourself, your boss will still find a replacement when he feels it. No matter how much you spend to show off your social status, you are still somewhere worried about tomorrow’s position. No matter how romantic and quixotic you are, your attachment toward expectations continues to disappoint you. No matter how you many pills you take in for a better sleep, your nostalgic faculty will still make you feel the guilt. No matter what you think of yourself, you’re still stuck between the point of mindfull-ness and mindfool-ness. And, that’s OK till you resolve to solemnly walk towards the path of mindful-ness.
Just like you spot a municipal sweeper cleaning the road, synonymously you have to sweep your own mind. Nobody else will do it for you. You have to do it for yourself. Others may advise you, guide you or motivate you, but in the end, you have to walk your own path. As we are individually responsible for our own choices, we are consequently responsible for our own actions [too] or the state of mind we’re in. This is not to deny that external factors like social interaction, parenting, economic structures, etc don’t play any role in the facilitation of our own volition, but eventually it all boils down to the status and caliber of our own mind.
“Mind is everything. What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” — Buddha
Mindfulness is an art of breathing, seeing, feeling, observing, liberating and nevertheless living. Often, we assume that we’re already living, but the matter of fact is that most of us are stuck in the web of surviving. Some are upgraded to go beyond surviving i.e. existing. But, existing for the sake of living is ‘being dead inside and waiting for the time to sleep in the grave’. Like salt is important to a food dish, inherently; mindfulness is intrinsic to living.
Mindfulness aka Vipassana technique was discoursed, preached and practiced by a man called Siddhartha Gautama ‘The Buddha’, who achieved nirvana through this scientific meditation. He learned that ‘life is suffering’, aftermath mindfulness meditation, and came out with a ratiocination that there are three other noble truth: cause, end and a way to end suffering. As your physician would prescribe medicines or pills for your bodily suffering, The Buddha suggested Eight Noble Path in which mindfulness is one of the important medicines. These eight noble paths are a medicine to every damn thing that affects our mind, body, speech, behavior, efforts, focus and livelihood.
“Living mindfully, we see a deeper reality and are able to witness impermanence without fear, anger, or despair.” — Thich Naht Hanh
It is a non-sectarian practice, commenced 2500 years ago, for which we are not thankful enough because we have sidelined it in our daily lifestyle, and imbibe. If it were not for Burma and other East Asian nations to preserve it, the science would have disappeared today. The western world is also obliged to this technique and has developed many cognitive/psychological therapies that enlists of the mindful-ness features and they’re: MSBR, MBCT, MBPM, ACT, DBT and MDT; based on the axioms of vipassana! In East Asian region, therapies like Morita and Hakomi are renowned ones. The technique is practiced in schools, offices, prisons, etc. In India, it was conducted in Tihar jail and the results were great.
“A man may conquer a million men in battle, but one who conquers himself is a indeed, the greatest victor.” — Buddha
Mindfulness aka Vipassana is a straightforward, practical way to achieve the real nature of peaceful mind and to lead a joyous life. In Pali language, the oldest language of India, ‘vipassana’ means to see things — as they really are, not just as they seem to be.
Mindfulness is that ONE pill to ALL our predicament in life. You may laugh off at this premise, but it is true. You may ask anyone who has practiced 10 days course of vipassana meditation at any pagoda centers, to believe how the magic works. It has nothing to do with religion, rituals, customs or mantras. It is short and simple: Breathe in and Breathe out. Observe the inhale and exhale. Do not count. Do not open your eyes. Just feel the sensation of feelings, thoughts and experience the process, to clearly understand yourself, without any theory, chants or thoughts. This Vietnamese Monk Thich Naht Hanh has written plenty of books on mastering this art. Take some time out to read them, if you wish to help yourself. Different individuals experience the phenomenon differently. In my case, I have not done a 10 days course thing, although I look forward to, but I have been practicing mindfulness meditation while eating, walking, talking, reading, writing, feeling, seeing, etc. In short, the technique helps us master the art of seeing, observing and realizing, accepting and non-judging.
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” — Buddha
We’re are all prisoners of our own ‘monkey mind’. Is there anyone who does not crave at one point or another to take something that is not his? Is there anyone who does not wish, at least once, to hurt the one who hurts him? It is a thin line that separates us from these people, who stare at us from behind bars. The same things that do not go beyond the threshold of our thoughts, have crossed, in their case, the threshold of actions. But still, we are alike. Inside our heads, we are all knowing how our ‘mind’ controls our mind than letting ourselves channelize the ‘mind.
The state of mindfulness is my goal because everything else is a mental construct. What’s yours?