In the past few years, there has been a wave of mindfulness based stress reduction and training across the world. The pioneer, Thic Naht Hanh, a Vietnamese monk, practices it in south of France in Plum Village, with his speeches abundant on YouTube. Another volunteer has been Eckhart Tolle, who propagated it in his famous book The Power of Now.
So, what is mindfulness? It is simply being mindful of the activity you are doing in present moment and being aware of it. For example, it could be you reading this piece without any other thought in mind and absorbing every word of it. For me, mindfulness practice started in the shower. Relishing a hot water bath is relaxing and therapeutic. I like to be aware (relish) of the water falling on my body and enjoying it. Recently, I started eating mindfully despite the flavour of food.
Mindfulness is meditation in motion. Meditation is simply being aware of ‘one’ thing and bringing your mind awareness back to the object of concentration (many times your breath). Have you heard of walking meditation? It is mindfulness too. Focusing on every step being taken, every time your feet touches the earth and absorb mother earth’s energy. For chakral point of view, it makes you more grounded.
So, why be mindful? Simply because our minds are scattered and with today’s demanding lifestyle trying to do many things at one time, or multi-tasking. According to scientific research, our brains are designed to focus on one task at a time. This could be non voluntary (for a lack of another word) in some cases – like orgasm, watching a climax of movie, watching a thrilling sport, being lost in music. Some people call it being with one with the object.
Mindfulness, when consciously, practiced, creates a relaxing state of mind, eliminates stress, and makes you more centred. It also works on chakras and makes your energy more unified (as against scattered).
So, how do we begin mindfulness? The easy way is to start practicing it things your enjoy – eating food, bathing, walking, exercising – and then graduate to other practices like driving, conversing, socialising, etc.