5 Superb Yet Simple Steps For Intense Mindfulness
How to achieve mindfulness and how can self-awareness bring mammoth improvement in our life?
This page talks about a few amazing things that are not known to many, and a little ATTENTION can be greatly beneficial & LIFE-CHANGING.
First, what is mindfulness and how to become one?
Second, how can the practices of mindfulness guide us become more aware of ourselves and the environment we live in.
Mindfulness has unimaginable physical and psychological benefits, that I will talk later about, but at the same time, it can also drive us towards a state of self-awareness.
Self-awareness is a magical tool, one more step beyond mindfulness
Being aware is a divine gift, it enhances our ability of perception, intuition. It is a subtle sense of understanding or knowledge about life, which is beyond measure, can only be sensed. This is a great power, as this can incredibly enhance the quality of our lives, makes us extremely intelligent and great decision-makers. Life is all about decisions, isn’t it? You react or act based on the type of decision you take.
What is mindfulness meditation or being mindful?
Mindfulness is about being immersed in the present moment or being completely involved with each moment, without getting distracted or being judgemental about anything.
How did it become so popular in the west??
Mindfulness or mindfulness meditation was popularized in the west largely by Jon Kabat-Zinn, a professor of medicine. In 1979, he introduced the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the University of Massachusetts, from his learning based on Zen meditations. Mindfulness correlates with the word “Sati” in Pali language (ancient Indian language) and Smriti in Sanskrit (Again, an ancient Indian language). Being mindful is an integral part of the ancient Indian traditions and life, like in Buddhism, it is one of the ways to attain enlightenment.
Why do people refer to it as mediation??
Mindfulness is also referred to as mindfulness meditation due to its calming and serene effect on the human mind. the result is quite instant and magical; Though, mind you, that meditation is a much deeper subject, out of scope for this page. Instead of meditation practice, we can refer to it as practicing mindfulness.
Effects of Mindfulness:
You would have experienced this state of mind in bits, here and there, probably on a vacation somewhere on the beach-side hearing the ocean roar or smelling the salty air while you dine by the ocean, or in a jungle resort, walking through the forest hearing the birds chirping and twittering. Or, probably you felt ecstatic hearing that rushing sound of the waterfall.
We all felt so, only certain times in our life. They are so vividly refreshing and deeply etched in our memory, that the moment we think of them, we get transported there and instantly relaxed we feel.
Why vacations are so dear to us??
Because we are all stressed out. We are all hurt all the time, depressed, dejected and anxious. We all are missing out on life. We all are preconditioned to think and live the same pretended life. We all are caught up fulfilling what we have been taught, the false sense of ego, equating success with money and bliss with all materialistic pleasures.
At the end of the day, we all get consumed by the sheer demand that the society creates for us, we are pitted against each other to compete and that’s the beginning of the end. Our life is over in that process of making ourselves look better than others.
Vacations probably give us an opportunity to escape from all these complexities, we take a pause, we slow down, so as the time. We feel relaxed immediately.
But, What if I tell you, that this is possible almost all the time??
Would you love to explore life in a completely different and a new way??
Before we proceed further into this, let’s analyze our daily life. How do we generally spend our day??
We regret about the past:
This is part of our life, repenting and blaming for what went wrong. This type of thinking results in helplessness, depression & dejection.
Don’t you see, your agonizing worries of past is ravaging your present? You are repeating the same mistake once again, and this will go on, cause what is present now, will become past, and you will keep repenting. Its a chain needs to be cut somewhere.
How can you build a strong future with such a foundation? We need to unshackle ourselves from this slavery of repentance. We need to somewhere disconnect from the past worries, otherwise, it will attract the same energy to your present life.
We worry about our future:
We spend a large amount of time doing this, even though, honestly it is unnecessary. This type of thinking causes Stress and anxiety, worry and panic.
Do you think worrying about your future will ensure a bright future?? Rather, it will attract more negativity. Our mind works in a mysterious way, it has magnetic abilities which can attract things into your life depending on what you think. This is called the Law of attraction.
Third, we are extremely judgmental:
We judge all the time, good-bad, right-wrong, etc. We have labels for everyone and everything.
Now the point to wonder is, how much time do we have left to live??
Just imagine the humongous amount of time & energy we spend judging and blaming others and how our mind wanders between past and future. Almost all the time is spent doing so many of these unproductive things. Instead, if we just invest our time wisely in doing things which are important now, our life is guaranteed to become successful.
I am sure, you will agree with me on this one,
Very often, you will hear people complaining about how the time passed by. How suddenly your parents found out one day, that you have grown up and how horribly they miss those wonderful times of your childhood. Haven’t you?
This happens because they did not live those moments, they just witnessed them, it was more like a passive experience.
You were too busy in the past and future, you were busy complaining, in turn, you forgot to pay attention to the beauty of life. Now you repent because you did not do something well, you wish if you can go back and do it the right way, but, you can’t, unfortunately.
So, it’s important that we realize this and pause for a moment. Let’s take things easy, as it is, moment by moment, without trying to control too much. If you just do this, just this activity of slowing down, you will see, your experience of life will change , time will suddenly slow down, life will seem to be so synchronized. It’s a very liberating experience, I am telling you.
Right now, as you are reading this page, ask yourself, how much time do you have left from your life, and start doing it the right way. You don’t want to sit on a rocking chair at the end of your life and regret, isn’t it?
It’s like not being in the theatre when the movie is playing.
You got a ticket, but you could not watch the movie with your friends because you got a bad headache. You got a precious ticket of life, but you are not able to see the beauty of it, because you got a busy mind which does not let you see.
You are missing out on the most precious thing called life, this is an apocalypse, this must stop immediately. Because, it will eventually destroy your life, more regrets will result into only more anxieties. A negative mind results into poor & unclear thoughts, that in turn will produce poor and uncluttered decisions and in turn manifest only negative things in life, this is called law of attraction, if you have not heard earlier.
So, how do we stop the wandering mind?
Let’s cultivate mindfulness.
There are many excellent methods out there for you to bring wonderful results, you can adopt the practice of Pranayama (Ancient breathing techniques), or Invoke the cosmic power through mantra chanting or you can take the help of positive affirmations and visualization techniques to achieve that.
In this page, we will be discussing a wonderful tool called mindfulness meditation.
So, how does mindfulness meditation help??
Mindfulness is like the anchor of a boat, if you have not used it well, your boat will drift away in the stormy ocean. if you use it well, the boat will stay there on the shore and serve the purpose that you want to achieve.
Practicing mindfulness regularly can have an astounding impact, a very effective meditation practice but extremely simple.
Another important fact about mindfulness practice is that it can drive us towards enhanced awareness about our self & the environment we live in. this is extremely important for success in life, be it a material success like money, wealth, prosperity or spiritually like contentment, satisfaction, feelings of joy and cheerfulness etc.
What is the difference between Mindfulness & Awareness?
Talking about awareness is out of the scope of this page, I will publish a separate blog post soon on this.
But to give you little understanding…
Awareness is the outcome of being mindful. Mindfulness is more like a method, by which you get your mind at one place. Being at the present moment is the very base or the starting point of becoming aware, aware of your self and the environment.
By being aware of the environment or the surroundings you live in, you establish a connection with the universe, a channel of communication with the supreme being. This channel of communication can help you immensely to understand your relationship with the Nature/GOD/Universe or Higher-self.
This is called subtle sense, which can enhance your ability of perception or power of intuition, in other word we call it the sixth sense.
Self-Awareness or self-realization:
Now, in this method, the external awareness process has to reverse and the attention should get diverted to yourself. Being self-aware helps you understand who you are, your life objectives, thoughts & emotions, strengths & weaknesses, belief system etc.
This understanding of one’s self can add tremendous clarity and wisdom in our life.If you want to manifest what you want or attract synchronicity in your life, then the mastery over self-knowledge is must ~ Rushal Click To Tweet
So, in this page, below I am going to show you simplest of all methods, which will not only make you mindful, but will also help you to increase your awareness, awareness of the physical & the spiritual world.
How to practice mindfulness meditation??
Mindfulness meditation does not require any special effort or technique. It can be done by anyone and almost in all places, provided you are not in an unhealthy or unsafe environment.
Methods to Mindfulness meditation:
Mindfulness is about bringing our awareness back to the present moment. How do we do that? Well, put all 5 senses to work, use them consciously to absorb the present situation like the below example.
Here is a very simple method, that you can follow. In this method, we will activate all the 5 senses one by one. This is probably the simplest method to achieve mindfulness that you would find anywhere else, this is something I do almost every day.
So, the first thing that you need to do is, find out a healthy and a safe place (preferably in nature or in the garden, rooftop, etc.). Seat comfortably (it would be great if you can seat in meditation pose), the spine should be straight, but again, be comfortable.
Now, just bring your attention back to your breath, take a few deeper breaths, comfortably again. Drop your shoulders, relax any muscles, let go of any control over your body. Only control should be on the breath, inhale and exhale slowly in a relaxed manner.
Now, activate the sense of hearing:
Can you hear any sound around your immediate surroundings (should be pleasant, not loud or irritating)? This can be sound of car or bike passing by, or it can be birds chirping, or it can be the rustling noise of the plants as they sway. Try hearing the microwave in the kitchen, or someone chopping vegetables, the sound of a stirring spoon in the cup, someone laughing or talking as they pass by your house, etc.
This exercise will immediately anchor you to the present moment and bring calm and sense of being connected to reality.
Next, activate your sense of smell:
Can you smell anything aromatic, probably a nice bunch of jasmine bushes somewhere in the garden? Something cooking in the kitchen, Steamed Lobsters with Seared Wild Mushrooms, can you smell? Or it can be an alluring smell of a perfume that your wife is wearing.
Now, activate your vision:
Pick up any object around the place you are seating, I mean don’t pick it up literally, chose one of the objects for this exercise. It can be a flower, a nicely painted and colorful flower vase or a fish tank anything.
Now, look at the details of that object, even the minutest ones. Say for an example of a fish tank. First, observe the structure and shape of the tank. Then, observe the design, the colors, how does the motor pump air inside the tank, look at the bubbles traveling up. Now, go deeper, and observe the fishes, their body color, how they swim, how do they eat, etc. etc. There are so many details to look at and learn, you will suddenly start learning so many new things that you did not know earlier.
This will amaze your mind, and make you realize the endless beauty of life, it’s everywhere. It’s just that we do not see them.
Now, activate the power of touch:
Place both of your palm on your face, feel the warmth and light pressure of your palm. Use one of your palms, touch your arms and feel the touch, feel the touch on your chest, abdomen, on your thighs, legs, feet, etc. repeat this with another palm. Feel the sensation all over your body.
Now, the sense of taste,
This can be done only when you eat something. Do this preferably in the morning breakfast, if you are in a hurry, you can do this anytime, dinner will be a great idea.
Take the first bite, and be amazed at the taste, try tasting every bit of the food consciously. Chew it slowly and with every munch, try to get a feel of different flavors, see how does it feel? Eat as if you have never eaten, how satisfying can be eating be? How enticing or delectable is it? Is it cheesy, syrupy or crunchy and flaky? Make you’re eating one of the most memorable events.
Do these focus exercises every day, these will bring your mind back to the present moment from past and future worries. Try making each activity the most memorable one, every day.
Now, let’s talk about the third component which contributes to the distraction, and that is being judgmental all the time.
What is being judgmental and how to avoid it?
You will hear this a lot, being non-judgmental while you read or hear about mindfulness. What is being non-judgmental? Are we going to cross the road without judging the traffic and get hit by a bus?
No, being non-judgmental means, having the ability to discern a situation or observe someone without any bias or any negative feelings like criticizing someone, or looking down on that person, or putting a label straightaway.
Very often, we judge people, based on our pre-conditioned mind, without knowing anything about the background of that person or the events that built the situation that he or she is in. when you are judgmental, you are caught up in a mental prison, your mind is too busy labeling instead of seeing the true value of it. If we just leave the bias and concentrate on discerning the situation it will help us learn.
We even judge ourselves a lot, isn’t it??
For example, you might say “I am terrible at this” or “I am not good enough”. You are labeling yourself negatively all the time.Don't judge, but discern. Understand, acknowledge, take what is necessary and then move on ~ Rushal Click To Tweet
Another important factor in mindfulness meditation:
Being mindful or mindfulness is not an exercise. It should be the natural way of living your life. But the pressure of modern life has blinded us so much that we forgot the real-life values. We are so busy fulfilling the so-called definition of success, that forget to live what is presented to us, a magnificent beauty called life. Life is here, now, not in the past or present.
What are the benefits of mindfulness meditation??
Mindfulness has tremendous benefits over the human psyche. the biggest benefit is how it can stop all the unnecessary chatter in our brain immediately, most of these chatters involve only worry, anxiety and ruminative thinking.
This is what happens immediately once you stop the chatter
- Immediate stress reduction and reduction in all sorts of ruminative thinking, in turn, reduces stress, anxiety Etc.
- Reduction in all negative thoughts and emotions means better sleep, in turn, a fresh, calm and an organized mind and superior mental health
- An organized mind and thinking means better decision making, in turn, better result or outcome. Excellent mental health also helps us to accelerates faster towards the goal, because it has the ability to focus better
- The higher level of awareness and clarity helps us to be grounded to the present moment like the anchor (mindfulness) helps the boat (Mind) to be grounded on the shore (present moment)
- Already explained above, both the self-awareness & the environmental awareness can enhance the ability of extra-sensory perception or the power of intuition, an incredible tool which makes you visionary, a superb decision maker and also sharpens your ability to decipher a situation for your own success.
- Mindfulness stops us from reacting from an autopilot mode, instead makes us conscious and aware of our thoughts and emotions and how we react.
- It can instantly put our brain in the lower alpha mode, due to calmness and reduction in unnecessary thoughts.
- Better brain health and a feel-good mind mean great health. Mindfulness can also significantly power our immunity for better health benefits.
- New research also shows how the practice of mindfulness can help to manage chronic pain and how it can benefit health care as well.
- Also, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques are becoming increasingly popular to treat depression and stress.
Here are a few more awesome mindfulness exercises that can be performed every day:
Go for a relaxed stroll, feel your hand and feet moving, observe each and every detail around you, be aware of the greenery
you see around you, feel the breeze on your face, feel the hair as they sway with the wind, hear the susurrous sound the trees make. Be alive every moment, see as much as you can, hear as much as you can, smell what you can. Just become an integral part of that environment, become one with it.
Inhale and exhale, notice your breath. Hear the noise the air makes while traveling through the nostril. Notice the volume of air goes in and comes out, how your chest and abdomen get inflated. Inhale and hold for a brief moment and exhale, make sure the timing of inhaling and exhaling is the same.
Make sure you do this slowly and comfortably and also makes sure of the time taken for inhalation and exhalation to be same.
This can be called shower meditation as well. Open the shower and feel the water as it glides and slides over your skin. Feel the sensation of water everywhere on your body. Now, Increase the flow of water and feel the difference. Feel the volume of water as it hits your head, then gliding through your neck, shoulder, chest and rest of your body. Also, notice those tiny sparkling water pixels getting dissolved into the air, after crushing onto your body.
You can also use a few positive affirmations in between your bathing.
Seat or stand in front of a mirror, look at yourself. Look into your eyes, observe yourself and see how you appear. Now, ask yourself, who you are? Where did you come from?
Also, watch your thoughts and feelings. How do they arise? Try to go back and find the roots. Talk to yourself about your goal in life, what you want to achieve, what you desire and how you are going to change your life?
Just be yourself, and be with yourself. Feel yourself, there is huge vast ocean inside you, can you hear it roar? The daily mindfulness practice will help you to turn inward and find the inner voice. Additionally, you can take the help of positive affirmations anytime whenever any negative thoughts arise.
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