Mindfulness is the practice of training your Awareness to remain on one thing – this could be your Body, your Breathing, the Sounds that your hear, or even the Thoughts in your mind. You could become Mindful of any other aspect as well. When you train your Awareness to become one-pointed, your ability to Focus is enhanced. Mindfulness practice is extremely beneficial in managing our Stress.
Origins of Mindfulness
The practice of Mindfulness as a formal training finds it roots in the Buddhist traditions. These were perfected in Japan in the Zen traditions.
- It’s interesting to note that the word ZEN was originally a mispronunciation of the word Dhyaan! As Buddhism spread to China, Dhyaan was pronounced and became ‘Cha’an’ and as it spread to Japan the word became Zen.
Observation of Self or Swadhyaya, is a Yoga principle that that is a pillar of the Ashtanga system laid forth by Maharishi Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. In fact. Mindfulness is integral to most Meditation systems of the World. It is within the Yoga and Zen systems that is has been given special focus.
Mindfulness in Daily Living Exercise 1
Often is our busy lives, it is difficult to take out 1 hour daily to practice Meditation. In such a scenario, one has to creatively place Mindfulness into one’s daily routine. If you think about your daily life, you will find ways to become more Mindful.
One of my favourite times for training Mindfulness is when I travel in a Taxi! I realised that I spend over an hour daily commuting in traffic. So I swapped driving my car and switched to using a taxi so that I could sit with my eyes closed and train the watching of my Breath. And I use a simple Clicker instead of Beads to keep track of my breathing count. After 10,000 breaths, it reverts to 1 again.
- In fact I know the number of breaths it takes or me to reach Whitefield from my home in Indiranagar; and if there’s more traffic, it’s fine cause I get more time doing what I love. I call this Uber-Mindfulness!
Essentially my taxi becomes my Meditation cave, and I reach my destination invigorated rather that tired. I’m able to transform a dull, monotonous part of my day into a Creative, Mindful experience.
Similarly, you could find creative ways to have time for Mindfulness in your daily life. Remember, if you don’t have Time at all – you need Meditation even more!
MANISH POLE Yogi, Coach, Blogger, Co-founder of Total Yoga