Mindfulness moments. Right now, at this very instant – how are you? Are you feeling an emotion? Anxious or elated? Frustrated or confused? This very instant – right – NOW! – what are you feeling?
It’s interesting and endlessly fascinating to me to bring my attention to this very moment. And most times – almost every time – I can say that I don’t really have a stong over-riding emotion. I’m just me. Sitting here, reading or typing as the case may be.
It’s not as if I am actually bubbling with joy or seething with rage.
mindfulness living in the moment
So for this moment, I am actually neutral. Neither up nor down.
And this is where mindfulness comes into play. Because if I were to just let myself wander and go on with other things and not have an awareness around my mind, my mind would eventually be pulled in a direction and I would actually find myself either happy or sad or angry or frustrated as the case may be.
But what if I had that moment to moment awareness to such an extent that I carried it with me for all moments? And at the first inkling of frustration or exuberance I could dial it up or down a little – and maintain that even, balanced outlook. How would that serve me for staying calm and having clarity across my whole day?
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That is what mindfulness is about. It has been called various things like equanimity or being grounded or centered. Mindfulness is the quality of being present with oneself at all times. It’s about having awareness and awareness of awareness – meta-awareness – around yourself so you are never lost to the whim of your emotions again.
And certainly possessing such clarity and composure across the ups and downs of the day really helps with staying on purpose with our values and purpose. So we immediately feel more connected and at one with what we are doing. And from this it flows that we maintain that core integrity around how we are feeling and by extension how we treat others.
present moment mindfulness
In this moment, right now, we also do not lack anything that could hold us back from experiencing happiness. The basic tool for happiness is possessing a mind – and we all have that. So what are we doing to ourselves to make it such that we can simply enjoy happiness in this moment?
One effective way to breakthrough and see things in a way that does not harm your sense of self is to use Avidya. Avidya is from the Sanskit word meaning wisdom or knowledge – the kind of wisdom earned through deep practice and experience. The prefix “A” means without – hence lack or absence of wisdom. It is a fundamental blindness about reality and an inability to experience a deep connection with your true inner self.
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The most common way to experience Avidya in action is when you imagine other people should treat you better or that you need someone else’s approval to feel good about yourself. On the one hand, we all know this isn’t the case, but then, you will see us go out of our way almost on a daily basis to secure this approval from others.
It’s like knowing isn’t enough to bring about a behaviour change. So you need to experience it at a visceral, muscle and bone level – within your whole being. This is where yoga philosophy ties in with connecting the brain and the emotions with the body.
We must be careful of taking surface conditions to be a true reflection of reality. We need to look deeper – to see below what our cultural conditioning or ego desires let us see, and instead see the long term, the eternal instead of the temporary and superficial.