Mindfulness is the single most important practice we can undertake that improves every single aspect of our life. When we integrate mindfulness into our daily routine, we will find that our health improves, quality of sleep improves, physical and mental energy improves, our concentration improves, our mental clarity improves, but most importantly, our inner joy and fulfillment begins sourcing internally. Of course, these benefits then carry on into other aspects of life like our relationships, careers, family life, romance, spirituality because we become sharper, more creative, more proactive and more confident. Today I would like to explore Mindfulness meditation, its amazing benefits, and its practical applications.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness can be explained as simply keeping our awareness on the present moment, being aware of how our senses organs interact with their corresponding environments. The six senses organs with their corresponding environments are the eyes with form, nose with smell, ears with sound, body with touch, tongue with taste, and mind with mental objects. It’s important to note that the mind is also a sense faculty, and a very important one because it is constantly interacting with thoughts, concepts, and ideas from our inner mental environment.
Being mindful means maintaining our attention on our awareness, remaining as the observer of our senses, and allowing life to unfold before us moment to moment. Magic happens when we are mindful because we create space within our mind that takes away our habit of impulsively reacting to the external stimuli. Instead, we are afforded time to process what is happening around us, think with intention and clarity, and then decide on how to respond appropriately.
Furthermore, because mindfulness makes us more present, our heightened senses make food tastes better, colors brighter, sounds clearer, and our experience of life becomes deeper and more meaningful. With mindfulness, we live more intentionally because we act and decide more consciously and deliberately.
But most rewarding is, when we practice mindfulness we become a better version of ourselves, a calmer, kinder, more patient person because mindfulness kills anger, hatred, jealousy, and arrogance, highlighting the adverse effects they bring to our mind and body. When we stop reacting and begin responding, we choose the more peaceful resolution options because they keep things more pleasant and harmonious, qualities that everyone likes. On the other hand, any response of anger, hatred or arrogance immediately infects the surrounding environment, body and mind with stress, anxiety discomfort, and discontent, and once we are mindful of its destruction, we stop fuelling it.
Mindfulness in everyday life
The first way to cultivate mindfulness is through mindful living. This can be practiced throughout the day, by continuously bring your awareness back to the present moment until it eventually remains effortlessly. This means carrying on with our regular daily activities but just being mindful of what we see, hear, feel, and think. It is essential to combine mindfulness with the understanding of impermanence, recognizing that everything we think and feel arises and passes away. They are not permanent. That way, we do not become attached to negative thoughts, feelings, and experiences because we know it will pass away. The same goes for the things we like. We do not develop unhealthy habits of clinging because strong clinging also leads to suffering through reliance and addictive symptoms. By practicing mindfulness with an understanding of impermanence, we can enjoy the flow of life freely and unattached, being aware of surrounding phenomena as they come and go. Then we learn how to flow with life instead of constantly being hung up on the past, or being anxious about the future. This is how mindfulness leads to joy in the present moment.
How to Practice Mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness meditation is meditating on your sense fields without moving with them. Think of us as the unmoving mountain amongst the ocean of drifting clouds. We remain as the still observer of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations merely watching them drift in and out. This meditation is best practiced while sitting down in a quiet room, with the purpose of training our awareness by heightening the sensitivity of our sense faculties. With enhanced senses, we are better able to remain grounded in the present moment without constantly having our attention dragged left and right by wandering thoughts and emotions.
While sitting, it is important that our body remains still and upright to maintain high concentration energy. Next, ground your attention onto your breath, following its every in and out breath, to calm and quieten the mind. Once the mind is still, you can begin scanning your sense faculties, starting with your ears and what they hear, then the nose and what it smells, the eyes and what they see within the blackness, the body and what it feels, and the mind and what it thinks. It is important to continue scanning and observing the present sensations without getting carried away by thoughts or bring stuck on any one sensation. If you feel your mind is becoming distracted, or if it is drifting off uncontrollably, simply return your attention back to your breath, take a few deep breaths, following it in and out, and slow things down before continuing again. With consistent practice over time, we will become better at it, our mind will take much less time to settle, and our awareness of the surrounding environment will increase dramatically.
Mindfulness has many significant benefits, such as developing a deeper understanding of impermanence which is a fundamental law of reality, being aware of the unhealthy habits that cause us pain and suffering so we can decondition them accordingly, being able to think and consider from a broader perspective for more complete decision making, and living life more intentionally and consciously through heightened sensual clarity. When we integrate mindfulness into our everyday lifestyle, our attention and concentration strengthen every day. Not only that, but every single aspect of life also improves meaning we become healthier, happier, friendlier, and more successful in everything we do. May we all cultivate mindfulness, live life consciously and influence the people around us with wholesome thoughts and values.
So what is your experience of mindfulness? Are there any important aspects I did not include? What are some difficulties you have with being mindful? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below! 😁✌
Thanks for reading 😊