Mindfulness is a trait which is very hard to achieve. I have been meditating recently and the guy in the Headspace app always asks me to be mindful of my surroundings and how I feel at all times. I couldn’t quite get it right.
Coincidentally, I was reading Sapiens this morning and I read a line where the author explains beautifully how Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment and how did he go through the whole process. I am pasting the paragraph from Sapiens below for your reference.
“Gautama’s insight was that no matter what the mind experiences, it usually reacts with craving, and craving always involves dissatisfaction. When the mind experiences something distasteful it craves to be rid of the irritation. When the mind experiences something pleasant, it craves that the pleasure will remain and will intensify. Therefore, the mind is always dissatisfied and restless. This is very clear when we experience unpleasant things, such as pain. As long as the pain continues, we are dissatisfied and do all we can to avoid it. Yet even when we experience pleasant things we are never content. We either fear that the pleasure might disappear, or we hope that it will intensify.
Gautama found that there was a way to exit this vicious circle. If, when the mind experiences something pleasant or unpleasant, it simply understands things as they are, then there is no suffering. If you experience sadness without craving that the sadness go away, you continue to feel sadness but you do not suffer from it. There can actually be richness in the sadness. If you experience joy without craving that the joy linger and intensify, you continue to feel joy without losing your peace of mind. But how do you get the mind to accept things as they are, without craving? To accept sadness as sadness, joy as joy, pain as pain? Gautama developed a set of meditation techniques that train the mind to experience reality as it is, without craving. These practices train the mind to focus all its attention on the question, ‘What am I experiencing now?’ rather than on ‘What would I rather be experiencing?’ It is difficult to achieve this state of mind, but not impossible.”
These words really made me think. I was focused on the question ‘What am I experiencing now?’ than ‘What would I rather be experiencing?’ I felt a lot better and I was calm the whole day.
Mindfulness is wonderful and I think I find myself at peace. 🙂