mindfulness means to be totally present in the current moment or to be here-now. it means doing things consciously and not mechanically like a robot. when your attention is not in the present moment then you are doing things like a robot.
you won’t believe it but most human beings are doing things unconsciously or mechanically. their body and mind are not in sync. your body is doing one thing and your mind is thinking about something else. no accident happens because small part of your consciousness watches over your bodily actions. e.g. when you do any physical act like walking, cycling or talking etc then your total attention is not in the act or in the moment. only a very small amount of attention is there in the act and rest of your attention is going in thinking about some event in the past or about future or you could be day dreaming. there are many thoughts which takes your attention in any given moment.
drifting to past or future is the very nature of mind. it happens with all of us. but when you don’t allow your mind to move into past or future and focus your attention completely in the present moment or to the task you are doing, then you do things mindfully.
there is only one way to live life that is living moment to moment. you can only live one moment at a time. so in mindfulness practice you live this present moment totally by bringing all your attention in this moment. you don’t think about the past or you don’t worry about the future. instead you bring your total consciousness or awareness in the current moment. you don’t do anything unconsciously or mechanically or halfheartedly.
mindfulness means not to do things absent minded. it means whenever your attention drift to any past event or moves into the future then you immediately bring it back to the present moment. if your attention is not in the present moment then you have missed the moment. mindfulness means to enjoy the present moment fully by being totally present in the moment. so if you want to live your life in real sense then mindfulness is the only way.
when you do things mindfully then you notice life in its different flavors. you hear different sounds, you feel the touch, you pay attention to bodily sensations and you notice people and things. you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings. e.g. when walking you feel your feet touching the earth. you will pay attention to things and people on the way. you will feel the breeze flowing and so on. when you actually start practicing mindfulness then you realize how much life you were missing before.
one of the most easiest thing to practice mindfulness is to notice life happening around you. see the people clearly. hear the different type of sounds around you. feel your bodily sensations, pay attention to your thoughts. do everything slowly and consciously. don’t do anything mechanically. slow down and pay more attention to different aspects of a task.
e.g. you are having your dinner. then while eating food you will pay attention to the aroma of the food. you will chew the food well and feel the warmth and the different flavors in the dish. you will not eat in a hurry nor you will think about anything else. your complete attention will be on eating food mindfully and slowly.
what benefits mindfulness bring in your life:
- it makes you more relaxed and total in your acts.
- you are no longer walk unconsciously (sleep walking) and no more day dreaming. you are more present ‘here and now’.
- your thoughts and mind slows down. it takes away much of the unnecessary thinking and worrying from your life.
- you pay more attention to your body needs as well as to your feelings. you also pay more attention to your family members and to the life happening around you. it improves your relationship with others. you start paying attention to the needs of your family.
- you become more sensitive and an alive person. you start enjoying small things of life.
- you become more intelligent and perceptive. it improves memory and reduces stress level.
- your life becomes more meaningful. life is no longer a drag. you become less serious and more child like.
- you start responding to situations with much more calm and relaxed manner. in fact with much more clarity and intelligence.