May 6, 2018

Are you being Mindful in May? Don’t get me wrong, I am delighted about the mindfulness wave that has swept through the world over the last few years. It is a breakthrough for those of us that have experienced the benefits of meditation and have hoped for more mainstream acceptance of it’s utility. But let’s look a little deeper!

Mindfulness in an ancient Buddhist meditation technique that was used by monks who have devoted their lives to the search for emancipation, liberation or nirvana. Their whole beings and lives were directed towards that pinnacle, not just 20 minutes once a day. It was not a frivolous pastime or trend. It was not a fad or a fashion. And it was not a bandaid for curing modern day stress. They were finished with the mundane matters that most of us are consumed with. Shelter, food, possessions, sex, family, friendships were all done and finished with. And after all of that came mindfulness and spiritual practices. This was the path of the monk. In yoga we call it sannyas.

What about the mindfulness that is being used in modern times? Is it useful? Yes, very much so. Do I support it? Yes i do. Can these ancient practices be applied to today? Yes, of course they can. However, the mindfulness practice needs to go hand in hand with a critical review of the way we live our lives. Modern life is set up in such a way that stress is created. For most of us we don’t have worries about the next meal on the table or having a roof over our heads. The worry and stress is often due to a self inflicted, debt fuelled, unsustainable lifestyle that we think we should be living, based on comparisons to others. Out of control materialism that makes us think we need that latest item to be happy. To treat that stress, we end up looking to ancient methods such as mindfulness! Messed up? Yes!

I have no objection for it being used for that purpose, but please realise it is just a bandaid on top of the ulcer that you continue to scratch. The ulcer never heals. You need a different approach to be cured of this infliction, and for this you need to practice “Mindfulness of the Practicalities of Life”. This is far less sexy than getting on the collective bandwagon and it is far more confronting. It requires deep reflection on what truly matters to you. Health, happiness, friendships, contentment, fulfilment. At the end of your lives you will know these to be far more important than your bank balance, luxury car or the number of investment properties you have. Are you courageous enough to really look at this. This is where mindfulness must start. You may even find that if you set your life up in a mindful way, that the need for a bandaid stress relieving technique is no longer needed!

Use the practice of mindfulness, to create a more mindful way of life, based on your conscious choices, rather than the subconscious undercurrent of the collective! Then if you go deeper with your mindfulness meditation practice you will start to realise the true treasures that lie within you.

Does it make sense?!

In Health and Wellness