This article by Sri Swami Purohit was first published on www.thriveglobal.com on November 24th 2019.
People often ask me what is mindfulness or mindful living? Mindful living is when your regrets from the past and your worries for the future are not interfering with your present.
When you are free from thoughts of the past and the future and you are living moment to moment – that is true mindful living.
Mindfulness is improved concentration and increased patience.
Patience is something that many people today do not have. Society has created a cycle of impatience – we want everything in an instant, even mindfulness. Our minds have become so weak that we have wanted to create something new. But true mindfulness is not new at all. It is a wisdom that we learn with patience, concentration and through meditation.
People today do not deal with the real issue. We are looking for a quick fix, and that is never going to work.
The real issue is our inability to have only one focus in our life. For every new situation that appears in our life, we must reinvent ourselves in order to adapt. So, for example, when we get married, we adapt; when we get a new job, we adapt.
The challenge comes when these new situations appear in our lives, as we have not been taught to be flexible. We have learnt to be rigid in our thinking; to operate mechanically and to operate from instruction.
We have never been trained to think flexibly.
Which is concerning because the only thing in life that is certain is change.
To really live consciously takes practice. To achieve true mindfulness, your mind needs to be fully developed. And not only in the area you trained in (your area of expertise or success), but in ALL areas of your life.
To develop your mind, you need to deal with the incomplete issues. This is achieved through meditation. It takes 23 minutes to process all our thoughts. So, if you meditate for 23 minutes, then one cycle of thoughts is processed. Just like a washing machine, some things need one cycle of 23 minutes to process them, and some need more. When you practice shorter meditations – some old thoughts do show up – but you aren’t allowing enough time to process them completely. I recommend a minimum of 25 minutes to sit in meditation and process your thoughts. Any less than this and you are not completing the cycle so it actually creates more disruption than help.
It is important to practice this as we have a limit, and if we don’t deal with our incomplete issues – then the mind can get agitated. When this happens we can feel all sorts of negative emotions or just a general dissatisfaction in life. Then the pressure is on for us to deal with all our unfinished issues in one go.
Real mindfulness is when you are able to see true balance and fulfilment in your life.
Living moment to moment can only be achieved through a connection to the soul. This is the key.
Sri Swami Purohit