At the age of eighty, Srila Prabhupada traveled, wrote, spoke, corresponded with hundreds of disciples world over, and worked more than twenty hours a day. Incredible as it may sound, he relaxed in the afternoons for a massage and went for his refreshing morning walks. He’d smell a flower fully; he ate his lunch alone, and quietly. He prayed daily and lived in the present. He appealed to his students, quoting an aphorism from the Vedas: Human life is meant for going deeper and not merely busying with eating, sleeping, mating and defending. To realize profound truths, one needs to slow down the mad rush- pause and introspect. Just improve your insight.
Pause improves Mindfulness
Do you feel sad sometimes? So unhappy that nothing seems to excite you?
How do you overcome a melancholy state? By distracting yourself- movies, walks, chat with a friend, etc.?
How about a different approach of putting your work in abeyance and instead connect to your needs, and accepting the fact that you are miserable because of an unmet, specified want?
For example: Whenever Ravish is distressed and irritable, he throws tantrums at home, rushes out of the house, drives recklessly, gets drunk in a bar, returns home and falls asleep.
Today Ravish decides to try something different.
He hiatuses and quietens his body and mind. How does he do that?
He inhales deeply, holds his breath for a few seconds, and then exhales slowly. He repeats this for a few minutes while letting loose his muscles. Slowly, he connects to his pain. “What am I feeling now and what is my need?” he asks himself, gently and slowly, while continuing to breathe normally.
In a few minutes, he listens to an answer within: “I am not appreciated and feel unworthy. I need encouragement.”
Then he ‘accepts’ this situation internally with a statement he repeats to himself: “I accept I am unhappy now because I need reassurance for what I am doing for the family.” When he’s invested his emotions into this real state, he’s in a state of ‘acceptance.’
How will this help?
To begin with, Ravish is likely to get the cheer he seeks if he first perceives it. Earlier, his ignorance compounded his gloom. Now at least he’s conscious of the anguish of his heart. Understanding is a tremendous first step to achieve your goals.
To be continued…