Mindfulness – the key to happy living
The first principle of peaceful living is to be mindful of the now, to stay connected to the present. This helps us improve our awareness.
The awareness of our inner world is the key to developing more control of ourselves. Of course when you see a beautiful sunset or when you are absorbed in a gripping movie, you’d prefer to relinquish that control and let your identity merge into the event. To let go of the control then and experience freedom thereof is critical to a fulsome experience of the self. Yet, more often than not, we live in a world of our mental chaos and rather than enjoying being fully present in our activities, we are lost in some distant past or a vague future.
To give peace a chance in your life, connecting to the present is an absolute must and the simple act of prayer, chanting or hearing scriptures could help you live in the present. As a result you’d also feel more connected to your own self; you would be less stressful and more productive in your activities.
How do prayers help?
Let’s say you resolve to spend the next fifteen minutes ‘talking’ to your dear Lord, just as you would talk on the phone if your dear friend called you. This is your prayer time. A typical prayer session is when a practitioner spends time with his or her Lord in the altar, or quietly gazes at the deity in the temple, or softly chants a mantra or prayer on his prayer beads.
At the end of the fifteen minutes, you’d know for yourself what happened; were you ‘present’ in your prayers or did your mind run riot? If you lost it, you have another chance next time. It seems so natural to talk to a person; it’s also easy to be ‘present’. But when we are alone with God in our prayer, we must practise being present. Even if the mind wanders, which it will, we consciously come back to our chanting. This is like lifting dumb bells and making our mental muscles get strong.
To be continued…