“Wherever you are is a place called Here”
This Beautiful line from the piece ‘Lost’ by David Wagoner beautifully sums up Mindfulness.
But what exactly is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the moment-to-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations that arise by paying attention purposefully and non-judgementally.
It is an essential human ability to be fully present in the moment. This is the most basic and easy-to-understand definition, put forward by Jon Kabat Zinn, founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.
There are several articles and information available about Mindfulness. But there is nothing compared to one’s own experience of Mindfulness.
As part of a course during my time as a design student, I visited the Global Pagoda. My visit piqued my interest in the workings of the mind. Perhaps this was the beginning of my spiritual calling. I finally decided to pursue a 10-day Vipassana Course at Dhammagiri, Igatpuri.
Staying quiet for 10-days is not an easy thing. However, I followed the instructions and remembered to be curious and experience things on my own. I refrain from making anybody else’s experience my own?
For a long time after the Vipassana, the experience stayed just cerebral. To know more, I eventually started learning bout Mindfulness. When I recall those days, the pursuit of some answers was stronger than experiencing something magical in a day. I allowed many things to seep through and the ‘letting go’ was magically happening in the background.
I tried being more present for daily activities. Doing anything was more joyful when conscious awareness of my own presence. There was newfound joy discovering the company of myself in whatever I did.
I started to take care of my physical and mental health. Being Mindful helped me be more Self-Compassionate, taking care of my body and mind first.
I started to consume food more mindfully, changing my relationship with food. I started savoring every bite, being present in the moment while eating. Mindfulness started being part of most of my activities during the day, from working in the kitchen to engaging with others at my work.
Being mindful and present takes an effort, and it starts with having the right intention. An intention is a gentle reminder to our mind and body that helps us be more present. It may seem easy to be present but needs a lot of discipline. A lot of work is required to get our thoughts and feelings in sync without judgment.
Being an artist, I use art as a tool to train my mind to be more present in the moment. I actively engage with the canvas, brushes, colors, or any tangible medium that brings me close to the dialogue within. Everything remains the same, just the relation with each element evolves and becomes more profound. This evolution has provided me with more space for what flows through.
The Mindful Initiative