Have you ever tried to pull a door when it actually says push, or tripped over not minding your step? You are not alone. And these are only less complicated situations in life.
I’m grateful to my yoga teacher at my primary school who introduced me to the world of meditation. I’ve been practicing meditation for over three decades and interacted with several other practitioners, learning and sharing different approaches. When it comes to mindfulness, three key elements are crucial.
I would like to throw light upon those 3 basic elements of mindfulness. I believe they are fundamental and indispensable in anybody’s mindfulness journey.
A — Awareness
Awareness is the core aspect of mindfulness.
It is a device to observe and acknowledge the present reality dispassionately, moment by moment.
How to practice:
Start your meditation with focus on your breathing and slowly expand your awareness to the extent possible of the five basic senses. If you notice your mind wandering, you acknowledge the deviation and refocus on your breathing and awareness. Then, you further expand your awareness to your thoughts. You try not to control your thoughts but just observe and acknowledge them without judgement.
How it helps:
Not surprisingly, this state of awareness starts reflecting in your day to day life. You notice improvement in your focus and concentration. You are more often attentive and seldom absent-minded.
Please note this is only a by-product of your practice and not an expectation to start with.
B — Being with experience
Being with experience complements and enhances awareness.
How to practice:
You try to observe your thoughts and feelings by fully being with your experience of the current moment. You try not to resist uncomfortable thoughts or encourage comfortable ones. You try to avoid digging past associations or building future aspirations. You just try to know and cherish being with your present experience.
How it helps:
You start to comprehend situations of life with increasing clarity, and start accepting the reality. And this makes you better equipped to be unaffected by the feelings of anxiety and even pleasure.
Please note the reality itself doesn’t change, but your reaction to it does.
C — Choice
Awareness and being with experience leads to a conscious choice.
Once you have a lucid awareness of the present reality and accept the same by being with the experience, you are in a better position to make a clear choice of doing or not doing something. That is in a more free manner without being subject to pressure or prejudice. You will start seeing that the decisions you make and the actions you perform seem like a matter of common sense, and more appropriate.
Like everything else, it takes some practice to become comfortable with meditation. I believe the framework of these 3 basic elements advances your journey of mindfulness and helps you avoid tripping over your next steps of life. Namaste!