A while back I became very interested in the concept of mindfulness.
The idea that my habit of trying to cram as much experience as possible into each moment was actually making me anxious and unhappy was pretty foreign to me.
After all, I was just trying to make the best possible use of my time, right?
Well, it’s been about six months since I started practicing mindfulness earnestly in my life, and I want to share the changes I’ve experienced so far.
First off, I feel generally more connected to my surroundings. I don’t know exactly how to put the feeling into words, in fact I think it’s more of a removal of a feeling of separateness. The way I feel now (much of the time, not always) is, I believe, the natural way to feel generally as a human being incarnate.
Then there’s the sense of inner peace and tranquility that seems to be developing within me, getting more profound the more I manage to be mindful in my life. It’s the same feeling you get after a good meditation session. Nothing to change, just be. It’s as if my mode of operating is shifting from a doing mindset to a being mindset.
There are pockets of time, sometimes many days in a row, where I feel no anxiety, no feeling of inadequacy, nothing that needs changing. Challenges arise, same as always, but I am able to take them in my stride, instead of obsessing over them and wishing things were different.
I believe this is related to the fact that being mindful of body sensations, for example, tends to sort of block out or quiet down our thought patterns. If I’m fully invested in washing the dishes, feeling the hot water on my fingers, the texture of soap on porcelain, hearing the running water hitting the sink, I have no awareness to spare for thoughts of boredom or frustration. Even if I grow tired or my hands get sore from the hot water, I can still choose how I want to react to it.
I feel like mindfulness is the concept I was missing for a long time in my spiritual development. I’ve been meditating for a few years now, and I’ve discovered loads of benefits from doing so, but I was still largely unconscious, unaware, in between meditation sessions.
I find the concept of mindfulness meditation to be a bit redundant. To me, mindfulness is a form of meditation, and vice versa. Mindfulness is meditating off the cushion.
On a related note, mindfulness and meditation complement each other perfectly. My concentration during meditation has improved by leaps and bounds since I started sincerely living a mindful life. The calmness of mind and focused intent cultivated throughout the day bridges straight into the meditation session.
Lastly, I noticed that my dreams have become way more colorful and detailed. I’m not sure if I used to dream in black-and-white, or whether I just never noticed the color before, and there’s no real distinction anyway.
I started to be more aware in waking life of color and textures, body sensations like the feel of wind on my face or grass beneath my bare feet, sounds and smells, and so I also started to experience this in the dream world.
I become more aware every day of the potential of a mindful life to expand awareness and devolop consciousness, and I’m excited every day when I wake up to see what I get to experience this time.