Following form the last post asking Rumi about time and presence; about living in the now; here are six steps that would help you understand this paradoxical practice a little deeper and at a more practical level.
In The Art of Now: Six Step to Living in the Moment Jay Dixit explains mindfulness in a fresh, practical and clear manner. I have noted the the headings of the six steps below and strongly recommend reading the full article by clicking above or here.
Living in the moment involves a profound paradox: You can’t pursue it for its benefits. That’s because the expectation of reward launches a future-oriented mindset, which subverts the entire process. Instead, you just have to trust that the rewards will come. There are many paths to mindfulness—and at the core of each is a paradox. Ironically, letting go of what you want is the only way to get it. Here are a few tricks to help you along.
- To improve your performance, stop thinking about it (unselfconsciousness).
- To avoid worrying about the future, focus on the present (savouring).
- If you want a future with your significant other, inhabit the present (breathe).
- To make the most of time, lose track of it (flow).
- If something is bothering you, move toward it rather than away from it (acceptance).
- Know that you don’t know (engagement).
Now, Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There
Living a consistently mindful life takes effort. But mindfulness itself is easy. “People set the goal of being mindful for the next 20 minutes or the next two weeks, then they think mindfulness is difficult because they have the wrong yardstick,” says Jay Winner, a California-based family physician and author of Take the Stress out of Your Life. “The correct yardstick is just for this moment.”
Mindfulness is the only intentional, systematic activity that is not about trying to improve yourself or get anywhere else, explains Kabat-Zinn. It is simply a matter of realizing where you already are. A cartoon from The New Yorker sums it up: Two monks are sitting side by side, meditating. The younger one is giving the older one a quizzical look, to which the older one responds, “Nothing happens next. This is it.”
*Copyrights, Psychology Today, The New Yorker, Mick Stevens (cartoon 1), Gahan Wilson (cartoon 2).