Mindful living is not easy. It means overcoming the tendency that we all have to be partly absent from whatever we are doing.
But if we want to be really happy, we have to love and, in order to love, we have to be fully present.
Actually, although it is not easy to be mindful, it is the simplest thing in the world. Instead of doing more, we have to do less.
Most things in life require us to act. In order to achieve anything, it seems we have to do more. Then we become hooked in the spiral of doing more and more. Or we become disheartened or feel guilty because we haven’t achieved what we think we should have.
Our modern world does not particularly support mindfulness, either. Despite technology that enables almost anything that we could wish for to be achieved or obtained, our modern lifestyle detracts from an environment that encourages mindfulness. Stimuli – advertising, radio, television, mobile telephones, e-mails, the internet and so on – bombard us at every turn. The modern mind generally works too fast because it races from one thing to another without paying a great deal of attention to almost anything. One major effect of this is that we are not generally very good at expressing love.
Mindful living means being
Fortunately, there is a middle way. Mindful living is not so much about doing things as about being. We simply have to be in order to be a full human being. Being busy can be very good, of course. Through our various occupations, we learn skills and serve our fellow human beings. This is all good. But most people are so active in their minds that they find it very difficult to be still. Even when we have the chance to sit and do nothing for a while, the majority of folk will look for something to do.
All is not lost, however. No matter how busy we are or think we are, it is possible to become more mindful. It doesn’t matter whether a person has an IQ of 70 or 150. Everyone can enjoy greater awareness – and so greater fulfilment – in life. In fact, sometimes people with very active intellects find mindful living more difficult at first because their minds are always arguing, forever differentiating between this and that, and making judgements. But, like monetary wealth, more of something does not always bring greater happiness and an overactive intellect is a case in point. Nevertheless, once the purity of natural awareness is experienced, the joy – and relief – is equally great for everyone. And the loving is easy.
From the book Awakening Heart
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