What is mindfulness? What can we learn from Buddha’s mindfulness to live a better modern day, practical life?
The meditation, Yoga, and spirituality guru Osho said that when you are not thinking about the past or future or now contains all the time and there is no then — when a cuckoo calling, a train passing, a dog barking, is all you hear — when this is all and there is no that — when the world here is your whole reality and there is no there — you are in the state of sammasati or mindfulness.
You are absolutely present. Then you reflect and engage in reality without any distraction or expectation.
Mindfulness or awareness is to know what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Why do we need a purposeful, meaningful life?
We are born, we start breathing, do a few things like school, college, job, and then die. Each one of us — hopefully — adds something to the world, we all evolve, become smarter, and this repeats.
In the end, we do not come out alive then why does everything — a broken relationship, a lay off, a fight at work, a stomach ache, a smartwatch — matter so much? What is it all adding up to? Evolution?
It is adding up to life — to these moments that the life is collectively composed of.
Why is it important to have a purpose, meaning to our life? So that all these moments together are a melodious song and not a cacophonous cry.
I thought this day would never come but I am six days away from turning 30. I would have to change both the digits of my age in all the pre-filled forms on the internet.
A twenty something me was working for software and finance giants, drinking way too much way too often vomiting in pubs and on Karnataka – Tamil Nadu highways, angry with family, running after people, quitting work many times, roaming around the world on my own when my mother thought I was at home or traveling with a friend, falling in love too many times, living in with someone knowing it was not going anywhere and feeling shattered when the obvious happened, cooking in restaurants and my own kitchen for hours, almost gone to Italy for a culinary course, dragging strangers to dance floors in pubs and bars, stranded at South American borders, taking lifts from random people on streets at random times, saying things that should have been kept private, unsure of what I wanted.
Once when I was in the sixth grade, I asked my sister to make sandwiches for my school picnic. A string of events occurred, and she declared I was selfish. I used to often realize that I was more interested in getting my work done, rather than the feelings and engagements of other people.
The realization that I was a bad person and that people knew about it was suffocating. I understood that I would be left alone if I did not change.
I consciously tried to become a better person by caring for other people and showing that I cared.
Why relationships are important?
Neuroscientist Anil Seth says, each fraction of a second, millions of neurons work in your brain to generate your conscious self-experience — your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. Without consciousness, there is no self, nothing.
Our brain receives signals from outside and also, inside. The signals that the brain receives from inside are not only of our experience but of millions of years of experience that has been passed through our DNA. Consciousness is an interception of two different signals: coming from outside (the sound and smell and noises and information) and coming from inside (of yourself and based on your beliefs and information).