Mindfulness basically doesn’t exist without practice. The knowledge/ definitions/explanations what Mindfulness means are only a partial value. You have to practice mindfulness to understand and feel what it really is. Benefits of mindfulness are uncountable. The trend is growing worldwide. People practice mindfulness for many different reasons: work, relationships, spiritual reasons and many more. It can improve every area of your life.
To start with something let me briefly explain you what Mindfulness is and then I will get down to the essence – how to practice it.
Mindfulness by its definition is a state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
In other words it’s a state of presence, of being rooted and anchored in the NOW. A state from which you can observe the reality and your own thoughts while feeling present in the moment and feeling fully alive.
You have to be aware of one thing – mindfulness is not a knowledge to learn, it’s not a mind content that you can learn, read or mentally acknowledge and leave as an another thing that you got to learn in your life. It’s more like a dimension behind all of that.
It’s being conscious, aware, alerted and fully alive, it’s a skill or feeling or state rather than a philosophy or ideology. And as a skill, you have to train it and practice it. To achieve that state you have to not only know what it is but practice to be able to feel it. Don’t worry though, it’s a pretty pleasant practice and the effects are simply unmanifested. It can and will improve every area of your life.
If you want to get better at work or business – this is how you can achieve it. If you want to improve your relationship – this is the way to go. If you want to be more confident, be better at social relations, get better at sports (and so on and so on) this is what can help you get there.
“Why is that” you will probably ask. As I mentioned earlier, mindfulness lies beyond the mind and the ego. By practicing mindfulness you switch off / get into a distance from your ego (your character, your personality, your life situation). You take a step back. You get to see the bigger picture.
Let’s have a closer look on the most important benefits of mindfulness. Instead of listing the benefits and areas of life that it can improve, I will state what will happen with you if you will practice it. Then you will be able to understand by yourself how this can improve you life.
Mindfulness gives you the perspective.
Did you ever wanted to see the bigger picture of yourself, of your problems, of you work situation, of your private life? To be able to resolve your problems, make things better, understand what is happening with you and your life. I bet you have been there.
Mindfulness will give you the necessary distance. It’s like taking a step back and looking at things from a perspective. You are able to see way more and understand things that are happening in your life.
Your mind is a very noisy machine, it produces thoughts almost constantly. You basically never stop thinking and you can’t do much about it. It’s a compulsive thinking, ongoing machine that runs all the time. And this thoughts are inclusive of your life experiences, your knowledge etc, they can be also very repetitive. It’s your ego, your personality – a pretty much closed area. It’s your tool that you are using to deal with the everyday life. Now let’s ask ourselves a question: if you are using the same tool all the time, thinking as the same person (ego) how can you expect different results?
Let’s say that you have a problem that is with you for a while and you are consistently dwelling on it. Do you think that suddenly the result of this thinking will be different if the tool that you are using to solve it is the same? You can’t expect different results by doing always the same thing.
Mindfulness will give you the perspective. Thanks to practicing mindfulness you will be able to make gaps in the thinking process, to stop the mind for a bit. Reset it. You will be able to observe it, observe your own thinking. You are not your mind, it’s only a tool that has been given to you.
This realization (that usually comes when you will stop thinking for a moment and you become fully present) is a great moment on the path towards awakening and the first step that can change your life.
If you feel intrigued and you would like to read more about this, Eckhart Tolle has written a great book – “The Power Of Now”.
Mindfulness gives you the stillness.
Mindfulness practice gives you inner peace. When you get to a state when you are fully present, you will experience a deep and pleasant feeling of aliveness and stillness.
The more you will practice and the more you are into it your inner stillness will improve. You will be the stillness behind your mind and even if someone will try to offend you (offend your mind) or annoy you, you will recognize it immediately as an ego battle that you are no longer affected by. You will have distance not only to other people and reality and emotions but also to your own ego. You will be the presence and the stillness that is beyond that. Do I have to list here the benefits of stillness? Probably you can imagine how it can benefit your life in all the aspects.
Now let’s get down to the essence. How to achieve it – how to practice it.
Being present comes with consistent practice as any other skill.
As I mentioned earlier I highly recommend reading the book “The Power of Now”. The author, Eckhart Tolle is recognized as one of the biggest spiritual teachers of our times. It’s a great base.
Many people make one mistake however. They read articles like this one or a book like “The Power Of Now” and they stop there. It won’t work like that. It’s not only about the knowledge. You have to practice it and it will open many doors in front of you.
There are quite a few ways to be present.
Yes, mindfulness in its essence comes down to be fully present, without thinking.
There is another great publication by Eckhart Tolle – “Gateways To Now”.
There are few gateways that Eckhart is mentioning. Let me introduce them briefly. Be aware that each of them is a very powerful tool that can change your life. You don’t need all of them, any of them will take you to the final destination which is NOW.
Feel Your Body.
Your body is a gateway to the presence. Be mindful of your body. Do not think about it, feel it. Feel the energy within your body. It will quiet your mind and it will root you into presence. For the start you can try just to feel your hands.
Look For Silence Among The Sounds.
There is always a dimension of silence around you. You may hear sounds but they always come out of a background which is silence. Look for the silence, the sole action of looking for the silence silents your mind. It moves you into presence.
The present moment is all there really is. If you don’t accept the present moment you build a conflict within your mind and your mind becomes noisy and you are not at peace. The situation NOW is as it is. Accept it fully just for the moment. You will notice that your mind will quiet down.
You will feel aliveness that present moment brings.
There is a YouTube version of “Gateways To Now” that you can listen to. Eckhart Tolle is talking about the gateways/ portals that will allow you to access the presence. There is also an introduction that will help you mentally understand the gateways and the nature of your mind. Watch the video (divided into parts) below.
After you watch it I recommend you to check out our Mindfulness Game, you can download it for free and print it at home if you wish, it’s a great daily practice and the benefits of it are UNMANIFESTED.