Mindfulness: a small slice of heaven in a world full of chaos. Those who practice on a regular basis seem to carry a calmness with them as they flow through life, more aware of their surroundings and emotions. Mindfulness possesses many similarities to traditional religious practices, especially those branching from the peaceful roots of Buddhism and Hinduism however, the practice itself is not a religion but rather classified as a secular practice. A secular practice is the thin line that exists between religion and spirituality, existing as an independent entity far away from the idea of a ‘higher power’. Instead, the focus turns toward authenticity, attempting to bridge the gap between man and nature allowing them to coalesce. While one sets out on their spiritual journey, it is practices like mindfulness that lead to better understanding of oneself, unlocking a power within that can only flourish when the mind is quieted and left to focus on the sensations of the present; nothing more.
Anyone can practice mindfulness however; it takes some time to master. While it is already a challenging task to find time in one’s busy life to stop and exist in the presence, understanding the sensations and emotions that surface can be even more difficult to decipher. Thankfully, this becomes easier in time, gaining a deeper understanding of one’s entire self, leading to a reduction in depression, stress, and anxiety. The overall belief is that every being houses within the ability to overcome any physical or mental disorder that produces harmful or negative symptoms. The human brain is said to be the most powerful organ on our planet but with all the distractions and little time alone to let the mind speak, its potential struggles to be fulfilled. Incorporating meditative rituals in an attempt to use more brain power can serve as a guide to overall improvement of one’s life and health, taking into consideration the examples below to begin the journey.
Using Mindfulness as your Guide
Spiritual teacher Bhagavati famously quoted “Quiet the mind and the soul will speak”. When the soul speaks and one hosts the tuned ear to listen, a deeper and more spiritual connection is made between the human body, soul, and the natural world which surrounds it. As time goes on and one begins to connect thoughts and feelings, the practice of mindfulness transforms into a guide, leading to a more spiritual place.
This guide begins with first becoming aware, quieting the mind and bringing to light all that surrounds and encompasses one. The ability to focus on the breath and how the process naturally occurs feeding the body and surfacing any pain or heaviness may lead to diagnosis or resolution to the root of the problem. This could create a significant improvement to overall health leaning more toward preventative care than the currently popular approach of ‘masking’.
Emersion in nature intensifies this connection, as you understand the natural world and its artistry of survival. You become more in tune with the power you encompass within using nature as your guide. Watch as all living things shed what no longer serves them, molding a stronger and more efficient form of living in the process. This serves as a reminder that just as nature, mankind is part of the circle of life and can survive using the same practices exercised daily in nature.
When bringing all focus and attention forward, one is able to dive deep into thought mingling with the process of critical thinking. Thinking critically increases curiosity which can lead to further understanding of one’s place in this world. It also sparks creativity, allowing for a change in perspective along the journey of life. In practice one begins to view things differently, feel differently, and may begin to realize the power and potential packed into the crevices of the brain. Blending these together creates a concoction for healthy and stable growth per individual.
One Day at a Time
Every example listed above is a simple task yet one that is difficult to commence. Secular practices require effort, not from a group or a ‘higher power’ but from the individual who participates. Just as those who follow religion commit to scheduled worships, those beginning their walk with mindfulness must do the same. The ‘higher power’ that one is subject to follow is the self, placing the responsibility on the shoulders of the seeker and no one else. This secular practice follows no order, as a matter of fact one has full freedom to spend the time chosen to dedicate towards the practice however they like. Every ritual is developed by the individual and for the individual with inspirations coming from anywhere or anyone, as no two brains burn energy or create the same. To start along this path, the first and most important piece of advice is to take it day by day, Rome was not built in a day and neither will be this new outlook on life.
Life is difficult. It can be tough sometimes to express or understand the reasons why one is not just simply ‘happy’. Mankind, by nature, is a curious species that adapted over years of hardships producing the intelligent and supple beings of today. In an attempt to increase overall wellness, the brain can be further sharpened, perhaps unlocking some hidden potentials that have never surfaced before. Secular practices like mindfulness prove that there is more power than may be realized from first glance, a power that should be used for beneficial and healthy advantages. Practices like these create a hope for new and innovative ground-breaking discoveries in the future, both to benefit the natural world and the individual alike.