Living in the present – Threading a needle [Source]
Mind you, I should always be mindful. There is no question about it. I should be mindful of how I drive on the road, speak, do my work, relate to other people, eat, sit, walk, pray, wake up and go to sleep. I should be alert and attentive. But I don’t do that. Because I miss the present moment. I miss it most of the time, if not always.
I miss the present moment because I’m thinking about what the past brought or what the future will bring.
Well, cookies are not good for me! [Source]
Be in the present moment – Be the present moment – Be a witness to the mind This is the essence of the first lesson in the call of the vedas. The present is omnipresent. If I embrace it, I can embrace peace and be peaceful, regardless of what happens in life and on earth.
This important focus on the present moment is marketed today under the brand “mindfulness“. It has been successfully commercialized – much like the teachings of yoga and meditation have been. The mantra, “Find peace in the present moment”, is reaching millions of people in all aspects of life. [See mindfulness for improved physical and mental health, for easing recurrent depression, for managing the complexities of life, for teachers and students.] The concept is catching on. It is being introduced in class rooms and in corporations here in USA.
Ramana Maharishi [Source]
“The nature of the mind is to wander…but you are not the mind” says Ramana Maharishi.
The moment I watch my mind, it starts to behave and quieten down. This is not very different from a barking dog stopping its barking and beginning to wag its tail on seeing its master. But I can’t see my mind in the same way I can see a dog.
Piece of cloth, magnified, showing threads [Source]
Really, what is the mind? It is nothing but a bundle of desires. As a piece of cloth is woven by threads, mind is nothing but a weaving of threads of desire. Just as a piece of cloth ceases to be when the threads are removed one by one, the mind also ceases to be when the desires are given up one by one.
Focusing on the present moment, accepting the ups and downs of the moment – the disappointments and achievements, the praise and blame, the fairness and unfairness of happenings – as loving gifts from the hearth of life itself do help quieten my mind.
But this is only a temporary fix to my problem. Because the threads of my desires are still left in tact.
The call of the vedas tells me to do one more thing in addition to mindfulness. It directs me to do a paradigm shift from witnessing the mind to being the witness of the mind. It asks me to embrace this witness and not my mind. This witness is the seat of Love, prema eva (Love only) [Taitreeya Upanishad Brahmanandavalli].
This seat of Love is the heart of the matter, the real “heart” of any matter. Heart is hrudayam, hrud – firmly established, dayam – love, hrudayam – where Love is firmly established.
Bhagavad Gita teaches,
The mind is unsteady, unruly, obstinate and uncontrollable
chanchalam hi manah krishna pramaathi balavat dhrudam [Bhagavad Gita 6.34]
But applying the balm of Love to it and practicing this application diligently, the mind can be tamed
abhyaasena tu kownteya vairaagyena cha gruhyate [ Bhagavad Gita 6.35]
By applying more and more of Love to my mind, I can make it spread Love around the world. My thoughts, speech and actions then become more loving, more caring for others and less worried about myself. And my desires actually start to decrease! Then I’ll lead not only a mindful life but also a heartful one.
Mindfulness is a good band-aid.
But, Heartfulness,Love, is the cure.