Our true home is in the present moment. To live in the present moment is a miracle. Once we learn to touch this peace, we will be healed and transformed. We need to find ways to bring the body and mind to the present moment. Our body is here, but our mind is somewhere else- in the past or the future, possessed by anger, frustration, hopes or dreams. We are not really alive, because we are not able to touch life in the present moment.
A simple exercise to live in the present moment is conscious breathing. As we breathe in,we know we are breathing in. As we breathe out, we know we are breathing out.
We need to practice the art of stopping. When we learn to stop, we become more calm, and our mind becomes clearer, like clear water after the particles of mud have settled. Sitting quietly, just breathing in and out, we develop strength, concentration and clarity. Once you are calm and still, you reflect whatever you see exactly as it is, without distorting anything. Things will reveal themselves in the still waters of our heart.
We take care of so many things, we worry about so many things, we are involved in so many projects and we think they are crucial for our happiness. That is not correct. We can do a few projects with happiness and serenity. We must not sacrifice the present for the idea of happiness in the future. We must stop running to the future, stop worrying about the past and stop accumulating so many things.
Our consciousness has two parts: mind consciousness(what we are aware of) and store consciousness( what we are not aware of now). The store consciousness contains both wholesome and non wholesome thoughts. If with mindfulness we water the wholesome thoughts and not water the non wholesome thoughts when they arise into the mind consciousness, wholesome thoughts become stronger and nonwholesome thoughts become weaker. We then have transformed ourselves.
We believe that happiness is only possible in the future. Hence the practice ‘I have arrived’ is very important. The realisation that we have already arrived, we do not have to travel anywhere and all that we need for being happy is already here. We only need to be in the present moment and we shall touch this.
We can live in the world where we think everything is separate or we can live in the world where we think that everything is interbeing- one is many and many is one. Living in the second world is peaceful. It is easy to fall back, that is why mindfulness is necessary.
When we marry another person and live together, many differences arise. One has to see these with mindfulness, understand where the other person is coming from, express yourself honestly and grow and change together. It is difficult and requires a lot of courage and understanding and loving.
When we are angry, pause, express our feelings calmly and discuss about it later together. The way we live our daily lives- television, violent games, etc all have a bearing on how our world is going to be. Children need to be brought up in early life in settings that promote peace and well being.
Mindfulness training: Do not kill in deed, thought or word. Do not steal. Do not engage in sexual misconduct.Engage in loving speech. Cultivate good health, both physical and mental. Live in a community.
adapted from the book ‘Touching peace‘