How To Radically Improve Your Everyday Experience Of Life In Two Simple Steps
by: Abhishek Kumar
Can you do something for me?
Please don’t think tomorrow.
Yeah, you heard me. You have been thinking everyday, every moment, all the time since you were born. Can’t you just stop it for one day?
You can’t stop? You mean you don’t have a choice. You can’t stop thinking even if you want to. That sounds like an addiction.
Thinking is an addiction. From the moment we wake up the voice in our heads and the mind’s eye become activated. We barely notice them while they dictate our lives. The mind-radio starts off and goes about chattering, commanding, threatening, pleading, talking, complaining and so on. The mind’s eye gives you glimpses of past, present, future and motivates your moment-by-moment behavior.
Most of us are not even aware of the presence of this mind-radio and MTV (Mind TV) inside our heads.
Worse, some think, that they are this Mind Radio and Mind TV.
You are not what you think.
I am not?
No, you are not.
Cool. Then what am I?
You tell me.
Tell you what? I am a human being.
Exactly, you are a human being, not a human thinking.
What does that mean?
I mean a couple of things. Let’s take them one my one
Your mind has the capability to go into the past or into the future. So it keeps going here, there, everywhere. You think about the past, you worry about the future. The present – the only moment when you experience life, is ignored.
You can “be” only in the present. Not in the past, nor in the future. It is only in the present, in the NOW that you can exist.
‘Thinking’ can be in past, future or present. ‘Being’ is only in present. When you think about the term “peace of mind” – what are you thinking about? Are you thinking about a quiet, tranquil mind or are you thinking about a chattering, noisy mind playing around 7 TV channels simultaneously.
If I stop thinking, won’t I become dumb? Thinking is important.
You will be wise. Thinking is important. But only focused thinking. Thinking with a purpose is important. Thinking with an end-result in mind is important. For example, when you brainstorm to develop new ideas to solve a business problem, that’s vital. But thinking ‘just like that’ is your mind wandering aimlessly. It’s like generally walking on the roads of a town without any idea of where you are going or where is it that you want to go. And just like aimless wandering, it doesn’t get you anywhere and it makes you tired. Focused thinking makes you energetic, motivated and grateful. Aimless thinking makes you like a directionless floating leaf, your emotional state dependent upon whatever thought pops up in your head next.
Hey, that makes sense. Cool. How do I go about doing this non-thinking stuff?
It’s not a question of non-thinking. It’s a question of being. You are not trying to think yourself out of thinking. The choice is to “be” instead of “think”.
Hmm… How do I just.. Be? Are you going to ask me to meditate on the flame of a candle for one hour at sunrise everyday?
It would be great if you could do that. But no, I wouldn’t ask you to do that. (Though it would still be great if you could do that… how about half-hour, 15 minutes?)
I am just going to ask you to do two things…, which you can do everyday, all the time, any time, whenever you remember to do them, with the hope that you remember to do them pretty often
Watch yourself thinking – Catch yourself thinking: Watch your thoughts. You are not your thoughts. (You say – I am thinking… who is this I?) Notice your thoughts whenever possible, as you would observe a specimen in a laboratory. Don’t judge. Don’t get involved. Don’t get attracted or distracted. Just observe. Be curious and just see how you think. Notice. Observe. The moment you realize that you are not the thinker; you start observing your mind thinking. The moment you do this, a ‘higher consciousness’ becomes activated inside your head. You start accessing intelligence beyond thought. Chances are, if you keep doing this, one fine day – you will observe your thoughts and smile, as one would smile upon seeing the antics of a monkey. This is the one of the ways of freedom from thought.
Become intensely conscious of the here and now. Learn how to just be. How can you just be? By being aware of the present moment. By being present in the now. Take a routine activity, like say washing your hands and completely focus on it. Be involved – fully. Watch the transparent water bounce happily in your palm, feel the coolness of water against your skin, watch the lines of your palm glistening against the droplets of water, hear the sound of water splashing and splooshing in your hands. Or even breathing. Breathing is like the most routine activity you can possibly do. Observe your breath. Feel it. Pay attention to it. You will suddenly feel much more alive. This is because you have brought your mind from the past or the future or wherever it was to focusing on the NOW. On the present moment. Think about this. Why do you feel relaxed when you go on a vacation or to the zoo or the beach? This is because; you suddenly are focusing, paying attention to what is around you. You are experiencing whatever is around you with all your senses, to the fullest. You are completely engrossed in looking at the waves of the ocean or the animals or the trees – and you feel inner peace. This is so much unlike how we spend our days – by focusing on everything except what our experience is right now. (Here is another bit of info, all pain exists in the past, all worries exist in the future – the now is perfect) This is literally living for the moment, because you will always live in the moment, never in what was or what might be?
That’s it. No time to take out to do an exercise or stick to a routine. All you have to do is do this whenever you remember to do it. Of course, you can help yourself remember to do this by sending anonymous mails to yourselves or putting alarms. (Once I put a reminder about this in my mobile and kept snoozing it and therefore kept doing it again and again)
This is one of the most important things you can do to improve your concentration, mental peace, even performance (ever did something with full attention and something while distracted? Which performance was better?).
You will soon discover that all things that truly matter – beauty, creativity, truth, peace, love – arise not from thought, but from beyond it.
Sound Interesting. I think I will give it a try.
There you go. Come back to the present moment please. I will give it a try is a ghost.
OK OK. I got the message. I am paying attention to it now.
Look at your hands on the keyboard, appreciate them. Look at the keyboard. The colors, the dirt patches. Look at the wall. The color. Notice your breath. Observe the shape of the monitor, the contours, the glow. Feel the presence of your body on the chair, the weight. Feel your legs pressing against the shoes. Feel your clothes lightly touching your body. Look at the mouse and trace its body with your eyes. Pay attention to your breath. Feel your elbow on the arm-rest. Feel the temperature of the room, the movement of air.
Yeah, that is how NOW really is. That is how ‘being’ feels.
Wow… I gotta do this regularly.
Are you sure?
Really? You are going to do this?
Definitely pal. Definitely!!
Well, All the best.
About The Author
Applicable, relevant, easy-to-use information on improving the quality of life available at the web site of Abhishek Kumar - http://www.abhishekkumar.cjb.net/
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