Mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool which helps us to live in the present moment. Mindfulness meditation is based on the belief that in order for us to live a happy and content life we have to live in the present moment. The great Buddhist teacher Tich Nhat Han along with many others tells us that life is only possible in the present moment because the past has already gone and the future has not yet arisen.
In many of his talks and books, Tich Nhat Han uses the example of a beautiful sunset to illustrate what happens when we experience something with a calm and peaceful mind resting in the present moment as opposed to with a discursive and confused mind which is wandering around. In the first situation, when we watch the sunset with a calm and peaceful mind resting in the present moment, we experience every single detail of the sunset; even the slightest little change of colour or air-temperature, we are there fully on the spot taking it all in. In the second situation, when our mind is discursive and confused and wandering around a lot, the sunset happens and we are there to watch it but we don’t really take anything in because we are too caught up in our thoughts and thought-processes. Unfortunately, most of us experience their lives as described in the second situation.
Life is very busy, very stressful, very challenging, we hardly ever find a moment of peace or a moment to rest – this is, unfortunately, the reality for many of us.
But we want to stop. We want to find a moment of peace. We want to experience the present moment clearly. We want to take it all in. We want to respond from our Self and not automatically from some pattern we have learned over the years. We want to experience inner peace, a good night’s sleep, a good time with others, better relationships, better concentration, more well-being.
The tool that can help us to achieve all this is Mindfulness Meditation practice. We learn to become aware of our thoughts and thinking patterns. We develop the understanding that what we think and how we think determines how we feel, how we behave and how we experience the world. And we learn that it is up to us whether we engage with our discursive and confused mind or live in the present moment instead. Many people seem to feel that they have no control over their mind and that they cannot stop their mind from wandering. But once they step onto the path of Mindfulness Meditation, they realise that they can regain control. It is almost as if the mind is wandering when there is no guidance, no guard, but once the mind is watched and tamed, it is quite willing to let us be in control again.
The training in Mindfulness Meditation is to learn to catch the mind when it is wandering away from the present moment and to bring it back to the present moment. When we do that over and over, living in the present moment and refraining from thoughts that are stressful or not helpful will become our new way of life.
Through this meditation practice, especially when we do it regularly, our mind becomes still. The still mind is often compared to a still lake: When the water is really still, it reflects the environment perfectly clearly. When our mind is perfectly still, it reflects the environment exactly as it is at that very moment and enables us to see clearly. When the mind is still, we are able to see a situation, every situation, clearly. And once we see situations clearly, we are able to engage and act in a helpful and appropriate way.
Over the years, since I was a young teenager, I have tried different meditations. But none of them have worked for me as well as Mindfulness Meditation does. I think what I love about Mindfulness Meditation is that it is so simple and yet so powerful when practised regularly. I love that we can do it wherever we are and whatever we do.
Mindfulness Meditation has really transformed my life and changed my experience of the world. This is why, some years back, I decided to become a Mindfulness Meditation teacher myself. I am very happy to see how Mindfulness Meditation is helping my clients every day.
The Mindfulness Meditation workshop takes place over 4 1-hour long sessions. Participants will receive reading material and a CD with guided meditations during the course.