I’m puzzled with all the fanfare about “mindfulness” for both adults and kids. Maybe it is my decades of meditative practices that has me saying “huh?”when the world is going crazy for mindfulness. If you are being YOU, you are naturally mindful. You don’t need to try. If, when you are gulping down your food, you suddenly remember that LIFE IS THIS MOMENT, you will most likely slow down, really taste your food, and probably appreciate it more in the process. Hence, your mind is in the moment–you are mindful.
OK…so I get that some people have never done any of this before, therefore they need a Square One practice, something like chew a raisin until it turns to liquid. I remember Yogi Bhajan, Kundalini Yoga master from India, having us do that some thirty years before there was a word called mindfulness. And yes, you will taste all the miraculous flavors of one raisin, and you will be calm while doing it. He often had us do things without any explanation, like “Pick up the raisin and chew it. Don’t swallow it.” Then five minutes later he’d say something else, like “Ok now do this.”, and you would swallow any remaining raisin juice in your mouth. It was better without the word mindfulness. Why? Because have you ever noticed how living in the moment has no labels? And once you give a label, now the label has all the life. It fits in your brain in the box marked with that label, and then your brain says, “Ok I did that, now what?” Missing the point which was just to be present to the only thing that ever exists anyway…NOW and HERE.
Today I wanted to hear from my friend and mentor, Mary Oliver. And this is what she had to say. Because I was present to her words, these words I’ve written in this blog emerged unplanned. Because life is unplanned and without labels.
Shakta is an AMS certified Montessori teacher, and the author of five well-known Yoga books, CDs and DVDs. Her latest book, The Yoga Way to Radiance: How to Follow Your Inner Guidance and Nurture Children to do the Same, is scheduled for release in summer of 2016, (Llewellyn Worldwide)