Mindfulness holds the key to the art of living well. Why do we need to live well? Because we all want to be happy. Without happiness, living is meaningless and life is purposeless. The goal in the art of living well is to activate happiness in our lives through our minds. The human mind is powerful in that it can make heaven out of hell, or hell out of heaven. It's all in our minds; they can be our friends, or our enemies.
The essence of happiness is freedom -- not freedom in getting what we want out of life, especially our material wants, but freedom from our self-imposed bondage that prevents us from enjoying the happiness that is within each one of us. In many ways, we are like the proverbial bird that will not leave its self-imposed cage even when the cage door is opened. To illustrate, each of us has set certain conditions in our minds that dictate how we look at our happiness. These pre-set conditions have become the criteria for our happiness. If our marital partners do not meet our conditions or expectations to have those conditions fulfilled, we file a divorce; in other words, our love is conditional. We have no real freedom if we keep on thinking about something in our minds, such as the new car we want to get; our happiness becomes conditional on getting what we want.
The problem with conditional happiness is that we have knowingly or unknowingly created energy that is forever pushing us forward. It is like a carrot-stick in front of us, forever unreachable. Even when something becomes attainable, we create another carrot-stick, and yet another one. Isn't this the kind of life most of us are living? We have created one life goal after another, and our minds have become compulsive. In truth, we are unable to slow down because we are living in the past and in the future, but not in the now.
Our human experiences are perceived by our bodies through our five senses (seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, touching), which are then stored in our subconscious minds in the form of feelings, emotions, and memories. Our subconscious minds tell us what to do and what decisions to make through our conscious minds. Living in the past means we keep on going back to the past to find out what to do in the future. Our minds predict our futures in the form of desires and expectations, and that is how we live in the future. But the past was gone, and is no longer real; the future is uncertain and unreal, except in our minds.
Only the present moment or the now is real. It is a gift, and that's why it is called "present." But many of us are unaware of it, let alone appreciative of the now. Are you thankful that you are breathing right now? Only when a person is drowning, gasping for air, or having difficulty in breathing due to some lung disease, will that person be mindful of breaths.
Mindfulness is paying attention to what is happening right now. It can work miracles. First of all, mindfulness relaxes your mind because it stops the mind from thinking -- at least temporarily. Mindfulness enables you to perceive the truths or separate the truths from the half-truths through clarity of mind and thinking. Mindfulness lets you appreciate what is happening right now, instead of going back to the past or worrying about the future. Only with mindfulness can you become the person you are meant to be, and not the person you wish you were. Without mindfulness, there is no concentration, and without concentration, there is no wisdom that plays a pivotal part in your success in anything you wish to accomplish in life. Don't deny yourself the miracle of the now, and pursue your life in the past or the future.
As If Everything Is A Miracle: My book recently published explains in detail how you can "rethink" your mind to make it powerful and fully functional to work to your advantage. Albert Einstein once said that thinking is hard and that is why so people do it. But to live in this world as if everything is a miracle, you need to know "how to think" in order not to live as if nothing is a miracle. Learn how the mind works. This 125-page book is available in paperback or the kindle edition for immediate download ($3.49). .
Copyright© by Stephen Lau