The majority of people who begin a regular meditation practise do so primarily for the psychological advantages of awareness. While there can no longer be any doubt that meditation significantly reduces stress, anxiety, and depression, the ancient concepts of mindfulness can also be extremely beneficial in overcoming the mental-emotional barriers of daily life. As practically everyone who stumbles across this site is already aware, meditation is a very ancient technique that predates our ability to quantify its benefits. Though the present renaissance of meditation is largely owing to newer scientific evidence, meditation was once an exclusively spiritual endeavour. Its origins can be traced back to self-observation, consciousness, perception, quiet, and breathing. On a personal level, the ideas of these ancient lessons have benefited my daily life just as much as the stress-relieving component of the practise. By studying and actively practising them, I’ve gained a greater understanding of how I present myself in the world. They have aided me in developing more rational decision-making abilities, embracing non-objectivity, and surrendering more readily to the natural flow of my existence. Accepting the areas of life we cannot control is one of the most critical obstacles to conquer in order to manage the things we can.
This list comprises seven of the most frequently taught mindfulness principles, but there are undoubtedly many more. This is a list of some of my favourite lessons and principles, ones that have influenced how I view and navigate the world.
Breath & Physical Sensitization:
Probably the most basic skill we can cultivate via meditation is awareness of our breath and body. Numerous techniques of meditation direct our attention to the feelings we experience throughout our bodily space. This concentrated attention really aids us in gaining a greater awareness of our body by allowing us to notice more precisely how it normally feels, as well as our interpretation of those feelings. Numerous meditations include a prominent focus on breath as part of this physiological awareness. Breath, oxygen, and all that it provides for our bodies constitute a complete and utter lifeforce. Our breath enables us to exert influence over our physiology. It is a device that may be used to adjust one’s heart rate and hence one’s mental-emotional condition. We can use the breath to ground oneself, focus in, and relieve tension. Thorough and consistent practise of this talent can result in a good comprehension of body states and a perceptive ability to calm, accelerate, and slow them down appropriately. Who needs anxiousness when you know that all you need is control of your breath to calm yourself down? Perhaps the most undervalued tool left behind in modern medicine is the breath. Breath control and body awareness are two of the most potent lessons that meditation can offer us.
Calmness & Non-Reactivity:
In contemporary society, our attention and, of course, our stress levels are constantly being pushed and prodded. You’re overcommitting your time, your company is enforcing deadlines, and your pal has unreasonable expectations of you. Whatever it is, at the end of the day, your response to life’s challenges is typically the one thing over which you have complete control. Negative reactions to these situations essentially throw that power out the window and into the metaphorical muck. Equanimity is the art of letting the world to be as it is and to manifest as it is, without the desire to change, control, or be annoyed by it. It is the art of simply letting it to unfold without allowing any negative influence to take over your mental space. When someone cuts you off in traffic, you accept the situation and move on. When something manifests in a manner contrary to your expectations, you take a big breath, accept the circumstance, and go on. Equanimity and non-reactivity are extremely effective tools that all of the world’s greatest leaders possess. These leaders are steadfast, unaffected by the ups and downs of daily life. It is a characteristic of resiliency. At the end of the day, the only thing we have control over is how we choose to show up in our lives. Our superpower is our vitality. When we allow trivial things to steadily syphon out small amounts of that energy throughout the day, there is less energy left over for greatness, improvement, advancement, connection, health, and happiness, among other things. Protect your energy, accept the world as it is, and you will become powerful. Mindfulness and meditation are excellent ways to practise this ability. When you practise non-reactivity in your daily sit, you establish a mental foundation for retrieving that skill in other areas of your life. It develops into a mental habit that is etched into the brain’s physiology. Things happen, and that is a natural part of life. It is absolutely up to you whether you react or respond to it.
Attachment Vs. Commitment:
One of my favourite distinctions in modern mindfulness lessons is this. This concept is as straightforward as it appears. Attachment and commitment may appear to be identical, but they are two completely different ways of life in fact. Attachment is a fixed point of view. It’s a point of view with clear guidelines and expectations. We are choking the globe of possibility when we are so devoted to an outcome that we will not allow any other option. When we commit to a purpose or expectation, we open ourselves up to a vast world of possibilities. Commitment is malleable and flexible by nature. Commitment is equanimity in action, and it is synonymous with persistence, tenacity, flexibility, and acceptance. Surrendering our attachments to the unknown world is a dangerous and unpredictable process. However, it is necessary for the creation of anything good and transformational. Take a moment to consider why you are attached to an outcome that has yet to occur the next time you find yourself attached to something that has yet to happen. It is a conscious choice to suffer when one chooses to be attached in this way. You can start learning how to transform your natural response to one with a great force of potential after you become aware of the attachments you carry. Commit to your objectives and aspirations, and let them play out as they need to in order to achieve them. They’ll almost certainly never come up when you expect them to.
Stories Vs. Reality:
The majority of our perceptions of reality are essentially subjective to our own interpretations of the situation. To put it another way, the real-life events in our lives are frequently polluted by the stories we tell ourselves about them. Someone cutting you off in traffic and scowling at you, for example, is unquestionably a thing that happened. The scowl may not have been in bad taste, but rather a result of the other driver’s dread. We make up stories that we cling to fiercely in situations like these, as well as most bad or positive experiences in our life, as if their hostility somehow fueled our ego temporarily. Perhaps we convince ourselves that the other person did it because they despise us, or because they saw our out-of-province/state licence plate, or because they thought we were a loser driving a clunker. Whatever the case may be, the chances of these reports being real are astronomically low. And even if they are, they are completely unimportant! As I previously stated, our energy contains all of our power and potential. We won’t have any left for ourselves if we cling to things that drain us of our power. Every day, almost all of us let our imaginations run wild with stories. “She thinks I’m ugly”, “he must not care enough to respond”, “I’m not good enough”, “they can tell I’m awkward”, “I must not be lovable”, “they think I’m slow”, “she thinks I’m dumb”, “nothing works for me”. All of them are made-up realities that we have created. At the end of the day, we’re all simply complicated and perplexed humans trying to make the best of our lives. We’re all simply living in our own little worlds, doing the best we can with the abilities we have. Stories are nothing more than stories, and learning to separate from the harmful stories to which we have become addicted sets us free. On a personal level, mindfulness meditation is a fantastic approach to actively study and comprehend which tales we hold to. It becomes a place where we can deliberately practise the art of distancing ourselves from that storey, from the truth of what is. Taking the time to reflect gives us a sense of self-awareness, which is the first step toward changing our patterns. This is seldom an overnight shift, but a constant effort during meditation has the potential to change our mental habits.
Emotions & Feelings at Their Source:
Self-reflection, as many wise men and women before me have often stated, is a crucial ingredient of the recipe for happiness and, more importantly, success. At the end of the day, you can’t be happy unless you understand what makes you tick, what works for you, what doesn’t, and what makes you truly happy on a personal level. We can be more intentional about seeking and having more of it now that we know this. We are living in the midst of an epidemic of emotional repression in the modern society. We’re trained to keep our emotions hidden and not to go any deeper than the surface. The end outcome is simple: people who are perplexed. People who are unable to recognise, alter, and control their emotional and spiritual states. People who have repressed emotions that cause stress in their bodies and minds. Stress frequently manifests itself in the physical realm as very serious health conditions. We provide a safe space to investigate the root of our feelings by taking the time to sit, meditate, and be mindful. We can take time to openly feel them for each of the feelings and sensations they give, in addition to possibly knowing their roots. At the end of the day, we can only properly process our emotions in a healthy and sustainable way if we feel and experience the state we are in. People who are self-assured and have nothing to hide are the happiest. They feel their lives, and they live them to the fullest extent possible, including the nasty, difficult, and difficult aspects. They take pleasure in experiencing and feeling their own emotional sincerity. They are unmistakably themselves. Mindfulness can be a great tool for unearthing our big “whys,” knowing who we are, and thereby opening the doors to personal progress in this way. This stuff requires time and effort, but the good news is that the process is pleasurable and relaxing.
Getting Rid of Your Ego:
This part of mindfulness is probably the most esoteric on the list, but it is absolutely something that has to be addressed in this piece. Let me begin by defining the ego and why you should be concerned about it. In simple terms, the ego is the component of your awareness that recognises you as a distinct’self’ from the rest of the universe. From this perspective, the phrase does not appear to be so awful. When the ego decides to show up and protect itself, that’s when it’s not so helpful. The ego is built to keep us from connecting with others. It’s self-serving, and it’ll reject opportunities, threats, or anything else that makes it feel threatened. At the end of the day, our ego’s desperate need to sustain self-righteous individualism drives many of our impulses. That shirt we need to buy to make us look cooler, that Instagram post about how exciting our lives are, and that office remark we simply had to make to make sure everyone knows we’re better than them. Jim Collins reveals the results of his research in Good To Great, stating that the highest-performing firms and work teams are all managed by egoless management. These individuals have learned to make judgments based on their self-descriptive ideas of who they want to be rather than what their instincts tug them to do at the time. Not in a way that makes them appear cool, decent, or intelligent. They have freed themselves from the ego’s petty influences. When we are free of the ego, we are able to make decisions based on a set of values, morals, ethics, the end aim, and so on. It enables us to be present for others, to digest information without a self-aggrandizing filter, and to live a life that is driven by our values rather than what will make us look good to others. Making decisions that come from a position of self-awareness helps us to create a life that is truly ours. Living without the urge to satisfy or impress others is an undervalued attribute that I make a point of recognising whenever I come across it. Imagine sitting every day, separating from the distractions around us, even if only for 5-10 minutes, to practise being ego-less. Meditation is only a fleeting experience that lasts for the duration of the sit. The true benefit of meditation is that all of the abilities we develop during meditation become talents we use and deliberately apply in other areas of life. When we exercise ego-lessness on a regular basis, it becomes a part of our mental repertory and appears more regularly in other parts of our lives.
Everything is debatable:
After all, the globe is a vast strange place where a lot of strange things happen. One of the things we’ve been taught throughout our lives is to categorise things as either good or bad. Labeling something in this way is, at the end of the day, a purely human and artificial description of what it is or what happened. Good and bad are only impressions that we choose to assign to objects. We can begin to change our perspective of the world by learning to evaluate how we categorise things. One of the most important components of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) is to start modifying the way we talk about life’s events. Everything that we come across in life is simply the way it is. The way we view a situation is a choice we have the ability to make. This is comparable to the practise of accepting serenity in essence. We can practise accepting every experience in our lives for what it is through mindfulness practise. We can learn to merely observe situations rather than classifying them as good, terrible, or anything else by doing so. This practise aids in the creation of space for us to select how we perceive everything we do and see. Choosing to see each step of life in a more positive light can drastically transform our mentality, levels of happiness, and outcomes. Take a moment to consider what this could mean for you before moving on to the following paragraph. How would you think and see the world if you were the most powerful and happy version of yourself?
Mindfulness As Presence:
The cultivation of a heightened state of presence is last but not least. Mindfulness and meditation are exercises in present in and of themselves. We improve at whatever we exercise and practise more of. This is unquestionably true in terms of both physical and mental talents. Presence is a talent that can and can be developed through physical activity. The focus of meditation is frequently on presence. Presence is essential, whether it comes in the form of focusing on physiological sensations or actively opening our mind to pay attention to distant sounds. One of the key things I’ve noticed is that I bring a new level of presence to each and every encounter I’m a part of because of my capacity to both relax my physiology through breath’ and return my concentration back to what’s right in front of me in the present now. I am completely there with whomever I am speaking. Whatever I’m doing at work gets my undivided focus. I’m fully dialled in wherever I’m researching and experiencing. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience for the newer, meditative version of myself. Researchers all across the world are discovering that presence is one of the most important components of authentic happiness, as noted by famous Flow researcher Steven Kotler. Living in the moment is a shortcut to abundance, connection, and fulfilment that no other shortcut can match.