5 Steps to Mindfulness
One of my favorite things to do is to watch animation movies with my children. One of the movies we thoroughly enjoyed together was Kung Fu Panda. There is this wise turtle in the movie, his name is Master Oogway, he would say the most profound statements leaving us mystified at its depth. The above quote is from him 🙂
Most of us are forgetful bogged down by our worries, fears, anger, future, and sometimes past regrets in life that we don’t truly enjoy this moment. As a matter of fact, all is well in the moment … all is always well in the moment … have you noticed that? Being in the moment is Mindfulness. It’s the opposite of forgetfulness or bogged downiness 🙂 It’s a birhplace for joy and happiness!
One of masters of Mindfulness is Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a Zen master, global spiritual leader, poet, and peace activist. He has some of the most powerful teachings and bestselling writings on spirituality and self-growth. He believes there are 5 steps to mindfulness. I have been practicing these steps for some time now and have seen some amazing benefits from improved concentration to experiencing breakthroughs, and gaining some deep insights. So, today I am going to share these steps with you.
- Mindful Breathing: This is a simple yet powerful exercise. Become aware of your inhale and exhale. Recognize it as the in-breath and the out-breath. Focus on it and give it attention. While your placing your attention on your inhale and exhale; something magical happens: your mind chatter stops. You become more aware of breathing, being alive, this gratitude and feelings of joy and happiness. TIP: Don’t interfere on regulating your breathing or forcing it … be it as natural as it comes.
- Concentration: follow through with your inhale and exhale from beginning to end. So, if you’re inhaling for x seconds be with it for those x seconds, and when you are exhaling for x seconds be with it for those x seconds. This brings you to a state of awareness with your breath. TIP: thoughts will pop up while you’re doing this, simply bring your attention back to the in or out breath.
- Awareness of the body: take it a step further – “breathing in, I’m aware of my whole body”, “exhaling I’m aware of my whole body”. So, now you’re of your body being there as you’re breathing in and out. This creates a synchronicity between mind and body. TIP: stick with it, you’ll see it working, don’t give up.
- Release the tension: here you’ll feel the knots in your body, the tensions, the stresses … simply add that to your statement: ‘breathing in, I’m aware of my body. Breathing out, I’m releasing the tension in my body’. TIP: you may feel awkward talking to yourself at first, but keep with it, you’ll see how effortless it is to de-stress your body using your mind.
- Walking Meditation: This is one of the most beautiful experiences. I recommend you do steps 1-4 sitting in nature, and then begin with mindful walking to really feel the Earth – be bare feet if possible. Now, you’ll feel mind-body connected and together with the nature/Earth. This is a joyful-grounding experience, especially for Vata mind-body types. TIP: begin slow, if you feel any resistance to doing any of the steps … question the resistance … tap on it to release it using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) … then keep at it.
Once you master mindfulness, you can apply it to all areas of your life. Mindful eating is a hot topic these days. It’s something I train my clients in the ‘how to eat ‘ part of my coaching programs. You can flatten your belly mindfully one chew at a time. So, the benefits of Mindfulness are grand, just take some time to be with these 5 steps and practice them overtime to make them an automatic part of your daily go-abouts.
To your best health,