Mindless Mindfulness

mindlessness

I have recently spoken with Autumn Totton, the Co-Founder of The Mindfulness Project, about the influx of the mindfulness programmes popping out from every corner. The ever-growing mindfulness hype has caught my attention and inspired to study the subject. Suddenly, everything was about mindfulness: mindful people management, mindful hiring and firing, mindful internal communication, mindful breathing, mindful eating, mindful writing, mindful parenting…. I even came across an article on mindful dying. There is truly no end to it.

I’ve looked into the range of courses that are currently offered across London and New York, and it turned out that it is pretty easy to master mindfulness in all of the above areas (and more). You can do it by attending them in person or via Skype, and they will last from one hour (!!!) to few months. What’s even more interesting is the fact that they are all very pricy. Is this the reason for everyone wanting to be the next best mindfulness wizard?

I’m lost in this ‘mindless’ mindfulness hullabaloo.

According to Autumn, mindfulness is a simple and very powerful practice of training our brains to paying attention to what’s happening HERE and NOW (i.e. sensations, thoughts, and emotions) in a non-judgemental way.

Recently, I had come across an interesting video of one of world’s most renewed health and spiritual gurus – Deepak Chopra. Just as the clip was coming to an end, he shared a story, which has somehow resonated with me, and I’d like to share it with you here.

Few years back, Deepak spent few weeks in a monastery in Thailand doing very intense mediation on impermanence and the fact of his own death. When he was about to leave the monastery, after days of intense discussions, the Abbot had offered him a secret of mindfulness in five sentences, as a sort of goodbye gift. Deepak loved what he had heard and decided to share it with his students. Here it is:

  1. The most important moment in your life is NOW.
  2. The most important person in your life is the one you are with NOW.
  3. The most important activity in your life is what you are doing NOW.
  4. The most important and easy way to be happy is to make somebody else happy NOW.
  5. The best way to create a future is to be mindful NOW.

Simple, yet very practical and powerful.

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DEEPAK CHOPRA MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

Chopra is the author of more than 80 books translated into over 43 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. The Huffington Post ranked him #17 influential thinker in the world and #1 in Medicine Fitness. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century”.