How to Practice Mindfulness: A Profound Guide to Inner Serenity
Life can be busy and finding time for ourselves and looking after our inner selves can be overlooked. But today we are going to take a look at the transformative nature of mindfulness and how it is an accessible tool for everyone, whatever your routine or schedule.
I am Marta, an Ayurvedic and holistic practitioner. Based on my personal experience and the experiences of my patients, I have found that incorporating treatments and practicing mindfulness can help us establish a deeper connection with ourselves and promote a sense of grounding and relaxation.
Understanding the Essence of Mindfulness
Before we delve into the intricacies of practicing mindfulness, it is important to understand the core philosophy of this age-old discipline.
What is mindfulness? It is the art of complete presence in the moment. It transcends the realm of a mere meditation technique, emerging as a comprehensive way of life, permitting us to relish each moment, attain clarity, and nurture a profound sense of inner peace.
Creating an Apt Setting
To start your journey, arrange a safe, peaceful, and quiet space where you can close the door to distractions. This sacred sanctuary can be as simple as the corner of your living room with soft cushions, calm decor, and soft candlelight.
Using Essential Oils
Lavender and geranium essential oils can be effectively used in a mindfulness setting to enhance feelings of relaxation and uplift the spirit.
Why not use an essential oil diffuser with a few drops of essential oil in it to beautifully scent the air in your chosen space? As the aromatic mist fills the room, lavender will soothe and relax you and geranium will gently uplift you.
This will set a peaceful and positive tone for your practice.
The Artistry of Breath
Mindfulness commences with the breath, a rhythmic reminder of the present moment. Assume a posture of comfort, with your spine straight, and close your eyes.
Now, direct your attention to your breath, as it ebbs and flows within your body. Observe its innate rhythm, the ascension and descent of your chest, and the contrast of inhalation and exhalation.
As thoughts pass into your consciousness, acknowledge them without judgment and gently redirect your focus to your breath.
Don’t forget to incorporate your mindful breathing exercises with the aid of lavender and geranium.
Sit comfortably in a quiet space and inhale deeply through your nose, counting to four as you do so.
Exhale slowly through your mouth, counting to six.
Repeat this breathing exercise several times while holding a cotton ball infused with a drop of lavender and a drop of geranium essential oil.
The calming scent can enhance your mindful breathing practice.
The Symphony of Senses
This practice is all about the holistic engagement of all our senses.
Dedicate a moment to explore all the sensations you can feel, hear, touch, and smell and even those you see, despite your eyes being closed.
Listen to the rustle of leaves, the rhythm of a birdsong, or simply the hum of silence. Feel the ground beneath, its texture and firmness, the gentle embrace of sunlight on your skin, or the soft breeze.
Engage your senses fully in the present moment and allow them to be your guides.
Cultivating the Mind's Garden
Imagine our minds as fertile gardens that transform with the seasons. As we embrace mindfulness, we tend to the garden of our thoughts with extreme care.
When thoughts and emotions surface, do not refuse them, acknowledge their existence with compassion. Visualise these thoughts as transient clouds drifting across the expansive sky of your consciousness.
They arrive and depart, while the sky remains unaltered, vast, and boundless. This perspective empowers you to observe your thoughts without emotion, devoid of attachment or judgment.
The Practice of Loving-Kindness
This practice transcends the realm of the self. It is an art form that teaches love and compassion not solely for oneself but for all beings. Dedicate a segment of your practice to think lovingly and with kindness about yourself, those you love, and even those you are in conflict with.
Visualise each of these people or things with a positive warm aura around them. Such acts will bring a warm sense of compassion to you and release positivity far and wide into the world.
A Mindful Journey, A Lifelong Companion
Mindfulness is not a quick fix but a long and ever-changing journey. Similar to a ceaseless river, your practice will evolve and deepen.
Be patient with yourself and refuse to be disheartened by distractions or internal conflict. Each moment devoted to practicing mindfulness draws you nearer to the inner peace you seek.
Integration into Daily Life
This practice truly comes alive when it becomes a natural part of your everyday life. As you leave your personal space and go about your day, bring the essence of the practice with you. Let it touch every interaction, work task, and moment of leisure.
Here are ways to seamlessly integrate mindfulness into your daily routine:
Mindful Eating: Savour each taste and flavour and be present with each bite.
Mindful Strolling: Whether in nature or in an urban setting, walk with awareness and without technology, feeling each step's connection with the Earth.
Mindful Respite: Pause briefly during your day to centre yourself, refocus your thoughts, and restore inner equilibrium through attentive breathing.
Mindful Listening: Truly listen to others as they talk, let them finish and take time to respond with a considered response.
Mindful Digital Engagement: Consciously manage your screen time and employ technology only when needed, not out of habit.
Mindful Journaling: Maintain a mindfulness journal to document your experiences and reflections.
Mindfulness in summary
The path of mindfulness is profound and is a journey of reconnection with your inner self, a quest for peace and a celebration of each moment as an invaluable gift.
As you tread this path, recall that it is a journey characterised by love, compassion, and self-discovery—all conducted in the present moment.
In the words of the venerable Lao Tzu, "Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?" Through practicing this new approach to life you shall pave a calm, considered, and connected path in which you may walk through life, consciously and within your unconscious mind.