An appointment with life

Chetan Prabhakar

Are we fully alive? Are we really living? Most of the times, we are lost in our thoughts, in our perceptions, in the past or in the future, our body and mind work separately. Our body drives a car, but our mind thinks something else. Physically, we are at work and mentally we are at our home, and vice versa. Our body is eating but our mind is thinking. When our body and mind are not together, we are lost, we are not fully alive, we are not fully present.
We are at home with our children, we do not see our children as they are and we are there with them with our expectations and with their future, putting a lot of pressure on them in the present for the future, so we are not fully there with them in the present as they are. Have you ever been with your children with your body and mind together in the present moment? Enjoying them and being with them in the present moment, fully alive, fully aware and fully present, without any worries or tension in mind.
Are we really living life, or, are we just running for the future and then when the future will come, we will again run for the future? Will this running end somewhere? Or, we are going to run this way all our lives till the time we reach to the end of our lives. Do we really want to meet and live life? There is an opportunity to meet life; to have an appointment with life, the same can be done by just living in the present moment. The Buddha has said, ‘past is gone, future is not yet here, present is the only moment we have to live.’
So, how can we live in the present moment? We can live in the present moment by practising the wonderful art of mindfulness. What mindfulness does? It aligns our body and mind and we become fully present in the here and now? Mindfulness is simple and easy to practice. We do not have to go anywhere. We just have to come back to the present moment. Just try mindfulness by being mindful of your breath, just breathe in and out and say inside your mind; while taking an in breath, say, I know I am breathing in; while releasing the out breath, say, I know, I am breathing out, and just by doing this small exercise, body and mind get aligned. You bring you mind back to your body which is its home and when both are together, you become fully alive in the present moment.
Breath is the key ingredient of mindfulness. Breath is our prana; our life force. Breath is the bridge between our mind and body. In the practise of mindfulness, we just have to be aware of our breath and it is so easy, we can inhale and exhale anywhere and everywhere and nobody will come to know what are we doing.
If you have lot of thoughts or your mind is disturbed or in tension or worry, if you breathe mindfully, your running mind stops, as, breath is halter of thoughts. So, whenever you have lot of thoughts in mind, worry, anxiety etc. just start breathing mindfully and your thoughts will reduce manifold. It will help you calm your mind, and you will be able to get out of the mind storm and become peaceful.
The second ingredient of mindfulness is speech. When we speak in mind, what it does; it interrupts the continuous chattering and/or discourse which is going on in our mind. Hence. speaking inside our mind while breathing in and out is very important to silent our mind of unnecessary and un-called thoughts. We always talk about silence. The outer world can never be silent. Silence is internal. Our mind is silent, when it does not have internal chatter, and because, there is no chatter inside the mind, we can focus and concentrate even in the crossroads full of external noises, which will help you in becoming calm, composed and blissful.
Hence, live in the present moment and enjoy the wonders of life. Life becomes wonderful, when we are fully alive. We start cherishing our children, our spouse and our parents because now, we are fully present with both mind and body aligned and not just with one, as most of the times, our body is present while our mind in dipped into the ocean of thoughts, perception, expectation, worry, fear etc.
By being in the here and now, we can be with our loved ones and we will start enjoying their presence because future is uncreatain and everything and everybody is impermanent, and when we start seeing impermanence and uncertainty in everything, then, there is no option to live in and enjoy the present moment with the loved ones, that is why it is called present, which means a Gift. Living in the present moment is an appointment with life. Do not miss this appointment; for missing it is missing an opportunity for true happiness. The Buddha said:
“Nothing is more precious than being in the present moment. Fully alive, fully aware”