Be here now.

Do you sometimes just want to let things go? Turn off the overthinking?

We’re not given instructions about this practice as a child, so it can be difficult. For the lucky ones, it’s as easy to be here now as it is to take a deep breath.

For the rest of us, we have to practice at the inner state of peace. In today’s parlance, we’re using the term “mindfulness”. It’s a tool that makes the living experience of life brighter and more vibrant. Full of gratitude and joy.

It takes a short daily practice to actually feel it, though. Try the insight timer and give it a shot.

Life is inevitably full of hardships. We have many things we’re lovingly attached to. They won’t last forever. So be mindful of this, and be ready to be present in trying times to help spread peace, acceptance and wisdom to those of us who suffer in difficult times.

I didn’t really get any of this before I started, either.

That’s why it’s a practice – and if you’re working at it, here are some fun things to try…

Yoga, combined with mindful breathing, is a very joyous experience. You can witness the undulations of the mind and body and try to find peace in the self-created storm of stretching and twisting. Strengthening that skill to find peace is so fundamental to happiness, so I hope you try it.

I practice Moksha Yoga in the morning three times a week. What a transition into waking life. Sometimes I wake up 30 minutes into the session and realize I’m practicing inner peace alongside the like-minded. Ii kanji, as the Japanese would say (nice feeling).

If you’re into mindfulness, try the insight timer app. Thousands of guided sessions of every type – you’re bound to find a teacher that speaks to your way of thinking.

For a deeper meditation, Vipassana, or “deep insight”, is a practice of witnessing your moment-to-moment conscious experience. Our five senses and our active mind are on overdrive for every second we are conscious, and when we get a chance to step back and observe it, it can be liberating, gratifying and immeasurably peaceful.

I’m also happy to work with A Mindful Society, bringing mindfulness into organizations.

I also recommend you attend a Plum Village session if they come to your town. The peaceful joy that emanated from the monks can still be felt today.

Photo:
Plum Village retreat in Cambridge