How To Apply Mindfulness In Daily Life
Explanation Of The Wisdom
The frustration of this spiritual ideal and real life can be challenging to reconcile.
You need to understand that if you use powerful entheogenic substances and experience profound realizations, eventually your state of consciousness in daily life will start to dissatisfy you by producing craving and aversion due to your existing state of low consciousness.
The mind desperately wants to elevate the consciousness back to those peak experiences so that you break through the delusions once again.
Unfortunately, this entire process resolves around tendencies of dissatisfaction, self, desire, aversion and ultimately duality.
If you want a consistent strategy you can use to elevate your consciousness in the long term, keep this in mind:
1- Desire and aversion empower self-clinging. Self-clinging also empowers desire and aversion. Once you break one cycle in this chain, the other chain also breaks with time.
2- Whenever you become aware of ANY desire or aversion towards ANYTHING, consistently train the mind to accept the momentary experience and increase contentment for your existing state of consciousness.
This is a usual negative mental habit cultivation people experience in daily life. Before my practice deepened, this was my life:
– You wake up at 11 am. You feel grogginess and guilt for not waking up earlier. Now you’ll need to skip meditation quickly so that you can start doing your daily activities as soon as possible.
– You wash your face in this subtle planning mode and all of a sudden you feel this itching sensation in your hair. You certainly can’t work like this and scratching doesn’t help.
You’ll need to take a shower but it is already 11 am. So you start to feel conflicted. You know that a shower would make you feel good on the long term but it has an upfront cost of time and possible energy decrease after the shower.
You feel indecisive. You feel a sense of frustration in the depths of your unconscious mind.
Now, there is no reason to go further from here. Just in these few mental reactions, significant amounts of desire and aversion has been produced unconsciously by the sub-minds.
One of the effective methods this cycle can be understood is to produce a state of mind in formal meditation where desire and aversion is subdued temporarily.
Now if you have depression, you can’t do this reliably. Your meditation skills are almost certainly not developed to this degree.
So the next best thing is to investigate whatever triggers in your mind some level of joy, satisfaction and contentment in life.
Look at your hobbies. Even if you believe that life is torture – nothing ever makes me happy – I assure you that there is at least one subject matter your mind finds some level of fulfillment while engaging in it.
If you still can’t find it, just create the external conditions as an anchor for motivation.
If the hobby is playing guitar but you can’t even get yourself to sit up straight to play it, watch and listen inspirational music from your favorite musicians.
Remember, it can be anything you find some joy in. Don’t moralize and judge your hobbies.
Now, as you start enjoying this activity, you need to have some mindfulness to discern what exactly is different right now vs in a state of craving an hour ago.
Realize introspectively that the mind is relatively content as you do this activity. Of course, you are not blessing out like a yogi but our objective here is to realize how our subtle daily experience of suffering tends to disappear noticably while we engage with our favourite subject.
Investigate that mental state and the next time you meditate, try to bring that state of mind to the forefront of your mind.
Just as your mind reduced craving in that activity, it can do the same while observing the breath.
Once you get a sense of how this is possible, keep being aware whenever the mind produces desire and aversion.
When you become discontent in any given moment, be aware of it, relax the body and mind, re-balance attention-awareness and produce a similar contentment and joy through the same process.
Now this is your formal practice. How will you bring this to daily life?
Well, you’ll need to train yourself to produce this state of mind with awareness while attention is stabilized on an object like the sensations produced by the breath.
After you get proficient in this technique, you’ll experience a sense of effortlessness of attentional stability.
This means that you are ready to experience this contentment and joy in awareness while attention moves from object to object.
In daily life, one’s attention rarely stabilizes on a single object for long periods of time. Your job in formal sessions is to strengthen introspective awareness by stabilizing attention so that even when attention moves from object to object, awareness can still know if the mind is content or in a state of craving.
Focus on this awareness angle in meditation. And then in daily life, whenever you become aware of discontentment while attention moves around, remind yourself the flow state and attempt to perceive, produce and sustain that state of mind in daily life. Regardless of how ‘busy’ or ‘impatient’ you may feel at the time.
You need to pick up your phone to answer that text message and you become aware of this craving.
Don’t skip this moment. Don’t downplay the moment. Attempt to produce this contentment as you reach for your phone. Right as your arm reaches towards the phone. Do this movement in a state of reduced suffering and increased contentment.
Slowing down your movements a little bit is a key modification which will aid you in this technique.
With this modification, you slowly reduce craving and self-clinging in each moment.
Extrapolate this state of mind to months and years with consistent application and you have an extremely powerful mindfulness practice.
Hope this helps and opens up new investigation paths in your practice.
If in doubt, remember the priceless wisdom.
“Meditate on the breath (mindfulness meditation to build concentration and awareness skills) and then self-enquire (the teachings of Ramana Maharshi) until you are free of all psychological sufferings and ego. (aka enlightenment)
Because all good things require training and patience.
Know that as long as you do the work, the results will eventually follow.”
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