BLOSSOMING INTO MINDFULNESS
Who amongst us has not noticed with a tiny smile and that ever-so-subtle lift in the heart the blossoms that all around us are emerging to herald the arrival of another glorious spring?
A little over a week ago, those cheerleaders of spring, the crocusses, popped up their heads, dismissed winter with a cheerful shrug and a defiant display of colour, looked at their towering neighbours from last season and said with irresistible enthusiasm, ‘Well? You coming too?’
And from the slightest hints, the tiniest little dabs of colour all over the trees, now we have a display of spring joyfulness that cannot but gladden the heart.
No? Missed it? Come on!
Now, your correspondent knows for a fact that the cherry tree in full blossom will not have escaped even the most jaded, the most stressed, the most phone-addicted. The most frantic of our city folk rushing from crisis to crisis with barely a moment to consider the world around them - even they will notice the onset of spring (bringing with it they fear the problems of summer holidays and staff shortages and how to fit a summer break into all of this stress and uncertainty).
But, did you - go on, be honest - did you notice the onset of the festivity of spring, those tiny hints of what was to come? Those subtle rumblings as the days and their players started to arrange themselves for their spring festival?
Being mindful is not magic. It takes no special talent. It is available to everyone.
Being mindful of what is going on around you is simply paying attention. And when you are mindful of what is going on around you, you are participating in what is going on around you.
Can you imagine going to the cinema to the Dallas Buyers Club, and instead of being immersed in the 1980s sociopolitical morass of HIV/AIDs, throughout have one thought: ‘I can’t stand Gillian’s new hair’?
Where were you?
And this is what being mindful is about: being here, being now. Your body is here, now. It is being flooded with sensations about here, about now.
Pay attention. Be aware of where you are, right now. Be aware of what is going on around you, right now. It is part of your life, it is your life - so, bring it in, and enjoy it.
There is plenty of time in the day to plan, to make legitimate plans about projects for the future (not plans of what you will to say to her, that cow, the next time you meet her, thinks she can get away with .... no, real plans!), and there is plenty of time to reflect on the past.
And there is equally time to appreciate where you are, right now. Stop on your travels, then, and actually look, actually appreciate - actually be mindful: if is is raining, notice the patterns in the rain, the reflection of the sky in the wetness of the pavement - observe and delight in those tiny delightful hints of spring, revel in the explosion of the blossoms.
We are starting a meditation and mindfulness program at Anamaya in April - do look out for it!