I signed up for a Mindfulness course together with my other team mates in April 2016, after having met Angie, the founder of Brahm Centre. She encouraged me to experience a taste of what Mindfulness is like through an introductory 4-session weekly workshop and I decide to drag my other team members in. Truth be told, I was a little apprehensive about this practice of oriental origins because I was thinking to myself if it was really that worth having to rush down from my hectic work schedule just to ‘relax’, since in the first place, I didn’t felt that I had problems with my sleep or being overly stressful.
Actually I was grossly mistaken; mindfulness is not just merely about relaxing – it is about training the mind to be curious, yet equipping it with qualities like learning nonattachment, being non-judging and a profound sense of self-acceptance. It sounds easy, but during the sessions, my mind runs seriously like a bunch of mental monkeys; the imagines weaved into my thoughts are of high level inception, as if they are smuggled in naturally when I momentarily lose that fraction of awareness, without any traces of where it came from. Training the mind to be still is a difficult process. But like all form of exercise, mindfulness is of no exception when it comes to practice. Given sufficient time and commitment to regular practice, somehow it gets easier as we move along.
Philosophically, Mindfulness falls into the category of Presentism, where the only reality is now for our past and future are technically not in existence. Learning to enjoy the moment and not lose it to an anxious-filled future or a cumbersome past is critical in achieving equanimity.
‘People are very funny; when they are at work, they think about their family. When they are with their family, they think about work. Psychologically, we are always not where we want to be – that’s why we are always unhappy’.
Powerful words from Angie in one of our session; maybe we could learn an important lesson from Master Oogway in Kung Fu Panda.
Having ‘Good Death’ Planning is probably one of the upcoming ‘new norms’ in the years to come – given rapid aging population and a higher educational cohort of Singaporean among those growing older. Perhaps the mindfulness we need to have for a start is the value in wanting to make hay while the sun shines and the revelation that mortality is indeed a diminishing light that would surely fade out someday. Aiming to live a meaningful life – uniquely defined by each individual – should be a personal goal that we should strive to live for… and die for.