Living Mindfully in Daily Activities
Question: As I go about all the activities of my day, how can I live each moment mindfully?
Answer: You need to develop mindfulness. How to get it? In the beginning, it is hard work. In the beginning, in order to develop mindfulness, we have to sweat a lot. Once meditation is there, the fruits of meditation start to show up, and then mindfulness becomes spontaneous.
When mindfulness becomes spontaneous, every moment becomes miraculous. How does mindfulness become spontaneous? When you experience every moment of reality as a miracle. For example, when you are in a movie theater seeing a very good movie and you are sitting on the edge of your seat — this is how mindfulness is.
When every moment is like the best movie that you saw in your life, this is spontaneous mindfulness — this is how people with a very high capacity of meditation see reality. They are always inspired. Always, there is the new. Every moment they see a new miracle. They are always mindful.
The reason that we are not mindful is because everything looks the same to us — like today is the same as yesterday and tomorrow will be the same as today. And this moment is the same as the other moment, and all the books look the same, and all the plants look the same, and all the paintings look the same, and all the yogis look the same. You have seen three yogis, you have seen them all. Things just look the same.
When you have a lack of mindfulness it means that you are not seeing. Everything looks hazy, glazed — life is not joyous, because it is always just the same. Nothing exciting, no miracles are happening — where is the inspiration? When we learn how to meditate then everything becomes fresh. Every moment becomes a miracle — fresh, extraordinary. Then, it is as if you are always in a good movie, with lots of energy to see another movie.
This is called spontaneous mindfulness. But to attain spontaneous mindfulness, you will need some effort, some exertion, and to learn how to meditate.
Swami Swaroopananda is a senior disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda. A practicing yogi from a very young age, Swami Swaroopananda has dedicated his life to the practice and teaching of yoga. He taught in Yoga Teacher Training Courses around the world and is currently teaching advanced yoga philosophy courses and lectures internationally. He is Director of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat and acharya (spiritual director) for the Sivananda centers and ashrams in the Bahamas and the Middle East. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres.