“The more you have, the more you ended up doing. The more things you are busy doing the more it takes you away from what really needs to be done and hence it becomes the realm of distractions. Insight by ‘Adnan the Traveller
We all lead busy lives. Whether it be work, family or our own personal hobbies, or perhaps & more likely a combination of all three. But what is the difference between mindful task and task we do mindlessly? Both are actions that occupies time and space. But the mindless task will be task that is not congruent with what we really want or need to do.
Owning a lot of stuff means you might be busy using them. If you have a car, you will end up driving, maintaining the car, driving people around, being caught in a traffic jam. Of course owning the car also offsets the trouble of having to take public transport. If you own a big house, you will feel the need to buy more furnitures to decorate the space. Someone also needs to clean these spaces from dust. Things malfunction as well so maybe someone needs to come in and fix the leaky toilet pipes. Of course having a big house might be a good idea if you have a big family.
To own more, you might have pay more. This means you will have to use your hard earned money. If you don’t earn well, than you might need to ask yourself whether what you are purchasing is essential. But if you earn well, you do have a choice. But would you rather buy something that will merely distract you and fill up your free time away from the real business of living?
For some of us, we don’t realise that we are merely distracting ourselves from living mindfully. The persistent need to buy might simply be an effort by the mind to distract itself from really finding the reason why you feel empty inside, and instead attempt to fill up that emptiness with things you might not need. After the purchase, you might feel a sense of satisfaction that doesn’t last permanently. Perhaps in the afternoon or tomorrow, a new thought will arise that will demand your action.
The mind can use anything and everything to distract itself. A book is a good thing for the most part. Reading develops focused attention & at the same time, it also entertains, informs and also fills us with shared wisdom from those who have gone before us. But the constant need to fill our brain with information is one of the challenges of living in the information age. As an information-sharing medium, apart from books, there is also online mediums such as websites, youtube, and many other source of information. There are also podcasts nowadays. All these things are good. I love them all too. But at the same time, I realise when I’m not in a mindful state, I tend to consume information mindlessly. Like a hungry-ghost that eats and eats information but never feeling that satisfaction. Mindfulness has that quality of being able to reflect upon itself. When we are constantly engaged and never leave our mind space and/or time for reflection, than we are not being mindful and we will start to feel dissatisfied and disengaged from life.
When we are being Mindful however, we realise that our pattern of consumption lessens. This is because we have time to reflect on what we are doing. Most importantly, when we are Mindful, we learn to enjoy the process of everything that we are doing. Enjoyment takes time and when we are enjoying ourselves, reading one article and thinking about it and reflecting on your own life will take awhile. There is non of that obsessive eating of food or information. A simple act of walking can generate such an immersive experience that you simply keep walking out of enjoyment. A conversation is in itself so enjoyable that you would prefer not to be distracted by your cellphone.
When you are mindful all the time, you realise you need less stuff. These stuff whether it be books, furnitures, food, new clothing etc. When you mindfully shop, you know you only need 1 or 2 new dresses. When you mindfully read, one book can allow you to do a million reflection and is such an immersive experience that you will take your time reading. When you mindfully eat, every bite is an immersive delight to the senses and you will take your time.
Thank you for reading this article by me. I hope you have enjoyed reading it and hopefully I have at the very least inspire you to learn more about mindfulness practices. A very good resource can be found by clicking here. Please share this article with others whom you feel might also enjoy these topics. Thank you.