At Ubiquity, students get one third of their study points for self mastery. In this previous blog you can read more generally about our self-mastery program. In my experience, a foundation for self-mastery is mindfulness.
Mindfulness has become a bit of a trend recently, but what does it really mean? Mindfulness is quite simply about the quality of your presence.
How truly present are you to what is going on in and around you in the moment? How deeply are you listening to the person you are engaging with? Are you fully tuned in to them, feeling the meaning behind the words they are speaking? Or is your mind actually busy with something else so that when they end their sentence you can’t really recall what they actually said? You end up giving a bland response that doesn’t connect in any way to what they were trying to communicate, and the connection is broken.
Why is it important to be present in the moment anyway? Ultimately the present moment is the only thing that is real. The past is a memory and the future is a projection. The past itself is not something we can describe definitively. What matters is how we choose to relate to the past in the present. We could even say it is our relationship to the past that actually defines it. We can be caught up in regrets or pride about things that happened in the past but that warps our interpretation of what is really happening in the present. Likewise we can be thinking about all sorts of things that might happen in the future. Those speculations may fill us with worry or with hope. Either way, we actually have no way of knowing what’s going to happen in the future and that speculation once more removes us from what is actually real in the moment.
The more deeply present we are to what is actually going on in the moment, the more understanding and insight reveals itself to us about the meaning of that experience. Likewise, the more fully present we are, the more deeply informed any action will be that we take. The closer we stay to what is real and true in the moment, the more likely it is that our actions are going to connect more profoundly with current reality. It is only by connecting to what is alive now that we can actually get traction on our world.
Mindfulness is neither a hobby nor a luxury.
For anyone who is interested in learning about the world and making a positive impact, it is essential to develop a discipline that helps you to still the chatter of your rational mind and brings you closer to the fullness of the present moment.