DAY 20. COVID-19 LOCKDOWN.
Mindfulness helps us get better at seeing the difference between what’s happening and the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening, stories that get in the way of direct experience. Sharon Salzberg. Founder of the Insight Meditation Society.
Please spend 3 minutes watching the Youtube video above then, continue reading. If you continue without watching, your mindfulness is compromised.
COVID-19 LOCKDOWN has domesticated men to do much housework and for many, it has opened our minds to the domain of the kitchen. Men have become chefs and children cannot believe their lives with parents at home for the whole day. The home has become homely and the family life restored in many ways. In the nature of things all of us have been very mindful of everything therefore, we can identify with things in the house for example that we did not even know existed.
During this LOCKDOWN we have become more aware of things regarding our own behaviour for example in the home so much so that we can discern each other’s moods in advance and that would prevent an argument for example. This means we have been paying attention to the present moment and you were conscious to avoid distraction. You avoid an argument because you have the compassion to be mindful of another person’s feelings. This is refined understanding of yourself.
The lions’ hunt is tuned to focus on the prey whilst the prey is focused on escaping. The present moment for the lion is different from that of its prey but, each has to give full attention to what it has to do and to avoid distraction. You will observe that in the hunt is over so quickly but, the prey gave it all to survive and the lions gave it all to kill. Each in its own majestic feat proved the power of their own mind and strength but, in the nature of things there will always be a victim. Mindfulness is avoiding the victim mentality because its purpose is to teach you to be the best in the moment because that is what defines you. The moment defines you.
The moment is what we lose because we are too distracted in what we think about what others might think of us. You see, the moment has time. The time is what matters because we control our thoughts and if you do that you save so much. Like the golden rule of the man selling fabric goes, “Measure ten times, cut once!” The moment is the glory not the aftermath.
Think of the moment Nabi Muhammad (s) entered Mecca as conquerer with thousands of his (s) Companions (ra). At that moment, his noble head is lowered and recited Surah Fatiha and consequently forgave everyone. That moment confirmed his reputation as being a mercy to all of mankind. This is what mindfulness is – living the moment with attention to detail and not seeking everyones attention.
Today social media has destroyed the moment! It has made the moment an act of show to the world therefore, making sincerity of intention the victim in the hunt. We are all hunting for the pleasure of Allah, the High the Great but we become the hunted by seeking the pleasure and opinion of people. This said, reflect on the past few days and go through all you social media and you will find pictures of charities all over. The dignity of the receiver is thrown away. Sad but true.
Practice mindfulness in these simple ways:
- Put your cellphone away when someone is speaking to you. Look at them when they speak to you.
- When someone greets you, turn your whole body to them and reply the greeting in like or better.
- If someone requests advice from you, don’t rush it. Think over it as if you were in need of the same advice and then give advice with deep sincerity – you will keep what you said to yourself.
There are just three out of so many listed above. The reason for this is to get us all to think and appreciate the silence of the moment. The silence of the moment is that time you think. Think on how to respond and not to react. Reaction is impulsive. Responding is thoughtful action. Mindfulness and thoughtful action is not meditating in some place or chanting praises it is the working of your brain to give you the most appropriate response that will leverage your character.
Character refinement is what we all need because it will weigh heavy on the scales of Justice in the court of Allah, the Merciful therefore, use the moment to beautify your character in the present moment. If you lose it, you lost it forever. So if you want greatness in life, it lies in every second you have because each one second is a moment you have that can change your destiny – Paradise is a choice destination. Hell is not!
LIVE the moment by knowing yourself first. Spend time with yourself.