Right next to the gate leading out of the renowned Yoga institute in Santacruz is this inscription, “Mindfulness is Yoga” It also urges us to close the gate as we walk out. A specific example indeed for being mindful.
But, “what is being mindful?”
I carried this thought along with me as I walked over the railway bridge and stood along a road on the Western side.
I was now waiting to hail an autorickshaw. The words ‘living in the now’ had now hopped onto the mindful train of thought. So, now I started thinking, “What is living in the now?”
I was getting late. A few autos were on their way.
An ordinary moment became extraordinary in a flash, moments later. Why so?
See if it makes sense to you. Yes, it may even seem nonsense. I experienced something for a few moments. Then, the mind took over and I found myself asking, ” Can you be in the moment without reaching out for the auto- in the mind?” That is, can I be completely content in the present moment without my mind marching in agitation towards the moment when the auto stops by my side? To wait without rushing forward. To be so immersed in the present that you almost forget that there is waiting involved. To feel so complete that there is no reaching out for or grasping at something. Complete unto onself to the point where time ends.The answer was yes, given in hindsight, of course.
I managed to live in the now! Alas, I cannot reproduce it at will. But the experience was magical.
Grizzly bears are such a great example of living in the now; of waiting without rushing forward. They are expecting the salmons to jump upstream and are ready. But look at their poise. They reach out without lunging forward. They do not get agitated by the salmons who get away. Living in the now. Being mindful. Complete unto themselves.
Perhaps, the salmon are doing the same when they decide to make the jump. What do you think?
Next time, you are awaiting an auto, cab, train or a flight. Ask yourself,” Can I be so perfectly content in the present moment that there is no waiting at all?”