Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lunch with Mindfulness or was it without it !!

We went for the navratra lunch at ISKCON temple's Govinda restaurant, Wife Anita, Daughter Ashima, and my father. Of course I missed my son Anirudh, who is studying at IIT Bombay or rather Mumbai. I did remind myself that I am going to eat with mindfulness. The first challenge arose as we were awaiting our turn to pay at the reception cum cashier counter. The nice lady manning the counter was rather rude with the gentlemen ahead of us. He also took a stand of making her wrong. And for the next 2-3 minutes the tiff continued and petered off, with both sides sticking to their respective stands. 

The food was quite delicious had lots of it. Tried consciously to feel the taste, texture and smell of the food. But my mind kept on wavering to the transaction of few minutes ago at the counter.  So while I was eating I was mindful of the food but thinking of that stand off!

My daughter requested the waiter to give 2 glasses of "Chach" for her and her Grandad. She repeated the request thrice. So now my eyes along with trying to sense the food was also tracking that waiter, to see whether he is bringing the "Chach" or not.  Of course we discussed about the food, which was quite delicious, the Arbi, Kela subzi and the Pineapple raita. But the Chach did not arrive. I tried hard to eat with mindfulness. Once we finished eating, I did make a point to request the same waiter,  not to bring us "Chach" now as we have already finished eating. He nodded sheepishly.

So to cut the long story short, I made an attempt to eat mindfully, but also kept on carrying that tiff in my head, the rudeness of the receptionist, the stand of making each other wrong and of course the waiter who did not bring along the Chach. So much so for my efforts on being mindful. Was the Zen master speaking of this kind of "Mindfulness" or may be this was my first step in the journey towards doing things with mindfulness !! 

Would try to continue this journey mindfully and keep on blogging!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Living the present with Mindfulness

The Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh says in today's Times of India that we need to live and do everything, in the present with mindfulness. Another quote of his is "I am made of so many non-me elements - my parents, the food I eat, the education I received, knowledge gained from others. Take away all the 'non-me', and there is no 'me' left." 

How do I live with mindfulness?
  • While eating food, i am thinking about the next meeting or my to do list at office.
  • While attending a meeting, I am simultaneously checking and clearing my email.
  • I give a commitment to someone or agree to do something by some date, and don't jot it down in my diary and realise my folly, when I get a reminder.
  • While driving, the eyes frequently start reading the big colorful hoardings, instead of watching the road ahead.
  • Biscuits arrive in a meeting, and I do not even realise it, but one or more of them are inside the mouth.
  • While talking on the phone, in the office, the voice suddenly goes high, without realising that others are also working and may get disturbed.
There are innumerable examples, almost every minute of the day I live. Is it really possible to live "Mindfully" in the present world, when the world inside and the world outside is screaming for attention and are fertile grounds for all kinds of distractions? 

The answer may lie in perhaps dedicating some event of the day, or some time of the day, when whatever I am doing, I would do with mindfulness. So my first such dedicated event is going to be having navratra lunch today, with my family at the Govinda restaurant in ISKCON temple in Delhi. I look forward to sharing this experience with you, today evening.

Till then..... happy Birthday to Mahatma Gandhi.

Amazing World: Within and Outside

This is my second attempt at blogging. First one got abandoned within a day after I started it, about two years ago. I hope I would be able to share my experiences thru this blog with my friends, whom I know, and the friends whom I have never met.