Have you been disturbed by the outside environment? Is it that you lose your temper when some external factor influences you? It is nothing new, isn’t it? I too face the same time to time. Recent observations helped me look at these incidents little more carefully. Thus, I could question myself – How can one be centered and focused from the outside distractions? How can one live in the moment? Here I’m with some of my own’s answers too.
I’ve been associated with the Art of living since 2004 and practicing the practices taught there. This involves some yoga asanas, pranayam, Sudarshan Kriya (A breathing exercise) and meditation. I’m continuing with my practice after marriage and my daughter Adviti‘s birth. The only difference now is that Adviti comes and sits on my laps occasionally. It is kind of distraction. Though it was good that it happened, now I’m more aware and question myself, how can one be a saint in professional life? The saint in professional life thought came to mind because there are multiple distractions and problems we face daily, how can one be focused even after so many distractions?
Initially, I was bit uncomfortable that Adviti is disturbing me. Somewhat worried when doing asana if my hand or leg may hurt her. It is said that when someone is meditating or doing his/her spiritual practice you must not disturb the person. In fact it is said that you must not even touch the person. Here this infant is sitting on my laps, holding my hands and asking me to join her to play something. It happens rarely to me that I’m in a meditative state when I’m “doing” something.
Long back I had a blog draft, in which I had contemplated what must be going in the mind of a sadhu (monk) who has left everything and gone to the Himalayas. He must have achieved the peace of mind he might be looking for. I had lot of questions to this fictional sadhu about he lessons. A thought cropped up when Adviti started sitting on my laps during my practice. Will a sadhu – who has attained peace at Himalaya – remain the same peaceful person in the world where there are distractions? The distractions can be traffic to office or noise of road construction or for that matter, your daughter wanting you to play with her, when you’re meditating.
My daughter has been a great learning to me. She is a cute little doll who enjoys moment to moment she lives in the moment. In fact she is so full in the event that if she is crying “she is crying” period. This is the case with every infant and kid, they are in “the now” all the time. Adviti does not know what I am doing or if she should stay away from me during those 30 min or so. She is fully involved, perhaps she is not aware that it is called awareness and still she is completely AWARE of her action.
How to live in the moment?
Almost for all questions my answer ends with spiritual practices. There is nothing wrong in this, I think. At the end of the day we all are spiritual being in various levels of evolution. There can be few simple to do points to be aware –
- Becoming aware of our thoughts, many a times we are doing one thing and thinking another. This distraction should be minimized. Keep an eye on the distractions.
- Do any activity with full awareness, it is difficult in the beginning. Why – read point 1 above. Keep aside your mobile, stop all notifications (except calls perhaps). This is how babies are, fully involved in the now
- Meditate, sit silently for some time and make it a daily practice. It helps. I know there are a lot of meditation techniques (Vigyan Bhairav talks about 100+ such techniques)
- As a professional, whenever you are doing an activity – know what is the outcome expectation from this activity. By the way outcome expectation is an innovation method too. When you are aware about the outcome, your actions should “ideally” be directed towards the outcome. It sounds contrary to the most famous guidance of Krishna (paraphrase) – “You do your duty, fruit of duty is not in your hand.” Though, here the guide is your actions should be directed towards the outcome. It implies here that plan for the result, and act in the moment.
Results of action with awareness are better than just actions. We get distracted by event. The ability to respond to the activities around (and inside) with awareness improves us as an individual.