L’aéroport de Genève vous accueille dans un nouvel épisode de ‘Mindfulness Training’ – Geneva Airport welcomes you to another episode of Mindfulness Training. I am at Geneva airport and boarding has already started and I hope I can quickly post an update before I embark on the journey.
It is just 3 weeks in Geneva but it feels like a long time – this is one of the benefits of mindfulness, I guess – time seems to go slow and hence seems long whereas when we are impatient or unmindful, time seems to go fast and hence everything seems short. This is not the first time I am having this experience but definitely this time is remarkably better! All I can say is ‘All praises and thanks to the Almighty for taking me on a journey to a familiar place to practice living in a different way – partly the difference in mindset is due mindfulness, partly due to the fact that I am just a traveler and partly due to the fact that I was reflecting a lot more on death.
But the net effect of all these 3 factors is that I was filled with gratitude – even for the things that did not go my away. Many days, I woke up with the feeling that I have been given a brand new day to make use of – that perspective almost had an immediate impact on my body especially when it did not want to wake up and was under discomfort.
There is so much to write about these 3 weeks here in Geneva. In the coming episodes, I will try to reflect on my time here, God willing. But for now, let me quickly reflect on the 5 areas where I am practicing mindfulness:
I have had wonderful time with food in Geneva. Coming back to the food that I love – bread, cheese, croissants and strong coffee – was so much a pleasure and mindfully consuming the food increased the perception of taste. I noticed that I was constantly overbuying things at the supermarket. As I eat more mindfully, sometimes very little quantity is enough. So, there was a constant tug-of-war between me and my Nafs – should I eat the items I love and I was craving all along, all at one go? Or should I listen to my body and eat what it needs which was little. I received guidance and strength to act on the knowledge by controlling my Nafs – so, I ate almost for the whole week what I bought for a day or two. So much greed still in me :). My children would smile if they get to read this as I often give them advice on greedy buying – they would love to see their Baba grapple with the same struggle.
One thing stands out that I wanted to record here for my own benefit – I bought my favourite Heidi Milk Full Cream which is from the mountains of Swiss. I drank the cold milk and I felt such a sense of richness and fulfilment in milk that I have never experienced before. Just a glass of milk with a few dates were enough to give me feeling of real satisfaction and a lot of energy for a number of hours. On the day I was doing the training, I did not want to go for a full meal as I wanted to keep my energy level and attention high by avoiding a full meal. I had the wonderful combo of mountain milk and dates and it was so wonderful.
Parenting: Though I have been away from home, thanks to technology, I was able to be in touch with my family. I am grateful to Airtel for such a wonderful international roaming package which gave me a lot of data and lot of minutes – I may not have even used 20 or 30% of what they have given. I was able to do video-calls as I was walking down Geneva, showing my kids how beautiful Swiss is during autumn. I can’t wait to see them soon, God willing.
Mindfulness in the Bathroom: This is an area which started wonderfully as I had very nice hot showers, but for some strange reason, I noticed mindfulness dropping and mind constantly living in the future.
Mindfulness in the busyness of the day when I am at work: There are a lot of things to talk here as I had some very positive experiences and a number of experiences which tested my ability to be mindful and to stay calm. During the last week, there were number of changes to my schedule which made it difficult for me – my client had to suddenly travel to his homeland as his father met with an accident and I was left alone for a number of days – I work using an iterative approach and I had to get constant and quick feedback from my clients to proceed. Here, there was no way to get feedback as the client was gone. I even considered flying back earlier, but then decided to stay and make the best use of it. Once I decided to make the best of my time…
More later as flight is about to leave….