Thinking about Death – the best way to be mindful about Life

Today, I woke up to the news of the death of a close relative – someone who was living close to us, someone with whom we have had a lot of interactions – the news came as a shock and a sense of sadness engulfed me. Deep in my heart, I wanted to be back in India to attend his funeral prayer and to supplicate to the Almighty to enter this Uncle into His mercy. Intellectually, I understand death and I do think of death often, but even then it is a very different experience when someone close to me died.

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Mindfulness Training – Week 5 Progress Update – Stormy second week at Geneva

I said in one of my earlier posts that it is calm after the storm. The opposite is also true, I guess:). After such a calm and mindful during my first week in Geneva, the second week here has been a rollercoaster  – packed with activities, deadlines and surprises at work. I was running around most of the days, with a feeling of trying to catch up with things in a reactive way.

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Mindfulness Training – Week 4 Progress Update – Back in Geneva

It is 10 PM on Sunday night here in Geneva and I just returned to the hotel after meeting with my old friends. It has been a fantastic week – packed with a lot of activity, but calm and mindful. I feel that I am a very different person in these 7 days that I have been here – I could sense that there is something different about me. I seem to have more energy and I feel more connected to the Creator. This week of positive snowballing,I guess, started with the flight from Chennai to Dubai and then Dubai to Geneva.

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Mindfulness Training – Week 3 Progress Update – At the Airport

Chennai International Airport welcomes you to another episode of ‘Mindfulness Training’ 🙂 – I am writing this at the airport before taking my Emirates flight to Geneva.

This week has been extremely busy, a week where being mindful would have benefitted me a lot. However, the outcome has been mixed bag – I missed doing PQ reps one day – So, I got 6 out 7 for the last week. In the rest of the 6 days, I have had some great days, really mindful, calm, energized and positive. And a few other days where I was constantly thinking about the past or the future, distracted, trying to do PQ reps to bring me back to the present and feeling the stress in my body.

These kind of days are not new to me, especially when there is travel involved and multiple deadlines come to me at once – leaving me scrambling between different things. But this time, there was a huge difference – I was aware of my thoughts and my body. I could feel the various sensations in my body. I could observe that my mind was often taking me out of the present into the future – So, I have had many flights last week 🙂 – flights of imagination, of course.

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Mindfulness Training – Week 2 Progress Update

So, it has been 2 weeks since I have started on this 1-year journey of mindfulness. The 2nd week was much better than the first week. In the first week update, I went through the different areas where I am trying to cultivate the habit of mindfulness. This week, I want to change the format a little bit to look at it from another perspective: the perspective of time as the days provide us a beautiful constant rhythm to take a look at whether there is a rhythm to the habits that we are trying to build into the day.

Here we go, starting last Friday (the day I posted the last week update):

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Mindfulness Training Week 1 – My Journey so far and My Goals

So, it has been a week since I have started on this 1-year journey of mindfulness. Typically, when I am starting any new habit, I observe myself in one of the 2 states:

  1. Strong Preparation:  This means that I spend a lot of time and energy in preparing myself for the change, thinking things through and preparing a plan – allocating a time and a place to do the habit and thinking about various challenges that could come up in making the change.  Informing people around me if the habit touches them in some way and asking for their help. And religiously guarding the allocated time-slot so that I get a lot of positive vibes at the beginning itself.
  2. Jumping in with little or no preparation: In this case, the habit is there in my mind and I do my best to implement it. But the energy tapers off after the first few days. And when things get busy and the events of the day make me reactive, I would even forget that I am on a new habit journey until I go back to the Habit tracker the next day.

So, take a guess – which state was I in last week? In state 2: I wanted to reread the book fully to mentally prepare for the year-long journey and to think through how I would do the 100 PQ reps in a day. However, I could not find the time to go through the book beyond the first few pages. First 2 days were great – However, reality caught with me on the 3rd day and I missed reaching the count of 100 reps. So, for the records, I have only done 100 PQ reps on 4 out of 7 days. My initial expectation was to do 7/7 – now, that is the target for the second week 🙂

Now let us get into the details – what areas am I trying to be more mindful and what are my goals? Continue reading

A Year of Mindfulness Training

2 weeks ago, the Islamic new year started and I was thinking about whether I need to build any new habit in this new year. Normally, I am not a person who sets goals for habit changes only at the New Year, but I do it throughout the year. If I see a need for a change in any area of my life, I work on it immediately and over time, I have had hundreds of habit changes, some easy and some hard. Some have become permanent habits and some still require upkeep. As of now, I am actively tracking around 10 habits on a daily basis. But as I was reflecting, I realised that there is a mother-habit, if I can call it that way, that can make all other habit changes easy and it would also have the highest impact on me and the people around me – that is the habit of mindfulness. Continue reading

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