You don’t have to sit cross legged under a Bodhi tree to practice mindfulness

Back in the day Buddha achieved enlightenment sitting under a tree. After years of study, introspection and meditation he unlocked the secrets of how to live a happy, fulfilled and purposeful life. He discovered how to find joy in the every day and how to meet challenges with grace, he understood deeply the importance of a compassionate relationship with himself and the world around him. He felt a deep peace and he embodied the teachings of the great mystics. He committed to spending the rest of his life teaching all he learnt.

Mindfulness is one of the outcomes of his experience and until recently it remained in the mystical realms of cross legged gurus and Bodhi trees for long periods of time.

Not relevant to our lifestyles and our lives.

Or so we thought.

Irrespective of the pandemic I’ve seen a huge surge in the popularity of Mindfulness is the past few years. There was a time when I mentioned to people that I teach mindfulness that they would get a certain look in their face and find someone else, anyone else to talk to – or a safer conversation topic before they could get away from “the tree hugger”.

I didn’t blame them I used to be one of them.

I first came across mindfulness in my 20’s and thought it wasn’t for me (my training was as a Biochemist), after all what could sitting down doing nothing possibly do for me?  I missed the point.

Nevertheless, I somehow found myself attending a course day, I enjoyed it and felt the benefits but then life got in the way and I was distracted by something else.

I forgot about it altogether.

It was another couple of years before I found myself picking up a book on the subject and something registered in me. It seemed a little more relevant.

I was getting stuck in my life, experiencing lots of anxiety, existential issues (what was I going to be when I (finally) grew up) – I felt I had no purpose, there was no deep meaning.  And so I delved deeper and I read more and I travelled and went on courses and learnt more, and still went deeper and every time I do I discover another gem another nugget of gold and so I kept going.

Mindfulness transformed my life. I went from feeling lost and anxious to bit by bit, discovering my path, accessing a peace and calm I’d never felt before and soon I was able to manifest the life I had dreamed off.

And it all started with 10 minutes a day – not a Bodhi tree in sight!