“Before enlightenment drink red, carry Prada; after enlightenment, drink red carry Prada.”
If you enjoyed fashion, art, sport or red wine before learning how to practise meditation and mindfulness, then you may well still appreciate these things after. It is not the things we do that are deemed spiritual or mindful, but the attitude we take to them.
There are certain things that point us more readily to happiness, peace and beauty – and in time we find in ourselves a natural, spontaneous urge towards them. There’s no pre-judgement about the things you’ll be saying hello to or waving goodbye on your way ahead. There are no rules of thumb, you see. Sometimes people think that once you become mindful you have to start wearing bamboo socks, stop drinking wine and start using that eco-friendly washing powder. But, you know, it’s just not true.
For sure, as you become increasingly sensitive to life you also get a deepening sense of being at one with everything else. You sense that you share something of a common ground with all other beings. When this is apparent, you may well find yourself moving towards a diet that is kind to the animals, or a home-laundry system that doesn’t pollute the environment, or a clothing arrangement that feels good.
Or maybe not …
None of the practices in my books are the path to presence in and of themselves. We must remain willing and open-minded enough to explore each mindful activity that takes our interest on this path – because we never know what they will bring. Far better to keep our options open!
With this is mind, follow your own interests and enthusiasms, because these usually have a good route figured out for you. Some people feel intrigued by yoga, others by reading philosophical books and some like to take up a nature hobby. There are many paths up the self discovery mountain.
I’d love to know what you think and which past times you enjoy, do leave a comment and let me know as I love hearing from you.
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(This blog post is an adapted excerpt from the meditation guide book ‘Inhale. Exhale. Repeat’ by Emma Mills (Penguin Random House, 2017)
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