I have been reading this book entitled “A beginner’s guide to mindfulness: Live in the moment” by Ernst Bohlmeijer and Monique Hulsbergen.
What I like about this book is that it is written in a manner that most laymen can understand and the examples given are real. I am just going to write what I understand and derived from this book. These written words are my own opinion and for those who are interested to know more, I suggest getting a copy of this book and read it on your own.
There’s no denying that as more and more countries and society standards of living improve, there are also more cases of people feeling stress and unhappy with their life.
Depression has become one of the biggest cause of human suffering and so one might ask, why? why is this so when majority of us has a house to live in, jobs, foods to choose and eat and more variety of activities to keep us busy?
As I read the book, there’s no denying that even though materially most of us have it good, yet, our society seems to lack in feeding and nurturing our emotional and spiritual needs. These could be the reason for the many cases of depression.
Some key points from the book :
Intolerant of distress – this mindset may comes about due to how people these days are capable of doing and achieving many things. With the ability to do so when comes distressing moments, most of us grew impatient and could not handle the stress well.
Appearance of being happy – Many people around us appears to be happy and doing well, makes us want to be one too. When in actual, many of us are struggling but hiding this facts behind a smiling face.
Living in the moment – ability to accept both positive and negative aspects of life, the emotions, the drawbacks etc.
Setting priorities – Set our values and priority in our life and remembers them often, especially when facing the negative side of life.
Know oneself – Accept life consists of both negative and positive energy, learn from the past, mindful of the present and future, be kind to ourselves and others, have good values and practice them real time.
Know and confront your “burden” – List down the things that bothering us, how long has it been bothering us and what can we do to change or let them go so we can move on with our life. Be mindful of any changes within us and take time to reflect on how best to respond to the change.
Meditation and discipline – Good to meditate even though it might be hard to do so at the beginning. Start with a 5 mins session daily and increase as our body gets used to it. Discipline is needed on learning any new skills or doing something that we are not used to do (the book actually teach how to do a meditation). I would like to add that for myself, remember the Almighty, zikr, selawat, and listening to the verses of the Quran helps me a lot. Somehow these activities calm me when there are tempest going on inside me.
There’s a quote in this book which I like very much:
“You cannot direct the winds, but you can adjust the sails” (Jon Kabat-Zinn)
This quote is similar to a saying that says “You can’t change other people, but you can change yourselves”.
This is something which I have been trying to practice as many times as I could as I faced the many diversity and challenges in my life.
This book is a good read. The challenge is whether I am able to practice what I’ve read and understood. Perhaps just taking up 1 or 2 points and implementing them daily will help rather than trying them out at once.