I recently took a short trip to Jaipur, India. Known for its deep culture and rich heritage, Jaipur was on my list of places to visit. Walking through the beautiful corridors of the palaces, learning more about the lineage behind the magnanimous structures and just strolling in the sprawling palaces’ gardens was my fascination until it turned into reality a week ago.
If you are reading this then you must be wondering that did I suddenly discover travel blogging? Even if I did, then why feature it here, why not create a separate section for it or probably, another website?
No, I have not gotten into jotting down my travel experiences yet but I do believe that mindful traveling can bring spiritual experiences for sure. Hence, this blog 🙂
I want to share one particular experience here – When I was taking a tour of the palaces, passing through the various sections while being narrated to the history of that particular section or an incident relating to that room / area in the palace by the travel guide, I felt surreal many times as If I were transported back into that particular era or as If I was literally present as a witness in that moment when a particular incident / event was happening in that palace. It was difficult to keep my mind in the present moment as it kept wandering off to the many eras associated with the different palaces and their rulers. But, every time I returned to the present moment either on my own or to the voice of my tour guide or to the hush hush of the people around me jostling to get their selfies clicked in every corner of the palace, one thing that I realized was that my body was just there – In the present moment!
Isn’t it strange? Our mind goes on a trip every time we sit to observe it or if we are subjected to long lectures or to a monologue listening or generally too, we may be doing a task but in our head we may be thinking of ten other tasks. But have you noticed that even though this mind is always into a serious monkey business, the body does not move any where from that particular moment or time? The body is still there – there in the present, whether you are sitting in a room in meditation or are in a palace or in a office or taking a walk. The body never goes anywhere – it just stays where it is – in the present!
There is a short practice that I will share here – Mindfulness in the Body – inspired by my own experience to returning to the body while taking a tour recently.
Mindfulness in the Body can be practiced anytime anywhere. You may want to set a timer of 10 minutes or just sit until you wish to.
- Sit in a comfortable position on the floor or on the chair.
- Allow Yourself 30 seconds to Settle and Prepare for the practice.
- Now identify a zone or touchpoint within the body to another object / ground like the touch of buttocks to the floor or to the chair or arms resting on the chair sides or on the thighs or the touch of feet to the ground or a foot rest or the touch of your back to the chair rest or to the wall. It is easier to return to a tangible touchpoint but feel free to even choose – top of the shoulders or the breath sensation in the nostrils or just the breath process in the abdominal region. Whatever feels most comfortable to return to, select that.
- Next, take the opportunity to still yourself in the present for 10 minutes. Rest your attention on your chosen zone or the touchpoint within the body.
- It is ok If the mind wanders away. Every time you come back, return to the presence of your chosen zone / touchpoint within the body with a simple mental acknowledgement that “I have returned to my body which is in the present moment”.
- When it is time to come out of the practice, express gratitude to your body – “Thank you my body for being there for me” and open your eyes.
This practice is free from duration limitation. For all practical reasons, I have timed it here for 10 minutes. If you wish to practice for longer time please do so. Trust me your body will only smile and allow you to bask in the joy of the present moment without any condition.