With a name that literally means “peaceful”, Shantum Seth seemed destined to lead a life dedicated to mindfulness. As an ordained teacher in the Zen Buddhist lineage learned under the great Thich Nhat Hanh, he has led pilgrimages and lessons on mindful living worldwide. Shantum even names celebrities like Drew Barrymore and Sting as students.
Despite a productive career, Shantum’s most profound mission is to ensure that everyone – from children to business leaders – embraces the little moments in our daily lives. He also believes that this unique time away from normal can be a special, rare opportunity to practice this.
Rather than thinking of everyday habits like eating breakfast, checking emails, or running errands as uneventful routines, Shantum encourages us to view them for the wonders that they really are. If we pause to mindfully reconnect with the present, we can better appreciate the beauty every second – no matter what is going on around us.
“This is a time not only for reflection, for understanding yourself, but also for others,” says Shantum. “The existential questions of life are easier to answer when you are stable and in one place. Use this time for it.”
Use isolation to practice mindfulness
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in countless ways. One of the most notable is the increasing isolation – perhaps not from those in your household, but almost certainly from family, friends, co-workers, customers, and outside passions. Whether you consider yourself a social butterfly or a homebody, there is no doubt that you felt the effects of this suddenly smaller world.
This is undoubtedly a busy time. But as with everything, Shantum knows that there is a silver lining. With our “normal” routines and responsibilities already changed, leaders have an exciting opportunity to find space and begin an ongoing mindfulness practice.
We can even do something different that many miss – travel. Instead, look for new goals within ourselves, opening your eyes to what surrounds us. “We have so many miracles here in this present moment,” says Shantum. “You have all the tools available to travel within,” says Shantum.
In a sense, the first step in this journey begins with doing nothing. Find a quiet place, sit comfortably, and just focus your breathing. “Pause,” says Shantum. “Stop getting distracted. It’s easy to get distracted by the television or have your next drink and watch the television inside. It will take a while to set. ”
Avoid the natural impulse to do something and continue sitting down to begin tuning your inner TV. “Just give yourself a few minutes,” says Shantum. “Be careful what you think of. Watch it like a passing cloud. Do not be tied to it. When you see a thought, return to your breath. Always use your breath as an anchor. ”
You may not notice much at first. But remember – mindfulness and meditation are a lifelong practice. Soon you will discover incredible things about yourself and the world. “You will realize who you are,” says Shantum. “You will recognize your habitual energies, your desires and your dislikes. It’s a wonderful journey!”
Finding mindfulness in everything
Practicing mindfulness with meditation at home is a fantastic way to live with more awareness and appreciation. However, this is far from the only way. Almost every action in our life gives us an opportunity to be more mindful. You can practice mindfulness for several days during a retreat, for a few minutes in the morning, or even a split second of righteous awareness.
“And it’s not just mindfulness,” explains Shantum. “You have to practice mindfulness of something, ”he emphasizes. “Mindfulness of breath. Mindfulness of Eat. Mindfulness of Tasting. “He also notes that it is easier to practice mindfulness in silence.
One of Shantum’s favorite ways to practice mindfulness is mindful walking. For him, a walk does not mean getting from point A to point B. He has found this to be one of the most powerful ways to connect with yourself and become more aware of the world around you. In fact, during a running meditation, Shantum said he “touched the peace for the first time” while with his teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.
“You can have a goal,” says Shantum. “But you often miss the reality of the moment when you go with me just one goal. “We all do that. From accompanying your dog after work to getting on the train to picking up groceries, we only have one goal in mind. We are not aware of the endless number of miracles on the journey deliberately.
“Walking meditation is about arriving at every step,” says Shantum. “It’s not easy. Our habit is to think ahead.” In walking meditation, it’s okay to have a goal or goal in mind. However, it’s not the focus. “Don’t hurry. Pay attention to everything that comes up along the way, ”he continues. With every step, focus your awareness on every sensation – the feeling of the ground beneath your feet. The chirping of the birds. The clouds against a blue sky. “The fact that we can hear is a miracle. The fact that we can see and that we breathe. These miracles are all happening in this present moment.
“When we touch the present, we touch this wonder,” says Shantum. “We call this the miracle of mindfulness. It is this energy of mindfulness that we cultivate by being present.
“These is it!”
The conversation with Shantum Seth continues Lead with real care Podcast. You will hear more wisdom about living with mindfulness, including a nice meditation. Don’t miss any article or episode of the podcast by signing up my mailing list. You also get a free guide to my favorite mindful resources. I would love you if you bond with me Twitter and LinkedIn and keep up with my company imageOne and our new intelligent health solutions.