The key element is to Observe the mind, which means to be aware of it and accept it as it is. It does not mean to change “what is” by replacing things with a religious concept, an idea, a moral code.
You wake up. To stretch out is to be in the “now.” Observe your thoughts: Last night’s movie is being rehearsed in your mind. Do you catch it, or you go along with it? Then, you see the clock. The mind talks back to you: “It is late. You need to hurry up. You may get an email from work soon.” Notice anxiousness building up. Do you notice it? You get in the shower. The water is caressing your body, giving you a pleasurable sensation.
But… your thoughts about work, about your cellphone, about feeding your pet, don’t allow you to enjoy the moment.
You are eating breakfast, but the thought of being late to work stresses you out; not allowing you to enjoy your orange juice, your coffee, your milk, your toast with butter or whatever else you have.
The pleasure of eating through chewing your food and tasting it, is dismissed for the sake of filling up the stomach. You are not living in the now, but the forecasted future, thanks to your mind. 🙂
You are driving your car to work. Are you aware of the road? Or perhaps it is time for you to “process” what happened a week ago in your little fight with your friend or relative? You are daydreaming. That is how AWARENESS disappears.
Your mind is taking you away from the now. Driving becomes an automatic thing rather than according to the circumstances.
That is a small example of observing the mind. What can you discover? You did not enjoy your shower, your breakfast or your driving to work, thanks to living in the past or the future; thanks to your wild mind.
As thoughts accumulate rather than silence, we lose our ability for conscious movement, which means we could be prone to accidents, we could push our bodies to what we were able to do “10 years ago.” Because we are not in the “now.”
We will start talking fast, like a radio advertisement. Our ability to listen to another will be gone, for a thought will interfere with our listening.
The above description is “NORMAL” for most. Stress and anxiety are part of the “normal” world. Thus, to watch TV to “relax” yourself, to gossip about a neighbor or a “movie star,” becomes the way to “release” the mind from the madness of the “I.”
However, those activities are still of the mind.
We live in the mind; not in the world but in the mind.
When you awaken to that simple “spiritual practice,” your world changes.