Check out my new article, “7 Things to Remember about Fear,” in The Edge Magazine in print and online:
Waheguru has many meanings. It can refer to the almighty God or supreme soul. It is a mantra chanted in Kundalini yoga – that is used to elevate the spirit. Waheguru also means wondrous enlightener.
When I say, “Waheguru,” I acknowledge the eternal present moment. It’s not just the present moment, but the exact moment. After I am mindful of the moment, I say to myself, “Wow! I am still alive.” Living moment to moment has taught me to be where I am and appreciate my aliveness.
Challenges in life will enter into my present moment. But then when that moment or moments are gone, I can see that my life has changed again. I try not to carry on the burden of past moments, although they like to hang out in my mind. I realize that I am okay. I take full responsibility for my actions in life. I am not perfect – so I need to be a guru to myself to mindfully see that I can choose a path and go forward.
My Buddhist teacher, Bhante Sathi (www.triplegem.org), says that we need to be like the GPS app on our phone. We put in where we want to go and go forward. We do not go backward. We begin where we are and go towards our destination. The past is gone. Therefore, we need to start where we are.
All of your past experiences shaped who you are today. However, you are not those past experiences right now. You have changed and grown. You are a different person – just like how your body changes and your cells change.
Honor your authentic soul. Set boundaries, take care of yourself, and take care of others. I say to you, “WAHEGURU!” May you elevate your spirit, be wise, and rejoice in the present moment.
“Mindfulness is an embodied knowing of our present moment experience. It’s being present with our experiences in real time rather than being reactive and mindless, and pulled along by whatever is happening around us. It’s not about getting rid of thoughts or even about relaxation. It’s about developing the skills for greater clarity and choosing how we respond in any given moment.” – Alex Haley, Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing
Use your mindfulness to choose what to think.
Two days ago, I got into a car accident. It’s been 14 years since my last car accident, before this one. I was on a highway heading home. It was Sunday evening, and there was a bit of traffic. I was behind a black mini-van. The light turned red, and the mini-van in front of me slammed on its brakes. I slammed on my brakes too, but I was too close. I bumped into the back of the van. My bumper, hood, and grill are damaged, and I dented the hatchback door of the mini-van. Thankfully, all passengers are fine.
After this accident, I reflected on mindfulness. Sunday morning, before my car accident, I was in my meditation group, and our monk talked about his driving lessons, and he said the instructor told him, “You must drive mindfully.” Now I wince silently. I did not drive mindfully. To be honest, I was looking at my cell phone just before the accident happened. I know, I know. I should not look at my phone while driving! I tell my kids this! Now I am living with a consequence of my actions.
I know accidents happen. I forgive myself for not driving carefully, and I will be more mindful when I drive (with my cell phone turned off). I realize when I am not a careful driver, I put myself and others in danger. However, I am proud of myself because I remained calm during and after the accident. In the past, I would have been emotionally upset and crying. I think my daily meditation is helping me remain calm in stressful situations.
My new mindfulness vision while driving: When I get in the car, I will turn off my cell phone (unless I use my phone for directions). I will turn my music on low. I will keep my eyes on the road, and I will be watchful for cars, people, animals, and objects. I will slow down. I will keep my mind on the road (no autopilot driving).
PLEASE DRIVE SAFE!