Founder of Osho Tapoban, Swami Anand Arun, has said that we can lead a healthy, happy and creative life by being mindful.
Addressing a talk programme organised by the BBC Faith Forum in London, Swami Arun said mindfulness is a Buddhist term. It is another name of meditation. “When you are aware in your act, when you are fully conscious, you are mindful. When you are in meditation, you are always here and now. Otherwise, tendency of the mind is that it either thinks about the past or plans about the future. It is never here and now. In the present moment, the mind dies, the mind doesn’t exist.”
Swami Arun said that every minute we have around 50 thoughts in our mind. So, in 24-hours we have over 72,000 thoughts and over 90 percent of our thoughts are repetitive. Mindfulness or awareness gives our mind rest, otherwise mind will never be at rest, he said.
Saying that mind is a wonderful machine, a bio-computer made by nature, Swami Arun said like every other machine—whether a TV, a computer or a car-- mind also needs rest. “Unfortunately, we don’t know how to give rest to our mind. We have thoughts after thoughts, chain of thoughts. They come from all directions and we get identified with the thoughts-- that is the problem,” Swami Arun said.
He further said that we are always bombarded with the information. We have bombardment of information through so many newspapers, TV, Internet and social media. But when we get identified with that information that is the problem. Identification brings misery and sorrow. The whole art of meditation is that you remain in this world, you get all the information but you don’t identify yourself with the information, he said.
“If you are mindful or if you are aware, you can utilise your mind to the optimum. You don’t have any liking or disliking. You have awareness but no liking or disliking. So, the whole art of meditation is to become master of your mind, utilise it when you need and switch it off when you don’t need it. A computer or worldwide web provides a lot of information. When we don’t need it we switch it off. Unfortunately, we don’t know how to switch off our mind,” he said.
Swami Arun further said that when you are playing with your children or when you are going to sleep, your mind should not disturb you. “Unfortunately, every third person in developed world is suffering from lack of sleep. Fortunately, in a poor country like Nepal people still have enough and deep sleep. As the material growth is happening mind is becoming more and more disturbed and people don’t have natural sleep,” he added.
“People take medicine, alcohol or other outside support to sleep. When you are not at ease with yourself, then you are in a state of ‘dis-ease’. Psychologists say that two-thirds of humanity is suffering from this dis-ease state of mind. And, they need some support in how to calm their mind, how to eat, how to sleep, how to lead a peaceful and happy life. They should learn the art of doing their work mindfully,” said Swami Arun.
Saying that meditation is the most simple and natural thing to do, Swami Arun said meditation has become a must for everybody in the 21st century. “For centuries, people thought that yoga is only for yogis. But over the last 100 years, it has become popular all over the world. Now we have realised that Yoga is a pure science. If you want to keep your body fit, you should do yoga. It has got nothing to do with religion, it is a pure science. Similarly, meditation is the pure science of consciousness. It has got nothing to do with religion,” he said.
“If you want to keep your mind healthy, happy and relaxed you should practice meditation. If you lead natural life, if you eat natural food, if you have a natural routine may be you don’t need meditation. But in cities people eat over-processed food, they have unnatural life style. They hardly have time for exercise let alone for meditation,” he said.
“Meditation is must for media people who are open to 24-hour news cycle. You get so much information from all over the world. There is always some problem in some part of the world, especially in the Middle East. Conflict in Syria, Iraq etc. If we get identified with these problems, our lives will be in misery. You can still remain quiet, centred and happy whatsoever may be happening in the world. If you become unhappy you will make the world a miserable place. If your mind is quiet, you can do the best for yourself and the world, if you are disturbed, you will add to the misery of the world, which we normally are doing,” said Swami Arun.
“The whole problem is identification. If we break the identification, if we dis-identify with our mind, we can solve all problems of the world. I am Hindu, I am Muslim, that creates problems. And, meditation is anti-dote to all sort of identifications. If you practice little bit of meditation, you can utilise all things in this universe without getting identified with them, that is the art of meditation,” said Swami Arun.
Swami Arun’s presentation was followed by Q and A and a brief meditation. Chair of BBC Faith Forum, Susan Hayman, chaired the interaction.