Through the course of my mindfulness practice, despite the effort to maintain awareness of each moment, I will quickly find myself wandering off to thinking. This set me off to find out how to be more mindful. How to build more of that moment to moment awareness. Is there some book that I need to read. Or some ritual that I should follow. Maybe I have missed out some important instruction.
One day, I was able to post this question to Bhante G, author of one of the best selling and most influential books on mindfulness, “Mindfulness in Plain English” (free). Bhante G, whenever he came to Singapore, would give talks at a centre that I used to visit every Sunday. He and the founder of that centre are good friends.
I asked Bhante G how can I build up my mindfulness, such that I stay aware of the present moment, as much as possible. He replied that one moment of mindfulness leads to the next. The only way is to remember to be mindful at all times. There isn’t any other way.
I will summarise the steps to build up mindfulness as follows:
Step 1 – check whether I know the present moment clearly.
Step 2 – after a few moments, go back to step 1.
In conclusion, the muscle of mindfulness can only be built through mindfulness. Being aware now makes one more likely to be aware at the next moment.