Mindfulness lessons from my little master

Samyak Cook2

With mindfulness, you can establish yourself in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in that moment. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

If you immerse in writings on Mindfulness, you will find three common principles endorsed by most authors.

  • Live one day at a time
  • Do one thing at a time
  • Intently focus on what you are doing NOW

My son Samyak seems to have mastered these 3 principles at a tender age of 3 J Looks like we all master the art of mindfulness during the first 6 years of our life. As we grow further, we slowly unlearn this way of life and pick up habits of distraction, multi-tasking and escapism from the NOW.

When I tell Samyak about our weekend plan and announce that we would watch an animated movie on Saturday morning, he instantly asks ‘are we doing it NOW?’ For him any activity has to happen today and now! No concept of past and future, the only moment available is NOW.

Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift and that’s why it’s called the present.

I am amazed at his ability to focus on one thing at a time; the above picture says it all. You can see his intense focus and dedication in making chapati (Indian bread) for us. Nothing in this world distracts him when he is occupied with something, totally submerged in one activity. For adults, the biggest challenge is to focus on one thing among myriad of distractions. We pay the price through ineffective results.

Lately there has been a tremendous amount of research on mindful eating. With mindful eating we can enjoy every morsel we put in our mouth. Interestingly we tend to eat less when we are fully aware of what and how we are eating. Instead of counting calories we should count the number of times we chew food! I have been trying my luck with mindful eating [trust me, not an easy task]. The task seems onerous as I keep slipping back to mindless eating 🙂

It appears to me that the art of mindful eating is also innate in children. The below picture was taken at Mysore Zoo last weekend.

Samyak ICe

I bought an Ice candy for him and we started walking towards our next stop at the Zoo. He announced, ‘let’s eat this first and then walk’. He sat there for 15 minutes to relish that and enjoyed every bite of that Ice candy. Interestingly he didn’t even utter a single word till he finished eating. By the way, latest studies also echo the tradition of not talking while eating.

There is so much to learn from children just by being with them. They subtly make us aware of things that we ignore as grown up men. It reminds of the quote ‘Child is father of the man’.

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