The King's Guide is written to help men investigate certain spiritual truths, without accepting metaphysical abstractions. One important factor for men to consider is that a man's life is now. Life is rich with experiences to enjoy. Life is not in the past, and it's not in the future. Life is now. This is the self-evident truth. Men should be mindful of this.
Because, before you know it, life passes you by. Ten years have got behind you, and now what? The truth about life is that it's happening right now. Seems a bit simple to say, "Life is now." Yet it's liberating to realize this simple truth. Being free -- physically, mentally, spiritually -- rests upon fully knowing that life is happening right now. This is it. Make no mistake where you are.
Unfortunately, all to often, men find ourselves living from one situation to the next, always looking for that happy state being. We're always struggling to move away from fear and trouble, and towards the things that make us happy. I am guilty of this. For example, I have a routine of getting up, kissing the wife (often more than just that), and getting dressed. I notice my jeans are dirty. I need a new pair. But they might not fit like I want. So, I make coffee. Cream smells bad. I need to go to the store and pick some up. Making lunches for the kids, I notice they need more veggies in their diet. Grab veggies from the store. Put together some breakfast, gluten-free, paleo. We need more groceries. I confirm cash in pocket. Kiss and hug everyone at the breakfast table. Confirm weather conditions. Check the kids are wearing the right clothes. My jacket looks old, and I think about buying a new jacket. What about saving for vacation? Where would we go. And what about work today. Got to check my email on my phone. And on, and on, and on it goes.
Augh! Is this what life is all about?
Might there be more to life than this monotonous movement through one situation to the next? From feeling this to feeling that?
Yes. Of course.
Yet, men get unknowingly caught and swept in the river current of the mundane -- sometimes for years.
What should we do?
Some unfortunately turn to religion or other man-made spiritual dogma. Some turn inwards and focus on breath, physical body movement, emptying and quieting the mind, or repeating self-affirming phrases. Nice remedies for sure.
But where is the abundance? Where's the life-sustaining power? Might there be a way to experience (on a daily basis) joy, unconditional love, and meaningful compassion? How do I make sure I'm not actually missing a universe of energy and possibilities?
Might there be something about being mindful? Mindfulness is about being aware. Having a state of mind that is clear and undistracted by the commotion of the day and without regard to whether something is making you happy or not. It's not simply thinking with your eyes closed and breathing from your gut energies. It's about being in thought. I think of it has being in spirit. In spirt. Inspired.
To be in spirit, to be mindful, aware of life that is around you, and you in it, is an active task. It takes some guidance, or at least some practice, before becoming a powerful habit.
Mindfulness is a part of the Buddhist doctrine. Many Buddhist texts are repetitive and, frankly for me, quite boring to read. However, when compared with the words, the truths, the heavenly promises written in other texts, the difference is remarkable and unmistakable. Being in spirit, being mindful, being aware of your consciousness is a simple internal thing yet phenomenal in its external manifestation.
Where's the Power?
There's actually power in being mindful, spiritually mindful. Real power -- manifested in your physical life experiences. Texts refer to this as fruit -- fruit of the spirit. Your mind can free you from suffering, fear, doubts and worries. The Buddha taught that one responds to suffering with mindfulness. True. But where's the power?
That's what many men desire.
To be mindful, aware, to contemplate and presently enjoy my endless life experiences as they happen requires me to believe.
Believing is action, both mental and physical action. To be mindful, I don't have to physically remove myself from the world; I don't have to close my eyes; I don't have to empty my mind; I don't have to move, stretch, or sit in a physically challenging positions for extended periods of time; I don't need incense, silk clothing, or verbal digressive repetitions.
My consciousness is not dependent upon feelings, which come and go like the pleasant or unpleasant winds. My abundant life is not dependent upon moods, for attitudes change like the playful overhead clouds. Love is not dependent upon the five senses, for my physical body is limited.
Mindfulness, awareness, consciousness is believing.
Mindfulness is not passive. It's active. It's an active experience of your present life, without any doubt, worry or fear. When I am mindful, I am not trying to run from fear, or move towards happiness. When I am aware, spiritually mindful, I am fully aware of the reality of life. Believing is neither being lost in thought, nor is it an attempt to remove everything but thought.
There's a children's song that we sing in our family fellowship that we have every Sunday morning with our friends. The words of the song are, "God has something to say to you. God has something to say. Listen. Listen. Pay close attention. God has something to say." It's a reminder for us, including children, to pay attention to what's going on in your life. God is there. God is saying something to you.
In everything, God.
If I'm not mindful, I might miss it. I might miss it all.
Men, we might miss what God, this unlimited power of the universe, is saying to us. We ought to consider and be mindful not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. The things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are boundless and everlasting (2 Corinthians 4:18)
I encourage men to be mindful. Mindfulness is about actively experiencing your life. It not about emptying your mind, but filling it with truths that manifest themselves in phenomenal ways that result in love, joy, and peace. These fruits of the spirit originate in your mind, come from your heart, and are self-evident in your work. Read more about how your spirt makes your work fruitful.
Tips for Men to Be Better Men, Wonderful Husbands, and Loving Fathers