In recent years, there has been a rise in the popularity of mindfulness meditation which is to focus oneself on being in the present and to calm the mind. One has to be mindful of their surroundings and seek calmness in the chaos that is happening all around them. In a way, the Islamic prayers are similar. We are supposed to be in the present as we are facing Him in His absolute presence. We are supposed to be aware of every single movement that we do and every single word that we speak. However, there is a reason why I said, ‘supposed’. In actual fact, most of us are not in the state of khusyuk. I am also hardly in that state and it is crazy hard to constantly bring yourself back to the present. Even now as I’m typing this, my mind is running through a million different things, predicting the future and looking back at the past. During prayer, that is how my mind is. It seems distracted by every single thought at every single moment, buzzing from one memory to the next and that makes it very hard for me to attain khusyuk.
But ultimately, that is what we want to attain, that intense focus and being present in the sight of Allah SWT. The practice of mindfulness is to constantly bring your mind back to the present, to catch yourself before the mind flies to another memory/thought/idea and such. And it takes practice, lots of it. What we can do now or what I think we can do is to constantly be aware of when our mind gets distracted regardless during prayer or work or during your every day commute. We have to try to constantly be mindful of the tasks that we are doing and the energy that we put in.
It is definitely easier said than done because of how our minds are influenced by the things around us (especially the painfully noxious rapid environment in Singapore) but I think that by constantly being mindful can bring a lot of beneficial impacts.
Why I wanted to do this is because I feel that I am missing out on that crucial ingredient in my iman which is to have peace and tranquility and to attain what Muslims term, God-Consciousness. In Ramadan especially, we are highly encouraged to do good things and think good things; to attain that third level of fasting which is to control the tongue, the heart, the mind and every action that we are doing. That is the real challenge.
Everything else doesn’t matter now.