My Moonday Musings this month focus on the theme of mindfulness, each week sharing words of wisdom from mindful masters.
Why? Perhaps it’s because being mindful and staying present can be somewhat of a challenge for me at times, and I’m assuming that I am not alone in that aspect. When out of balance or not present to the moment, I can get caught up in my monkey mind, with endless to-do lists, overthinking and “what if” conversations that serve to pull me even further out of the present moment. When I recognize that state, I breath deeply and slowly and bring myself back to the present.
And there are other ways to find balance, to be mindful and present.
A few years ago, my yoga instructor shared Six Words of Advice — also known as the Six Nails — handed down over generations from 11th century Bengali yogi guru Tilopa. The words have come to us in a Tibetan translation from his six-word original text, thought to be written in either Bengali or Sanskrit.
The words resonated so strongly with me, and were clearly what I needed to hear at that moment.
The original text consisted of just six words, translated into short phrases in English, and are also known as Six Nails of key points, or Tilopa’s Six Nails. So direct and to the point!
They are a reminder of how to be mindful, how to stay present. I have revisited them often in the years since I first heard them (and even have them posted at my desk), and now offer them to you, using Ken McLeod’s poetic translation shared by Unfettered Mind Buddhism:
Don’t recall (Let go of what has passed)
Don’t imagine (Let go of what may come)
Don’t think (Let go of what is happening now)
Don’t examine (Don’t try to figure anything out)
Don’t control (Don’t try to make anything happen)
Rest (Relax, right now, and rest)
So, just for today, practice the Six Words.
I love this graphic from Unfettered Mind (click on the image below to download it in PDF format from their website).