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When I first moved to Asia I was based in Singapore. Most of the markets I covered (from Japan down to Indonesia and over to India) operated a five and a half day work week. That in combination with the physical distances involved often meant I was on the road for three out of every four weeks. Soon after arriving in Singapore I found a mentor. He was a buddhist monk and we arranged to met up once a month. On our first session I asked him to explain mindfulness. He explained it with the following story.

You mentioned earlier that you are happiest when you are closeby water. Well I want you to imagine that you are all alone on the open sea captaining your sailboat. As captain you are the mind, your sailboat is the brain and the wind is nature. Whenever your mind wanders the wind will guide your sailboat in whatever direction it is blowing. However when you choose to focus you can guide the sailboat wherever you wish.

Looking back now it is fair to say that at that stage of life I was not much of a sailor. Ever since hearing that story I practice sailing skills on a daily basis. Some people drift through life always going with their first reaction only to allow themselves be guided by the wind. Mindfulness is being aware of your present moment. It is knowing what you are doing when you are doing it. When you do so you are truly awake. More to follow …

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