The Holy Week is a perfect time to practice meditation and being mindful. The general noise in the city is diminished. People are expected to slow down and lessen one’s activities, if not stop all activities. The atmosphere is filled with silence and beckons introspection.
One may question though, that I am Christian, Catholic etc. and so this might not apply. This is far from the truth. Yoga is not a religion. It is a “technology” which one may apply to one’s religion. In fact, it will enhance the observance of one’s religion. It is a scientific way of approaching God. Learning to control the life force or “prana” in the body, by yogic breathing technique. It is the delicate art of breath control, expanding the lungs and slowing down the heart rate.
It is all in the mind
The practices during Holy Week is very similar to yogic practices. We lessen our activity to find time to relax and slow down. It is not so much the decrease of the physical activity but actually more of the mental activity. We must give the mind time to rest.
When we are working, the mind is constantly thinking. It is also true that when the body is moving then the mind is also at work. Our consciousness is tied to the thinking process. This insatiable mind is what should be addressed during Holy Week. The outside world has come to a halt, giving us a suitable environment to lessen our thinking process.
You can be resting beside a beautiful seaside but instead of taking in the beauty of nature, your mind could be thinking about work, worrying about problems, desiring worldly things and you have not stopped your ever-thinking mind. By learning the practice of meditation and mindfulness you may be able to fully embrace the essence of Holy Week. Prayer is also another way to put us in a quiet state but until the thoughts in the mind are lessened then our concentration is weak. It is like broadcasting signals out using a broken antennae.
All throughout the Holy Week, make that constant effort to keep the mind focused at the present moment. This is what it means to be mindful. Keep your mind focused on the breath and then focus on what is being done at the present.
Being fully present at the moment requires a strong concentrated mind. A mind that is continuously plagued by meandering thoughts is not a concentrated mind. Hence it is an idle mind. That person is highly susceptible to wrong thoughts, leading to wrong speech, and eventually manifesting wrong actions. That is why so many people continue to make mistakes daily, creating their own sorrow and suffering.
Learning to be in control of one’s mind through the practice of Yoga, meditation and mindfulness can be the best thing one can learn in this lifetime. Its rewards are far greater than any material or any worldly goal or desire.