Before beginning the course on mindfulness on Coursera, my preconceptions about mindfulness revolved around the figure of the monk. Reading the description of the course, I instantly connected it to Lord Buddha, the father of Enlightenment. For me, mindfulness was about meditation. It was about disconnecting with the world to make sense of it. It was about leaving the material world for a spiritual one. However, the more I pondered over it, I realized that mindfulness was not just about the spiritual world or the world of Enlightenment. It was about living in a world being mindful about others, about our interactions, about our worlds, about our actions. It was about being kind, thinking about the well-being of others, but also working on our own. For us to be mindful, we do not have to leave the material world for the spiritual world, we can be mindful living in this material world.
Dealing with mental health issues led to a great deal of negativity, and also a sense of apathy and disinterest in daily life. I have always struggled with living with others and accepting others. Reciprocating with love and affection has always been foreign to me. One thing that I feared that was that I will become a zombie too, in a sense slightly similar to the figure of the zombie in the lessons on mindfulness. However, since the last few years, I have taken the path of healing, where I am gradually learning to let go of painful experiences and experiencing new ones. It is a slow journey but it seems to be a fruitful one.
Coming to the stereotypes that have been mentioned, I think all of them have a certain value and use. While they may appeal to some people, others might reject them. For some, they might seem idealistic goals which seem impossible to achieve, for instance, the ninja. Others might believe that this is the way that we should lead our lives. However, I believe that even if certain figures of mindfulness do not appeal to us, we should not completely reject them. I believe accepting things makes life more interesting and enjoyable. For instance, humans are different from animals and we do not understand them the way we might understand each other but that does not mean that we do not love dogs.
I will conclude that you are not alone in this pandemic, this world is with you. Even though we do not know each other, we all can get through this. WE ARE STRONG. ALL THE BEST TO EVERY INDIVIDUAL WHO IS STRUGGLING IN THESE DIFFICULT TIMES. Thank you!