look around and you’ll see plenty of references to mindfulness these days. a few books have hit the best seller lists, it’s a buzzword among the wellness crowd, even one of the safety programs we have at work is based on a mind on task approach.
this morning, i finally threw out the toothbrush i’ve been meaning to get rid of for a week. every time i have started to use it, i’ve sworn it would be the last time. yet, the next time i’d go into the bathroom to brush, there it was, standing right beside the new one. (i know and kevin said it already, i could just throw the thing out before using it, but somehow it’s just a pattern imprinted on my brain that it makes the best sense to throw it out after the act. i can’t justify it.) that toothbrush being back its place every time and day after day served as reminder that i’d slept straight through the plan again the last time i’d wanted to execute it. it proves that i’m essentially losing five minutes of my life every time i tend to my dental hygiene. it’s the polar opposite of being in the moment and that’s what bugs me.
The Buddha advocated that one should establish mindfulness (satipatthana) in one’s day-to-day life maintaining as much as possible a calm awareness of one’s bodily functions, sensations (feelings), objects of consciousness (thoughts and perceptions), and consciousness itself. The practice of mindfulness supports analysis resulting in the arising of wisdom. ~ mindfulness, as reported by wikipedia
mindfulness is all the talk these days. i understand that and i honestly think even more attention needs to be turned to the practice. we are all so busy running around all day and so much of our time is lost that way. the most common adage is arriving home from work and not remembering the ride in between. we’ve all done that, right?
i’m guilty of not being mindful in so many ways. one time i notice my mental absence is when i eat. if you’re like me, you spend a lot of mealtime at your computer(s) or in front of your tv. at the very least, there’s some reading material in hand. it’s a total disconnect from what i am feeling and doing. i’ve noticed i can often finish a meal and wonder: how did that food even taste? did i even notice when i started feeling full?
another example: i adore my music. the first thing i do in the morning at work? plug in my ipod and get my office rocking. i do a lot of walking and when i do, i always, always, always have my earbuds in. public transit, same. to be entirely honest, the vast majority of the time i spend in public is spent totally removed from the experience.
i do so many things without being mindful that i feel like i am almost constantly wondering if i turned off the stove, where i put my keys and if i responded to a particular email. being in my body and in my moment would allow me to do even these trivial things and to remember them.
all of these realizations add up to one conclusion: i spend the majority of my days completely out of touch with the people around me and almost everything i am doing. i am sacrificing the experience, the emotions and the awareness for distraction and to occupy my mind when i could be focusing on the be-ing instead.
many suggest that mindfulness mediation is a good way to get on track. i’m willing to give it a shot hoping for a richer
“mindfulness observation is one of the most effective ways of understanding that your spirit, which is the real you, is the ever present witnessing awareness of everything that happens in your body, in your mind and in your world.” ~ deepak chopra (borrowed from the mediation, below)