For my last post, I gave 5 reasons to start meditating and I want to focus on the last point I made about increased mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a beautiful thing.
A few days ago, I was drinking a hot chocolate after my lectures and I realised something wonderful. I was enjoying the drink.
I wasn’t thinking about what I wanted to do for the rest of the day.
I wasn’t self-conscious about being alone.
I wasn’t feeling sad because of the pain I was in.
I wasn’t reading anything or looking at pictures.
I was just enjoying a hot chocolate.
I was simply immersed in what I was doing in the present moment and loved the experience. I didn’t need to do anything else . This is something I hadn’t actively done until I began meditating.
Of course, this doesn’t need to be limited to drinking hot chocolate. When I’m talking to other people, I give them more of my attention. When I’m writing, I immerse myself with the ideas I’m trying to get onto the page. When I’m walking, I take in my surroundings instead of rushing to where I’m going.
Throughout the day, I feel that we don’t allow ourselves get properly immersed in the things we’re doing because we’re scared of being bored. Even when we’re walking, the desire to look at our phone becomes overwhelming. When we’re talking to other people, our attention seems to shoot off into a different direction.
The beauty of mindfulness comes from its simplicity. Experiencing what’s happening now instead of being a slave to superficial desires and distractions, allows us to experience what we’re doing with complete immersion. You don’t need to be doing something all the time. You’re allowed to spend time with your thoughts.
The experience of just being without external distractions or harmful self-criticism is something I wish I experienced more.
Being more mindful of the simple things you do everyday definitely takes practice. You’ll need to remind yourself many times to bring your focus back to what you’re doing. Sometimes you’ll be frustrated, other times you’ll feel experience small moments of happiness. You can do this by practising mindfulness meditation or making an active effort to focus on the small things you do everyday.
With this being said, go and enjoy your hot chocolate :)
Do you have any similar experiences you want to share?
1. The picture comes from dharmaschool.co.uk
7 thoughts on “Mindfulness is Beautiful”
In 2000, my husband and I and our 2- and 4-year old children moved our little ramshackle, farm in the woods. The man who lived here before us loved gravel, and had filled most of the yard and area around the house with it. I wanted flowers, but was overwhelmed with the project of transforming the space while working full time and raising small kids. I had a friend who was a Buddhist monk. We have lost touch since then, but he talked to me about mindfulness and I began a project. Every day that weather permitted, I would choose a 1′ x 1′ section of the yard and slowly pick out the gravel, putting it in a bucket to dump in the driveway. I didn’t focus on the end product or worry about what the little patches in the yard looked like. I just paid attention to each little piece of gravel, and followed its journey from yard to bucket. Some days I did this for 10 minutes at a time. Other days I lost myself in the activity for more than an hour. It was amazingly soothing and I always walked away with more mental clarity and calmness to deal with family and work. Somewhere along the way, I stopped the activity. After reading this post, I went to the space I used to do this practice. I took a picture of the beautiful wild violets growing there today, and wish I knew how to upload it.
That’s really nice :) It’s wonderful to think that just giving our full attention to simple things can be so relaxing.
Do you think you’ll continue the practice after today?
I’ve picked out an overgrown spot in my asparagus patch to practice slowly clearing weeds and grass, blade by blade. I’m going to challenge myself not to get too outcome-focused.