The practice of mindfulness, adjusting not only what and how we approach matters as welll as what we believe is, for me, still a work in progress. I have certainly found the last few days challenging and recognize both resistance and stubborness as some of the root causes.
I also admit that I have not been practising or giving time for a daily meditation. Thus the impact of how I think has certainly impacted how I feel emotionally and physically.
As busy people it can be hard to find a few minutes a day to spend in meditation or prayer and yet, research and those who practice this on a daily basis prove the efficacy and health benefits to individuals and community alike.
If busyness is one of the challenges the following brief exercise in mindfulness may help. I am certainly going to try this. For the first time use the above quote or one of your favourites, whichever is the most helpful:
Get centered — Take a moment to just notice your body here, noticing any tension and seeing if you can choose to let that tension go. Become aware that you’re breathing.
- Read the quote twice – Reading it twice allows it to settle in a bit more.
- Allow the words to simmer — Close your eyes and see if you can let the words roll around and notice what arises for you physically, emotionally and mentally. In other words, let these words percolate in your mind and body. Do any thoughts, memories, or associations arise? Is there a tension or loosening in the body? Do emotions of fear, joy, or calm arise? Whatever arises this is grist for the mill.
- Bring your mind back if it wanders — You may notice the mind going off into thoughts of what you need to be doing or judgments such as “how is this going to be helpful to me?” Just note where it wandered to and gently guide it back. As Larry Rosenberg says in his book Breath by Breath, repeat this step several billion times.
- Come back to the breath – Thank yourself for taking this time-out of your daily busy-ness to engage with this mindful inquiry for your health and well-being.