July 7 2019
“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.”
Jon Kabat Zinn
In my quest for a more spiritual life I’ve found the practice of mindfulness to be most important. Stilling my mind, if just for fifteen or twenty minutes a day is just what the Yogi ordered. That constant chattering going on in my head, those in the know call it ‘Monkey Mind’. If you’re anything like me, you know what I mean. There’s a song running in a constant loop as soon as I step out of bed. Where this song comes from is a mystery, but it’s a different song each day. At least my inner DJ is a fan of variety. This inner music, or dialog goes on all day; while I’m waiting for my boss to pick me up in the company truck at the park and ride, while eating lunch, pretty much always. Something had to be done. Mindfulness meditation was just the ticket.
I’ve dabbled in meditation off and on for years and have found it to be very challenging. Though I’ve gotten a little more serious about it lately. I’ve found that the technique that works best for me is Breath Meditation. I get comfortable – no Lotus position for Mister Stiff here, it also kills my tailbone. I’m just not made for that position. I just sit in a chair, or on a pillow on the floor. The important thing is to keep the spine straight. I then take a few deep breaths and relax my body as much as possible, then I simply concentrate on each breath. I don’t always get very far before a thought intrudes. When I notice one of these stealthy intruders, I just let it go, let it float on by like a cloud and resume concentrating on the breath. This happens many times in my session. I don’t get upset, I just notice the thought, let it go, and resume watching my breath. That’s the practice.
I’ve found that so far in my practice the run-away thoughts are still with me through-out the day. What mindfulness does do for me is that it helps me notice these thoughts more often, helping me to calm my mind, and become more aware of my breathing.
As Thich Nhat Hanh said: “The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion.”
The more I practice mindfulness at home, the more I remember the practice throughout the day. I notice my breathing more while in line at the store, or any idle time I have. The greatest benefit to me is that I notice my thoughts more often and can stifle the negative ones. Since thoughts are things, this is very important.
May you always be
Safe, and Comfortable.