Working With Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a buzz word today, but like the word, meditation, it's also a much misunderstood. 

In its essence, mindfulness is paying attention. That's it. I know, it sounds simple, and it is, but it's also a lot more difficult to do than we can imagine. 

Electronic Monkey Mind

Paying attention, not wandering in your thoughts. But we live in a world of constant distraction: phones, computers, cable/satellite TV, the internet, and on and on. We are often over scheduled and underwhelmed. As much as our modern electronic world keeps us connected, it also distracts us. Think of all the concerts where people watch the show on the cell phone they hold up in front of themselves, instead of watching the actual performance. Talk about distraction. 

Or think about all the times you are involved in your practice and your phone rings or beeps. Do you stop and answer it, or do you keep going. And if you keep going, are you distracted by the thought of who that call or message might be from? Can you feel the pull, feel need to stop and check your phone?

Separation Anxiety

Take a step back and get your perspective. Your practice needs to be sacred. It needs to be your time, not everyone else's. It's important to respect yourself, respect your practice. Turn off your phone (I know that's hard, as we are joined by some invisible umbilical cord.) I actually left my phone at home when I went out to breakfast yesterday. It was hard, it was strange, but it was also liberating. I could give my full attention to my wife, to my food, to the experience. I could be mindful. And I enjoyed not feeling like I had to check my phone because I may be missing something.

Paying attention, not wandering in your thoughts. Being settled, steadfast, centered, so you are able to be your best for others. When we can be centered and focused, we can offer our best to others. We can enrich their lives by presenting them a mindful version of ours.

~ MB


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