Saturday, May 21, 2011


"I admire the fact that the central core of Buddhist teaching involves mindfulness and loving kindness and compassion."

"Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience."
Psychology Today

Mindfulness is one of the strategies in finding peace that I am just not good at yet.  I am too busy multi-tasking to slow down and spend the time it takes to really be mindful.  In fact, since I started this post I have stopped to paint my nails, I am watching Breakout Kings, I searched the actor in the Motorola Xoom commercial (didn't find it), checked twitter several times, got dressed, did my hair (such as it is), went back and put on makeup, got something out for dinner and searched travel stuff for my husband and looked at empty lots on Trulia.  It's very hard to be in the moment when you are doing 14 things at once.  If you read my last post, I am very easily distracted.  In fact, if I weren't able to successfully manage the multi-tasking, I would suspect I had ADD.  In doing all of this I have "wasted" so much time that I only have about 10 minutes left before I have to head out to work for an orientation morning.  

Psychology Today describes practicing mindfulness as:

 Mindfulness, paying precise, nonjudgmental attention to the details of our experience as it arises and subsides, doesn't reject anything. Instead of struggling to get away from experiences we find difficult, we practice being able to be with them. Equally, we bring mindfulness to pleasant experiences as well. Perhaps surprisingly, many times we have a hard time staying simply present with happiness. We turn it into something more familiar, like worrying that it won't last or trying to keep it from fading away.

When we are mindful, we show up for our lives; we don't miss them in being distracted or in wishing for things to be different. Instead, if something needs to be changed we are present enough to understand what needs to be done. Being mindful is not a substitute for actually participating in our lives and taking care of our own and others' needs. In fact, the more mindful we are, the more skillful we can be in compassionate action.

Though they suggest that you begin by sitting quietly and pay attention to your body and your breath, one of the other suggestions is to start with a particular task to practice your mindfulness until you feel able to do it without bouncing all over the place.  For me, a good starting place would be with my dinner meal.  I tend to sit at my computer, fiddling around on Twitter or Facebook, watching television etc while I eat.  Next thing I know, the meal is gone and I don't feel like I ate at all.  My challenge to myself is - for the next week beginning tonight, I turn off the tv, walk away from my computer, sit at the table and really pay attention to my meal.  Pay attention to the flavors, pay attention to how I feel eating it and not let anything disturb me. 

What that means is that today, before I even think of eating my meal- I need to empty my table and create a nice space that is not filled with "stuff".  Our table- because we rarely use it- is somewhat of a dumping ground for groceries and is the place where I have all of my magazine and the "stuff" I need to rip them apart.  My recipe storage container is there, my folders, my scissors, a basket of magazines and a note pad if there is a website or idea that I need to get back to so I don't save the whole article.  We have a big bowl that has my apples in it, pieces of the steamer which needs to be stored and loaves of bread (his and hers-lol) as well as the storage containers that I routinely use to take my lunch to work.  SO- if I want to mindfully eat my meal- all of that stuff has to go.  I guess I will be decluttering this afternoon after we get back from lunch and the optomotrist.  Looks like this will be a productive Saturday if I want to be able to make this work. 

Have a happy Saturday! 

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