YOGA: Meditation 911

I just completed my Meditation training and came home with full mind of new things to activate for my process of observing without judgment. Here is all in a brief summary:

METACOGNITION

It means thinking about thinking, knowing about knowing, or becoming aware of your awareness. It is essentially the act of putting your attention on your thinking process and understanding the manner in which your mind generates and perpetuates your moment-by-moment thought stream.

A QUESTION TO ASK

How often do you watch or pay attention to the activity of your mind? Unless you’re trained in some form of contemplative practice, it is unlikely that you do this very often. Instead, you often are led around by your mind, the repetitive thoughts you have day to day, and the karmic programming that hums along in the background.

When you put your attention on the content of your thoughts, however—where the thoughts came from, their associations, or how they make you feel when you think them, for example—you step out of the thought stream and are able to witness those thoughts without judgment. As the philosopher Krishnamurti once said,

“Observation without judgment is the highest form of intelligence.”

In west style of meditation — mindfulness, this state is also known as OPEN MONITORING. This practice can be performed during any activity and will bring a meditative quality to any experience.”

PLAYGROUND FOR MINDFULNESS

Now that you have the tools to enliven awareness during activity, think of the following everyday activities as a playground for mindfulness. On the surface they may appear mundane, or even boring, but if you look closer you see that each contains a bounty of present-moment opportunities, just waiting to be embraced.

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Doing the dishes. Unless you like dirty pots and pans piled high in your sink, washing dishes is a task that always needs to get done, but that you likely don’t enjoy. Yet when you infuse the doing the dishes with your full attention this activity filled with opportunities for presence. The sensations of hot water, soap, and rinsing—all anchored to the breath—are deeply mindful moments. In addition, this practice also provides the chance to experience gratitude for the meal or food that was prepared or served from those dishes.

Waiting in line. Society gives you ample chances to wait in line. At the grocery store, doctor’s office, or in traffic, these pauses in your activity are a perfect time to look deeper, feel your body, or tune into the witness within. You likely fight against the wait and often cause yourself to suffer with impatience. Instead, why not use waiting as a chance to connect more deeply with the present moment?

Taking a shower. A daily shower is often an activity you rush or plot through as you mindlessly follow a set routine for cleaning your body. But consider all the opportunities for tuning into your senses as you wash your hair and body—the possibilities for paying attention to the sounds, sights, and sensations of the water, or as the witness experiencing it all.

Driving to and from work. Your daily commute is often an autopilot experience with a regular route, radio station or music, or perhaps a meal or coffee along the way. Instead, why not use the daily drive as a chance to focus on the experience of driving? Consider consciously controlling a 2-ton vehicle with all its intricate parts, the physics behind the internal combustion engine, or marvel at how your mind is able to perform the complex act of driving in rush hour traffic with thousands of other motorists.

Eating a meal. Mindful eating is a practice unto itself. Suffice it to say that using the tools mentioned above to practice mindful eating opens entirely new dimensions in your relationship to food and how you nourish your body. In addition, it is an incredible opportunity to practice stillness and go within during an inherently social activity.

Walking a pet. Walking a dog or cat adds a new level of experience to the practice of mindful walking. It provides opportunities to enliven your senses, notice the details, and focus on your breathing, all while interacting with your pet and the environment. In addition, animals are much more deeply rooted in the present moment, providing yet another doorway into deepening the awareness that connects you.

Doing the laundry. While some consider doing the laundry and exercise in drudgery, infused with attention, this activity can also be a portal into higher awareness. Whether it’s the feel of the clothing, the smell of the clean (or dirty) garments, or contemplating the complex and far-reaching chain of events that led to you owning a particular item, you are free to experience any moment from a deeper perspective.

Although these are common examples of everyday mindfulness, these tools can be applied to any activity. When you make everyday experiences mindful, you take the ordinary ‟stuff” of your life and transform it into a pathway toward enlightenment.


Lady moon profilePost curated by Veronika Prielozna, MA, RYT walking her talk with meditation. Reference: https://chopra.com/articles/everyday-mindfulness-7-steps-to-deepening-presence-in-daily-activities Image credits: https://pexels.com

 

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