Mindful living is an art. You do not have to be a monk or live in a monastery to practice mindfulness. You can practice it anytime, while driving your car or doing housework. Driving in mindfulness will make time in your car joyful, and it will also help you avoid accidents. You can use the red traffic light as a signal of mindfulness, reminding you to stop and enjoy your breathing. Similarly, when you do the dishes after dinner, you can practice mindful breathing so the time of dish washing is pleasant and meaningful. Do not feel you have to rush. If you hurry, you waste the time of dish washing. The time you spend washing dishes and doing all your other everyday tasks is precious. It is time for being alive. When you practice mindful living, peace will bloom during your daily activities. Your True Home, Thich Nhat Hanh
Mindful living is an art; it is a practice. In talking with a friend, we were contemplating how to take some of the more abstract elements of mindfulness and give them a real life application or point of reference. Well, for starters mindfulness is the exact opposite of multitasking. I love the part of today’s lesson when it says, ‘If you hurry, you waste the time of dish washing.’. I hear this as an invitation to enjoy each moment of your day and the most mundane tasks. What if you entered into each moment of your day both in your professional life and personal life with the attitude that you would savor every minute? What might you notice and learn about yourself and others? Could you be more productive? Would it allow you to enjoy parts of your day you previously rushed through?
In The Sun Magazine, there is an interview with Norman Fischer who is an author, a teacher, a Zen priest. One of the most powerful takeaways for me is the concept that the present implies a future. Additionally, the implication of a future means there is hope. Hope that the future can be something new or different. In the practice of mindfulness you observe your feelings and emotions AND release the impulse to act on feelings. I see both ideas as wonderfully interconnected. If we remain present and we observe our emotions without acting on them then we allow for new possibilities, the future. We allow ourselves to move beyond our habitual reactions. In this way we can all become agents of change in our lives, our communities, and beyond.
Mindful living is an art and a practice that challenges us to do things in a new way. If you are stuck in your business and would like assistance in identifying old habits that don’t work and developing new ones that do then contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org. I would like to help.
I look forward to talking to you.