Two weeks ago I asked you to try a month of meaningful moments. I went on to explain the Mindful Writing Challenge for January 2013. The directions are simple:
1. Notice something properly every day during January.
2. Write it down.
It occurred to me as I have tried to write these moments that what I am doing is a form of meditation. The realization that the mindfulness it takes to “notice something properly” is meditation led me to Thich Nhat Hanh’s book The Miracle of Mindfulness.
After I began to accept this “capacity to be aware” of my surroundings as meditation I wondered why I had thought of meditation only as an emptying of my mind.
It’s impossible to empty my mind. As soon as a thought slips in, I focus on getting rid of that thought (“out, out, brief thought” or something like that) and that causes me to focus even more on the thought itself. So to be truly aware makes more sense to me. What’s more, it has worked for me this month.
In The Miracle of Mindfulness, I learned that there is a specific way to wash the dishes. It is not to wash them to get them done or to enjoy a cup of tea afterward. The way to wash the dishes is “in order to wash the dishes.” It is relaxing into the moment of what you are doing and being fully present at that moment.
Mindfulness meditation is not about removing oneself from one’s “life” or environment, but rather about experiencing each moment as meaningful.
The Foundation of Mindfulness begins with mindfulness of the body. Today I noticed my breath.
I feel my intake of air.
I envision it.
When I don’t release my thought
I breathe in rhythm
My lungs expand then contract
until my insides
have been swept clean.
If you are interested in more ways to be mindful of the body, Thich Nhat Hanh leads the monks through a series of mindful movements.