For those who have ever consulted with me, it will be no surprise that I am a huge fan of mindfulness meditation. I urge listening to certain downloads that I share as well as encourage getting acquainted with the many offerings on YouTube.
As Ron Siegel, PsyD, says there are everyday practices for everyday problems. And, no matter what it may appear on the outside, we all have problems. As we have evolved, each and everyone of us seeks to avoid pain and move towards pleasure. And so the mind, is endlessly busy pursuing that agenda. It is never quiet but rarely fully in the present moment. We are literally "lost in thought" constantly. This is in direct contrast to being aware of the present moment.
Mindfulness is a practice, which means that it is an acquired skill. It is directing the mind to attend, to focus on what is "just now." It is a practice in which you can only fail in two ways: the first is simply fail to take the time to be quiet and engage in the practice; the second, ironically, is refraining from judging the practice itself.
Mindfulness is NOT having a blank mind, becoming emotionless, escaping pain, finding bliss or checking out of life. It IS tuning into the here and now in focused attention, It means accepting (not liking or approving) exactly what is so in the present moment. It embraces the moment, however it is, pleasant or unpleasant. It says "yes" to what is...in other words, yes, this is what is my experience right now.
In the frantic pace of day to day, bids for our attention are constant and chronic. Learning to focus our attention, (without judgment) is key to creating the life you want to live. Since our attention is a precious but limited resource, learning to direct it it with intention, is key to clarity.
Mindful Magazine's Oyinda Logunchu offers these steps to begin one form of medication practice,
- Settle into your seat. Be sure to sit upright, but not too uptight. Make sure you’re comfortable.
- Feel your connection with the earth. It may be your feet on the floor, or maybe you’re sitting on the floor. Take a moment to feel and appreciate your connection to the planet.
- As thoughts arise, acknowledge them and then let them go. Don’t feel any pressure to think about anything in particular. Simply acknowledge your thoughts and let them go.
- When you can, bring your focus to your breath. You don’t need to do anything special with it. Just observe the sensation of the breath passing.
- When you’re ready, feel free to stand with a resolve to be more gentle, loving, and kind with yourself
Begin today...instead of scrolling on the internet offerings, explore this practice. I promise it's a great way to start your day.