One of the greatest gifts of meditation is that we develop the habit of stabilizing our ability to be in the present moment and have the opportunity to bring more awareness to our every day interactions. This week’s meditation practices were gentle reminders to explore our capacity to bring our full attention to tasks that we often do in a hurried way, like the dishes, and encouraged us to slow down enough to have a singular focus on pleasurable events like drinking a cup of tea.
When we get into the habit of being more mindful as we move throughout our day, it helps us further our mediation practice. By taking our practice “off the cushion” and adapting it to daily life, we can weave our ability to stay present into our routines. Sometimes, through this work, we learn about ourselves and can explore and rethink habituated reactions and routines.
It was fun to be reminded of Thich Nhat Hanh’s example of using the ringing of a telephone as a cue to enjoy a few moments of mindfulness. An old college boyfriend had a rule of answering the phone on the second and a half ring. In his image conscious mind, it was a long enough time to wait to make it seem like you weren’t sitting by the phone, but short enough that you wouldn’t miss the call, and, to us, it became a fun game. I use his phone answering method to this day, mostly to amuse myself with this consciously chosen habit, but also because at some point I realized that it gave me a few moments to shift my attention from what I had been doing to a more present state for the person who required my attention. A perfect opportunity to bring mindfulness to communication.
Thank you, Sharon!