mindfulness.

my mind tends to wander. sort of like lost little kids. or kids hopped up on sugar. or older kids hopped up on meth. i just cannot seem to grab hold of these slippery thoughts long enough to really make sense of them. hence my recent fascination with the concept of mindfulness in psychology and as a form of meditation.

wikipedia has an interesting set of examples from daily life to describe or explain the concept of mindfulness:

However, mindfulness does not have to be constrained to a formal meditation session. Mindfulness is an activity that can be done at any time; it does not require sitting, or focusing on the breath, but rather simply realizing what is happening in the present moment is mental content, including simply noticing the mind’s usual “commentary”. One can be mindful of the sensations in one’s feet while walking, of the sound of the wind in the trees, or the feeling of soapy water while doing dishes. One can also be mindful of the mind’s commentary: “I wish I didn’t have to walk any further, I like the sound of the leaves rustling, I wish washing dishes weren’t so boring and the soap weren’t drying out my skin”, etc. Once we identify experience as mental content, we have the freedom to cease identification with any judgments/perceptions: “washing dishes: boring” may become “The warm water is in unison with the detergent and is currently washing away the plate’s grime, the sun is shining through the window and casting an ever greater shadow on the dish’s white ceramics.” In this example, one may see that washing does not have to be judged “boring”; washing dishes is only a process of coordinating dishes with soap and water. Any activity done mindfully is a form of meditation, and mindfulness is possible practically all the time.  (  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness#Continuous_mindfulness_practice )

my newest book is one that focuses on mindfulness as a means for dealing with depression and its recurring nature. i am hopeful that i will learn some important lessons from this book and from other relative literature. maybe learning mindfulness is a way to eliminate the stress of tomorrow? maybe mindfulness holds clues to developing happiness in the here and now rather than chasing a concept out of our reach always in the future?

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2 Responses to mindfulness.

  1. Arwen says:

    I find that when I have too much “free” thinking time (commuting would be one such time), I tend to spend it analyzing my life, what I did that day, the very minute details, and how it all affects me – specifically people’s perception of me. I over analyze this and become paranoid that I said something wrong or in my interpretation of an event, I think that someone reacted negatively to me, when s/he might not have. This is all rooted in the fact that I just think about things too much. If I start to employ this mindfulness technique, maybe I would not only become more appreciative (one of my three goals of the year) of the world, but become less overly analytical of my life. Thanks for this info!

  2. Jaymie says:

    I struggle to achieve that state of mindfulness. When I catch hold for a time I do feel a difference. I’m working on becoming disciplined on more actively remaining in that state. I hope it brings some peace.

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