Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness is the awareness of your daily activities, surroundings, and thoughts. It starts the moment you wake up and ends the moment you fall asleep. 

Mindfulness is paying attention to how you do everything: brushing your teeth, eating your meal, driving your car, talking to your children or co-workers, cleaning your house. 

Mindfulness is slowing down enough to notice and appreciate the five senses: what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch throughout your day. 

Mindfulness is becoming aware of your thoughts: what are you thinking? Are your thoughts based in realism, pessimism, or optimism?  Are your thoughts memories of the past, awareness of the present, planning for the future, or imagining possible situations? 

Meditation is focused mindfulness.  You sit still for an extended period of time (ten minutes probably the minimum) and bring awareness to your activity (meditation), your surroundings through the five senses, and your thoughts. 

Meditation is practicing mindfulness for All Other Daily Activities.  It’s a bit easier because you’re still and silent.  You aren’t, for example,  making dinner as your children are requesting your attention and you’re trying to listen to the news, which is more multi-tasking than just sitting still in silence with no distractions and the time and space to become mindful. 

What you learn while you meditate is what you want to bring into your daily activities.  That’s why meditation is important—it develops more mindfulness in our every day activities.  Meditation, and its result, mindfulness, develops patience, compassion, acceptance, and openness.  We could all use more of that during our day.  

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