A special thanks to Rus Devorah Darcy Wallen for this great question:
How does one incorporate Mindfulness into Daily Tasks and Activities?
That is a great question and it allows me the time to ask a couple more questions: Where do thoughts arise from? Can you pin point a thought? Where do they go? Does the mind have a border or perimeter? Meditation only asks for mindfulness – nothing more…
What really is meditation? Meditation is the conscious focus of the present. What is happening right now? That is meditation… When we let our thoughts run ramped we are replaying tapes of fear and fantasy, past and future – the director of this mental function is your ego and false-self. When you are mindful of the present moment something amazing happens: The act of rooting the mind in the present creates subtle gaps between those thoughts of fear and fantasy, past and future. A respite from the mental chatter… it is then that your ego is powerless; sublime quietness ushers in wisdom and True Nature. You are living in the moment; present, authentic and connected to your inner and outer surroundings – that is meditation: The focus is on what is happening right now – the experience at hand and all the feelings and emotions associated with that moment… and the next moment… and the next moment….
Did you know you can meditate anytime and anywhere?
I do bike riding meditations all the time. Walking meditations are great too because any meditation that includes exercise is fantastic! I have this beautiful forest preserve near my home with miles of trails that traverse ponds, tree tunnels, marshes and wild flower fields – no man-made intervention, few people, lots of birds and sometimes perfect clouds above. As I ride, I connect to what is around me and not the continuous thoughts in my head. As I ride I breathe in the sweet air, notice the intricacies and beauty of nature and in doing so; stretch those gaps in my mind between aimless thoughts. Within those authentic gaps is this sublime connection to energy, relaxation, reverence and bliss. My thoughts slow, inspiration and awareness is fine-tuned and there is this heartfelt feeling that I am evolving in the right direction.
That is meditation….
…and when you incorporate meditation into your daily life practice you are becoming more aware and present. Remember, meditation does not have to include rules and uncomfortable sitting positions. Meditation is about being mindful of the present – nothing more and nothing less. You can be mindful in the shower, washing the dishes or walking the dog. Even at work, take a quick minute and find some fresh air. Even 5 minutes a day is beneficial. 30 seconds is better than nothing. A mindful eye on your breathing; how does my body feel? Am I centered in the moment? Watch how the sun glistens off dew drenched leaves in the morning. This is mindfulness and it is intoxicating. Get creative and find mindfulness in all your everyday activities. With a little effort and energy a new world will reveal itself – a Responsive Universe….
John C. Bader