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Saturday, January 9, 2021

Mindfulness, Compassion, Nonviolence - Series 15

 One of the strengths of mindfulness meditation is that it can be practiced with any daily activity. It helps you focus on whatever you are doing at present with full attention. As Rev Thich Naht Hahn used to say, you can be mindful when you are washing dishes or driving a car or answering a phone call. Instead of grumbling about having to wash dishes, you focus on the activity, enjoying the water falling on your hand, the softness of the soap, the clean dishes at the end and the fact that you are being helpful.

In what he calls “red light meditation”, Rev. Thich Naht Hanh suggests that when you come across a red light while driving, you stop, take a deep breath, relax the tense muscles, enjoy the present moment instead of complaining about the delay.

If you are doing research, you calm yourself down, take  two or three deep breaths and bring your focus to the here and now. The project will go that much smoother. The same can be said about prayers, using mindfulness meditation to bring to focus your mantra or visual image.

Walking can be a great time for mindfulness at several levels, particularly for people who just cannot sit still.  Here are two links to walking meditation. Walking meditation   AGuided Walking Meditation from Jon Kabat-Zinn by mindful.org | Mindful Org |Free Listening on SoundCloud

OnWalking Meditation | Thich Nhat Hanh - YouTube

In addition to taking each step mindfully, you can also use this time to focus on the sunlight, the natural scenery and sounds around you. You can reflect on the fallen leaves and how they remind us of our own lives. As Rev. Hanh used to say: the leaves of this year become the manure for the next year. If you look deeply at those leaves, you should be able to see the sunlight, the rain and the earth elements in them. I have often reflected on the interrelationship between our lives and the lives of the trees – they give us the oxygen we breath; we give out carbon dioxide which plants to use to make their energy. 

 

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