Today I am grateful for meditation and mindfulness.
Today I am grateful that I read and learn about meditation and mindfulness constantly.
Today I am grateful that I use meditation to become more mindful. It has taken me a long time to choose a practice that works for me and I am constantly learning and reading about how to improve on my practice. I do not use meditation to become a better student, a more skilled athlete, a better parent or a better wife. I use meditation to provide spaces in my day to quieten the noise of my busy brain in a world that is very busy. I hope a byproduct of learning to create these spaces in my day is that I become a more compassionate empathetic person who can live more fully in the present moment.
I am grateful in a world that is busy and full of noise that I have found an avenue to take breaks from that noise. Thich Nhat Hanh explains this noise as external noise such as radio, watching television, or interacting online and internal noise such as non stop thinking and ruminating about our thoughts. I did a course a few years ago about meditation at Karuna. It was run by a Buddhist monk and I learnt that meditation is not about relaxing and going to sleep – it is about learning to quiet the mind and thus allow spaces to truly enjoy the present. By learning to meditate I am learning to truly enjoy the present moment and by doing this I am learning that all things are impermanent and therefore it is possible to have more compassion for all things and in all situations.
For those of you who do not understand the difference between mindfulness and meditation my understanding is:
Mindfulness is living with awareness – for example eating mindfully, walking mindfully, listening mindfully and breathing mindfully.
Meditation is the practice of taking a specific time out each day to calm the mind.
Click here to watch a: Video that explains the difference nicely.
I am grateful to have read a number of books that are very helpful in this area. These books are
- How to Meditate by Kathleen McDonald
- Silence The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise by Thich Nhat Hahn
- The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
I am grateful to have listened to a number of useful guided meditations. Some examples of the meditations I have used are
- http://cauldronsandcupcakes.com and use category meditation
I do not meditate very day but I am trying to make it a daily practice. I also practice eating mindfully, walking mindfully, listening mindfully, breathing mindfully and living mindfully. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to learn about these skills and I encourage anyone reading my blog today to take some time to learn and practice meditation and mindfulness. I believe living gratefully and practicing mindful living is a pathway to a happier and more fulfilled life and one that allows us to show each other more compassion.
Here is a very short exercise to practice while sitting or walking :
Please feel free to comment with any books or materials that you have found useful for your meditation and mindful practices.