Life has been preparing us, from the beginning, for such an encounter with ourselves. Every task or repetitive action we pursue, carries within it the potential of becoming our own personal form of meditation...
Remember, when you were young and you had the opportunity to learn something new––something that was appropriate to your next age level?
You were learning new stuff...more grown-up stuff and it carried an accompanying momentary shot of exhilaration or fear––depending upon how you view the challenge of learning new stuff, plus the inherent changes that go along with that learning.
Then remember, how after awhile the new thing wasn’t so much fun any more...especially if that new thing had become a chore...washing the car, folding clothes, cleaning up after a pet, or washing dishes.
We got to a point where we felt we knew how to do it (maybe not well) but enough to pass, and we just got bored with the task at hand...it was an infringement on our time.
Today, as I was folding clothes, I realized the personal satisfaction I had of putting the same things together and stacking them in drawers. I was reminded of the Zen idea of mindfulness. It involves the idea of being present, without judgment and just observing what we are doing.
When we focus on a task before us...a task in which we have attained some degree of skill in its doing...we can move into the “work” and watch and be present. I realized this is what those who practice years of meditation must experience.
Many of us have attempted some form of sit down, be quiet and just breathe meditation. It, too, is at first fun and new. Then, it just gets boring...as our monkey minds start jumping from one idea to another. And, embarrassingly enough, we may actually get so into whatever our mind is jabbering about, that we forget we are meditating and stand up to leave before we remember what we were trying to do. (Yes, that was me.)
Only after much practice, does one pass from that beginner mind into a place of peaceful observance. Then we are told that the next task is to take that mindset out into the rest of our life...into all that we do.
So, life has actually been preparing us, from the beginning, for such an encounter with ourselves. Every task or repetitive action we pursue, carries within it the potential of becoming our own personal form of meditation...walking, raking, grocery shopping, running, swimming, and all of the other simple daily chores we perform are calling out to us to be present...to take this moment and be with it. We can use a chore or repetitive motion to keep us in our bodies and allow our minds to relax and just be. No need to judge or look for differences––hot / cold, pleasure / pain, ugly / beautiful, your fault / my fault––just be and experience your body going through a motion, accomplishing a task, getting from point A to point B––just enjoy the process.
It’s a peaceful thing to do in today’s world. It doesn’t take us having to go anywhere, or getting the right tools or equipment. We can just do any number of things that we already know how to do...just do them with attention. Stay present. Don’t go into the past to evaluate some conversation or action. Don’t go into the future to start making a to do list. Just be present. It is the most peaceful thing you can do for yourself. It brings deep appreciation for the task at hand. It brings deep relaxation to your body...your heart...your blood pressure...your stomach...your colon...your personal sense of wellbeing. It’s just plain a healthy thing to do. Be kind to your body...be kind to your mind. Be present.
Love & Blessings,
A 20/20 - ABC TV report found the number one reason for the longevity of healthy, enthusiastic, mentally alert, and physically active men and woman over 100 years of age is...an optimistic, hopeful attitude...Not diet, not exercise, not drugs.
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