Mindfulness is one of the simplest and most powerful meditation practices because it can be done anywhere and at anytime. There’s no excuse for not practising mindfulness!
Mindfulness is about paying attention. Normally your attention is scattered all over the place. You can be doing one thing, or maybe even several things at once, but your mind is busy thinking about something else.
Practising mindfulness will help you to develop one-pointed awareness. It keeps your mind focused on the present moment, on whatever is happening right now. Mindfulness can be directed outwards to whatever you’re doing, or inwards towards sensations, emotions, feelings and thoughts. You’ll find it easier to explore your inner world once you can free your mind from distractions.
Being mindful makes it easier to concentrate by filtering out distractions and unnecessary thoughts. It makes it easier to stay calm in difficult situations and will help to improve your relationships as you’ll be more present with the people you love. Life becomes more vivid and interesting, and you notice the little things more. You already know that nature is beautiful, but you will see that beauty more and really appreciate it. You may even begin to find the urban environment beautiful and come to appreciate the hidden glory of all of life.
You can practise mindfulness when doing simple daily tasks and it is easy to incorporate into your routine. Any task, no matter how dull, can be transformed with mindfulness. Making a cup of tea, brushing your teeth, taking out the rubbish, filing your tax return…
- Helps you focus on what you’re doing
- Transforms daily chores into spiritual practice
- Encourages mindful presence every day
To benefit from Mindfulness, begin by trying it out on simple tasks, then extend the practise to every area of your life.
Mindfulness: Washing Up
- Decide to do the washing up mindfully. This means you need no distractions, so switch off the radio or TV, and send others away. Once you get the hang of mindfulness, you can do it even if there’s lots going on.
- Begin to wash up and take your time. There’s no rush. Wash one item at a time and focus on what you’re doing. What does the water feel like on your hands? The smell of the washing up liquid, the play of light on the water, the feel of the cloth against the plate…
- If thoughts intrude, bring your focus back to the task in hand. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you get distracted, just bring your attention back to the washing up.
- Really notice the plates and bowls, but also notice how you’re standing. Relax your shoulders, breathe evenly. Enjoy washing up!
This may feel boring when you first try it, but keep practising. You’ll be surprised at the results!