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Should i try to be mindful all day?

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by Skanzi, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. Skanzi

    Skanzi Member

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    Hi there

    I'm quite new to meditation and i have one question.

    Should i try to be mindful all day long? Meaning i focus on my leg muscles when i'm cycling, looking and observing the environment when i'm walking, listening to sounds when i'm walking. Notice my muscle movements whenever i can, make a sandwich with all my attention etc...

    So you know, doing everything i do in life with all the focus and attention i have.
    Would this be a good idea, or would this be more like a nuisance when i do this too much. I have tried this, but after a while i just become distracted and having to bring my attention back to muscles and stuff becomes slightly annoying like that actually. Then i'd rather just not try to concentrate so much on one thing. But is that better?
     
  2. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    Hi Skanzi and welcome to the community :)

    Have never really tried the mindful meditation technique, however I can recommend the free "Discover Meditation" download at the top of the community.

    It has helped so many and here's a link you may find to be really helpful.

    Please let us know how you get on and I wish you much peace and joy :) :) :)
     
  3. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Hi Skanzi,

    When you talk of being mindful I understand that as being aware.
    It's quite common for our minds to cause us a distraction and for us to drift away (daydream) rather than place our awareness on what is right in front of us.

    As you're new to meditation, and therefore I take it you're also new to mindfulness, I would suggest that you take it in small steps. It would be very unusual for someone to successfully remain aware in the present moment all the time, if they're not used to practicing it.

    Also consider that being mindful and aware is not so much 'observation' as 'observation' is taking the input from the senses and interpreting it in the mind. The problem with 'observation' is that by trying to think about what you're sensing, the mind takes you away from the senses to do that, and hence you get distracted and have to remind yourself to come back to your senses.

    Practicing mindfulness will take time and practice, but certainly it's not a bad thing to aim to be aware of all your senses as often as possible, though if you find you've not been aware, there's no point in beating yourself up about it, just bring your awareness back to the senses. Also, as you're aware of the senses, just let the senses come and go; there's no need to try and hold onto them or interpret them.

    A phrase that was used in my practical philosophy classes (which was about becoming present in the "Now" and awareness etc.) was "place your awareness on the working surface" so, for example, if you are writing something, just let your awareness be where the pen touches the paper, not forced, just following the pen as your write what needs to be written. Likewise for other examples, whether it's washing the dishes (awareness on the hands and cloth as it moves over the dishes), digging a vegetable plot (awareness on the spade as it digs the earth), driving a car (awareness of the sense of touch of your hands on the steering wheel and the feet on the pedals, and the sight of the road through the windscreen and in the mirrors; and whatever you are aware of at that moment, just let it pass and remain aware of what is there in the present moment, not what has already passed. It's almost like 'not thinking' because the thinking mind is what often distracts us from what is really happening Now.

    It does take practice. I practice as often as possible, and I've been doing it for years, though still find myself getting distracted occasionally... as that is the nature of mind. ;)

    What you do find with practice though is that, because you are practicing being more aware of the moment and not getting distracted by the mind, the tasks you want to do often appear to be done much quicker that you would normally expect. Essentially you become more productive and have more time in your life. The other phrase the course used was that "people are living a waking dream" because they spend so much time in their minds and miss the present moment.

    It's the same kind of thing that Eckharte Tolle talks about in his book "The Power of Now", though he's 'modernized' it for the intended audience of his book. ;)

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  4. dmikis

    dmikis New Member

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    Thanks

    Thanks, Skanzi for posting this question, and Giles, your explanation helped me a lot. I have the same challenge.

    It's taken me 10 years to learn to not judge what I am aware of - which includes emotions and feelings inside of me such as frustration, anger and sadness - in which case I have learned that breathing and allowing them to flow through my body and sensations helps them pass and return to point zero - and although they may feel overwhelming, I don't have to identify myself with them anymore or they are no longer running my life.
     

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