Seven mindful suggestions

What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is an awareness of present experience with acceptance and trust. Here are seven things you can do (almost) anywhere for a more mindful day.

1) Stop what you’re doing. Turn off the phone, the iPad, the radio…put down the magazine. Stop. Listen to your breathing, allow it to slow and deepen. Notice the thoughts and feelings that arise, without self-judgement.

2) Tend your own emotional garden. Do not concern yourself with the weeds in your neighbour’s garden. Ponder only what is emerging from the soil in your own.

3) Notice your breathing and stay with it for a while. It’s a good way of becoming present. Your breathing – unlike your thoughts – is always present.

4) Notice when a thought has kidnapped you and you’ve become the thought. The thought is not you; it’s just a thought… with no more authority than a mad monkey.

5) If travelling on public transport, pay attention to an object you can see, however ordinary – a bag, a seat, a light, a hand rail. Consider it – what does it do,
what role does it play? Is it attractive, noticed, useful, old? How was it made? How does it speak to your present life? This is called a meditation of attention.

6) Notice the effect a conversation or an encounter has on you. Does it leave you gladdened or disturbed, cheered or anxious? What was it that caused this to be so? Now let the feeling pass through your existence and return to the present. (Repeat if necessary later in the day…or sooner.)

7) Accept everything about yourself – everything! (If you find this hard, ponder who in your past made it so? And then accept everything about yourself – everything!)

Taken from Simon Parke’s One-Minute Mindfulness a book of mini-meditations and stories.