Mindful Monday Musings

Fresh impression of the art of mindful living taught by Thich Nhat Hanh and practiced by friends in Plum Village, France.

This clip is a beautiful preview of the 40 minute movie, “Mindful Living Every Day”. Available, along with an additional 40 minutes of guided meditations and “Each of My Steps is a Prayer”, on DVD. Deer Park & Plum Village with English and Spanish soundtracks.

Look for it at Parallax Press
http://www.parallax.org/cgi-bin/shopp
Also….. Pachamama teaches us about Mindful Monday so as a part of Living my Yoga practice in 2015 I have chosen to be more mindful every day. There is never a better time than now to start practicing this truth so I am going back to my very foundations this year and diving in deeper into what mindfulness means to me personally. Both as a student, a teacher, and as a caregiver to my mother who just celebrated her 87th birthday and is experiencing declining health due to her age..

Being Mindful isn’t about sitting in one place all day meditating peacefully instead of going in to work or staying in bed all day instead of playing with your children. When we focus on the things we don’t want to do it raises our stress hormones and if allowed to build up in our bodies these cortisol levels can wreck havoc on our immune system and can cause adrenal fatigue if not controlled.

Being Mindful means using your internal guide to find something beautiful to appreciate on your way to work or finding something memorable and magical about your child as you play with them instead of focusing on their hyperactivity etc… and on how tired you might be as you play with them.

Focus on your awareness in the moment, maybe it might be on the beautiful flowers you pass on the way to work or on your child’s eyes when the light makes them twinkle like stars. Mindfulness is observing the world around you. Ask yourself a question if you need a first step “What am I doing right now?” “I am reading these words.” is a good place to start. Check in with yourself often.

If you are feeling rushed and angry in a traffic jam on your way to work you could instead of reacting angrily like you normally would, just repeat the mantra “I am sitting in traffic right now.” “I am turning the wheels now.” “Traffic is starting again now.” in order to disconnect the ego from the traffic jam.

You can even make a small haiku out of your day similar to this one:

Flowers at work
people passing by
brings me to back
to my state of mind

or if you are very angry at someone make a silly haiku. It doesn’t have to make sense to work.

I am angry as a rhino
that plays in the mud
he has thick skin
and wears a bird hat
When I first came to Buddhism I worried a lot. I cried a lot. I worked 2 jobs and didn’t know how to Meditate. I focused too much on the future and not enough on the here and now by just letting things be as they are.
As a creature of habit I always wanted to make my surroundings better by making the bed, sweeping the floor, doing the dishes (even at midnight) so I had no idea what genuine relaxation was.

Over the years I developed a wonderful patience that I never knew I could create through finding stillness. Anyone can create this same stillness.

May you be Well.
May you be Happy.

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