Achieving Mindfulness

mindful_rhospiritualguideIn my newsletter this month I spoke about meditation. In my blog I would like to speak about mindfulness. Mindfulness and meditation go hand-in-hand. There are many benefits to meditation: spiritual, health and physical. Mindfulness has its benefits as well. If I could describe mindfulness I would describe it as awareness.

Since I have been practicing mindfulness, I have become aware of the beauty in our world and also of how much we create angst.

Since becoming mindful, things seem to flow better. I catch myself realizing “What am I doing?” “Why are my thoughts worrisome thoughts?” There is a new lightness in my step.

I am sure some of you have heard of Thich Nhat Hanh. He has some great insightful books on mindfulness. In his book “Peace is Every Step” he discusses being mindful when washing dishes. When we wash dishes, we tend to let our mind wander. We start to think of past things or we think of potential upcoming future things. For example, after I finish washing the dishes, I need to go and start so and so or I have to call so and so, etc. He says to spend time being mindful of the act of washing dishes. By being mindful he means to notice how each dish feels as you are washing it. The water flowing over the dishes, etc. If you begin being mindful with a simple act in your life you will become mindful of many other things in your life and start to notice reactions expressed or experienced.

It is a simple act to become mindful. Be mindful of how you step. Is it a heavy hurried step or a light step? If you step with heaviness things will come at you the same way. Being mindful brings an awareness of yourself. It is a step to understanding you.

I would like to leave you with a beautiful poem from the book, Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh:

Standing quietly by the fence,
you smile your wondrous smile.
I am speechless and my senses are filled
by the sounds of your beautiful song,
beginningless and endless.
I bow deeply to you.

This poem is about a dahlia. A flower. The person who wrote this poem was stunned by its beauty as they were walking past it and wrote about this. So mindful!