Saturday, October 14, 2006

Mindfulness: Meditation in Action

Mindfulness is meditation in action and involves a "be here now" approach that allows life to unfold without the limitation of prejudgment. It means being open to an awareness of the moment as it is and to what the moment could hold. It is a relaxed state of attentiveness to both the inner world of thoughts and feelings and the outer world of actions and perceptions.

Mindfulness means really being present with the food when eating, enjoying it rather than thinking about other things. It means openness to the experience of motion when taking a walk and to the sights, sounds and smells around you.

Mindfulness requires a change in attitude. The joy is not in finishing an activity - the joy is in doing it. Those of you who are Type A's will find that this is completely foreign to your usual way of perceiving things. Remember that Type A's tend to engage in polyphasic behaviors - they try to do several things simultaneously. The reality of thinking and doing, however, is that we can only think or do one thing at a time. The mind can dart back and forth between several things, but it can hold only one thing in full focus. Polyphasic thinking, therefore, actually wastes time. It also creates enormous stress.

Joan Borysenko


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