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Friday, March 29, 2013

Mindfulness Practice 2

"Why is it when I am fatigued it's hard to stay in the moment?" questioned my friend as we were driving to lunch.  "Because when you are fatigued it takes energy to stay in the moment," I said, as my friend settled back in the car seat, "but it takes practically no energy to be in waking sleep and absorption.  So, when a person is tired it is much easier to drop back into these two lower states of consciousness."

"Learning to stay in the moment requires practice.  It is much easier to be in waking sleep, walking along and letting the mind wander, or in absorption, totally immersed in an event or some activity. It is human nature to take the path of least resistance and that path is waking sleep and absorption.  But staying in the moment requires practice and effort.  In other words, it takes energy to stay in the moment," I said.  "I see what you mean," he replied.

You can discover your own energy potential by doing mindful walking:

Go for a little walk outside, for five or ten minutes, or you can walk around inside.  While you are walking, be alert and open to everything and anything that happens to be in your field of awareness.  You may notice smells, various sounds, sights, and even vibrations and feelings inside your body.  Be open to how your body moves, arms and legs are swinging, air coming in and out of your lungs.  As you walk be aware of how it feels as your feet touch the ground heal to toe, heal to toe.  Be aware of textures, colors, contours, and shadows.

This is walking with mindfulness -walking with full intention of being in the moment.  Walking this way requires effort because it is a new way of walking.  If you have never done this kind of walking before you might find your mind wandering from one thought to another.  That's okay because the natural tendency is for everybody's mind to wander the first time they attempt mindful walking.  

Congratulate yourself for doing this walking exercise.  It is not an easy practice because it requires energy.  But the more you do it, the easier it becomes because a new neural pathway is building each time you practice it.  The old waking sleep and absorption paths will be replaced by a new and improved mindful path.

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