Dying Daily #189: Constant Awareness

One of most difficult parts of maintaining a mindful lifestyle is how quickly we drift off into mindlessness.

It is our default mode because the mind is always looking for something to be interested in. It wants the spotlight, so it cycles through a playlist of topics until it hits on something that gets our attention.

Here are the things that pulled me away this morning during meditation:
  • Thinking about a new wrestling gimmick for B
  • Thinking about the people we met this weekend, and how much I liked them
  • Thinking about how part of being mindful is enjoying where you are, no matter where you are (notice how crafty the mind is, pulling me into mindlessness by thinking about mindfulness).
  • Thinking about this idea as a blog topic, about how I like to mine places for all they are worth rather than go a bunch of new places
  • Writing the blog in my head
  • Thinking about the fact that there are cool places in the world I haven’t been, and which ones I would like to visit

I wake up and sit down to meditate immediately, so this was literally all in the first three minutes of my day.   Multiply this times 300 and it gives you an idea of how distracted we are as people. Luckily, I was able to catch this train of thought and let it go, but some days I get caught up in it.

One of the easiest ways to remain mindful is to simply treat everything you do as sacred or important, to not allow any task to be bothersome or annoying or petty. This is also one of those Keystone Habits that can make a tremendous difference in all areas of your life.
Here are some examples from this morning:
  • Wrapping the bread up and putting it where it goes instead of leaving it out on the counter
  • Trying not to spill any coffee, and sweeping up any that did fall out of the little Keurig reusable cup.
  • Rinsing the dishes well before putting them in the dishwasher
  • Taking time in my journaling instead of phoning it in
  • Not pounding on the keys of my computer. I hunt and peck when I type, so I can really bang on it if I am not mindful. I am trying to maintain an awareness of each key as I type.

These things leave my kitchen cleaner, cause me to be more intentional with my day, cut down on misspelled words and will prolong the life of my computer.

Intention in every moment and taking care of the things we have are mindful practices. 

This idea isn’t new. It is much of the premise of Practicing the Presence of God and the study of Zen. This is where things like the Japanese Tea Ceremony and using archery or calligraphy as meditation come from. In Judaism there are prayers of gratitude for everything, including using the bathroom.

What would happen if you looked for the beauty and sacredness in every task you perform today?

What would it be like to remain mindful of every action, no matter how mundane or automatic it is?

Is there anything to be unhappy about if we cherish every moment we have?

Thanks for reading.