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A Writer’s Mindful Moment
Because we all need a little presence
Buzzwords float around us: mindfulness this, yoga that, meditation and peace. But what do these things really look like in the modern world?
Meditation, to me, is the ability to observe our thoughts and question which parts of them are inherent and which are a result of our conditioning. Many of us, in the East and the West, have a difficult time reaching our ideal “meditation state,” where our minds are quiet, the thoughts have slowed or stopped, and we just are. But, really, I don’t know how useful that image of meditation is since the advent of smartphones or televisions, or even radio. It seems there is hardly ever a time we get the chance to sit still and listen to the “natural” world around us—with all the cars and fans and shoes on the pavement—let alone the opportunity to sit and listen to the natural world of our own systems.
So how do we make that time? How do we start this journey inward so that we can find calmness in calamity, quiet in the storm, or peace in our pastimes? One step at a time, navigating away from judging ourselves when it doesn’t work out exactly as we envisioned. And we definitely *don’t* start with a stock image of an ascetic in our minds! It takes times to tune back in to ourselves, and even more time to shift through all the thoughts, feelings, and explorations that pop up as we step into our mindfulness and meditation practice.
Maybe what the monkey mind needs is somebody to pay attention to it. Treat it like a child—one that wants to be heard, seen, felt, and understood. Take a while today and see if you can work with this new image of meditation held in your mind. Don’t try to create a silence of the mind, but allow the thoughts to ebb and flow, tense and relax, and then recognize yourself as the spectator for all that comes up. Before long, the heard mind tends to give way to some semblance of quiet.
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Let me know how it works for you, and watch this video from Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche to get a deeper look into mindfulness and meditation. He begins by asking the audience “Can you see me? […] Can you hear me?” And when the crowd answers in the affirmative, he gives a genuinely elated and simple explanation that “That is meditation.” And it is! There are so many great gems in this video, so let today be a start to your journey into a greater sense of inner peace. And from that bit of peace can you create.
Fun fact about me, I’m a yogi and a yoga facilitator. We here at Think In Ink have been playing with the idea of writer-friendly/creative-centric yoga and mindfulness pieces so please chime in if that’s something you’d want!