Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Take A Break From Thinking

Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is a wonderful moment!

These words are from a book I am reading called Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh. The book is about practicing mindfulness in everyday life. The passage I read this morning was about how we all think too much. Most of us have a never ending tape loop in our minds that plays over and over. Much of what we think about is not worth thinking about. By focusing on our breath, we can reduce the amount of time wasted on unnecessary and potentially negative thinking. Realistically, we cannot stop all thinking. Many of life’s daily tasks require some level of intellectual activity. However, I give you this challenge. Today, when you are not involved in a task that requires you to think, don’t think. Between your tasks that require thinking, focus on your breath and enjoy the stillness that it will bring. If you choose to have a cup of coffee or tea during these moments, smell the aroma of the coffee or tea, really pay attention to the taste of your coffee or tea, and finally, enjoy it in a very mindful way. For those few moments let your attention be on your breathing and the experience of your beverage.  Be where you are and do what you are doing.  Such intentional focus is what mindfulness is all about.

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