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by Karlin

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Mindfull Dishwashing

Mindfullness is taking back the mind

Date:   9/11/2010 1:48:44 AM   ( 4 y ) ... viewed 4252 times

Have you ever paid attention to your arm moving? Silly question, I know, but play along for a minute.

Maybe try closing your eyes, and then raising one arm up and put that hand on the other side's shoulder. There, feel the arm moving, and also just pay attention to what it feels like to touch your shoulder.

I guess your eyes are open again...

If every movement you made was done with that kind of awareness, you are doing a type of "mindfullness exercise".

There is a retreat in the Kootenay's where one rule is that the dishes have to be done "mindfully", and without making a sound [or at least with an absolute minimum of sound]. To do that you need to move slowly and deliberately, and you really have to pay attention to what you are doing; you will have to be mindfull of your arms and hands moving.

Try it!! Do a load of dishes and be very aware of every movement, and do not make any noise at all, other than the running water to rinse them with. No clanking, no dropping, and only one thing at a time. Be very aware of every inch of space your hands and arms move through. Breath deeply and steadily - that will help as much as anything. Also, keep those "random thoughts" from taking your attention away, just stay focused on the dishes. You can even say, to yourself or out loud, the name of each dish you are washing, or some mantra such as "clean, clean, clean" to keep those thoughts away. Keep breathing deep and steady.

See? There is LOTS going on if we pay attention to it. By doing so, we train our brains to stay on the task at hand.

There are several such exercises that are meant to teach, or train, us how to live mindfully. We learn to pay attention to mental processes such as how we are reacting to thoughts or situations.

Many people say that they discover a whole new world when they do these exercises. This practice used to be known as "meditation", but that word seems to have been poisened in modern society to the point where people just turn away when they hear it. Nonetheless, the lessons and skills learned are at least as valuable today as they were 1000s of years ago. It has been true all this time, and it still is true, that the human mind becomes scattered and overwhelmed by our steady mental chatter, those random thoughts that we all have, all the time. We CAN control that, to some degree.

I will post some more exercises here in the coming weeks, now that summer is over. I hope you get something out of them - next: "The Three Raisons" {exciting, eh?}

K



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