In our daily lives, we all owe it to ourselves to neglect our minds to put our brains in a lazy, neglected and unconscious state. It is as if we allow ourselves to be shaped by bland and repetitive consumerism, our individuality being chiseled away by a boredom that does not even give us the trouble to challenge with any will.
Life does not have to be like this. We are all blessed with a powerful mind; but usually, people have forgotten or, most likely, never known how to use it. It is such a waste of our own greatest resource.
One way to get rid of the senseless quicksand is to gently train our minds, use mindfulness and meditation to bring ourselves stronger into the real world, and begin the process of controlling our minds and lives.
A Simple Mindfulness Meditation Exercise
As with any meditation session, you must come into a relaxed and comfortable position, close your eyes and then begin deep nasal breathing, concentrating your thoughts on breathing to put yourself in a meditative state.
Once you feel that you are calmed by your breathing and that your breath is under your rhythmic control, you can concentrate on your own body, part by part. I first learned this in yoga class, where we were taught to concentrate on the left foot first and to concentrate on it from a position above ourselves. Then slowly move your body up, left ankle, knee, thigh, and so on. When you reach your head, you do the same on the other side of the body: right shoulder, right elbow, right hand and so on.
Once you have finished the tour of your own body as if you were someone else examining it, it is time to open your eyes and increase your awareness of your surroundings.
Focus on every object in the room; it doesn’t have to be anything special: a cup on the coffee table, a vase, a plastic flower, everything. Try to maintain this focus for half a minute and then move on to any other object. You can repeat this several times, always focusing on your own body and breathing and creating a triple harmony with each object you focus on.
By using this simple mindfulness meditation, you increase awareness of yourself and your environment in a very gentle and simple way. It can serve as a prelude to a mental task, but can also be part of an ongoing mindfulness campaign to strengthen and expand the use of one’s mind.
For example, I write on most days, but sometimes I just don’t seem to be able to concentrate on what to write about. I find that this kind of exercise, even for only 10 minutes, will get me out of this inexplicable malaise, and I can go straight on and write what I should have written earlier.