125. Just relax.

As more and more books are published espousing the enormous benefits of meditation and we are exposed to increasing numbers of celebrities proclaiming its benefits, it seems the perfect time to introduce The Habit of Mindfulness.

I have completed several meditation programs, attended workshops, read is much as I could get my hands on and yet have never seemed quite able to attain the states of inner silence and peacefulness the gurus speak of.

I, along with several friends, have all developed what we call The Habit of Mindfulness which simply means setting aside two or three short – 5 to 10 minutes – periods every day to just sit quietly and be as calm as possible while focussing on nothing more than our own breathing.

Those friends and I have all abandoned attempts at “clearing our minds” as we have all experienced the seemingly impossible task of preventing random, unsolicited thoughts and chatter popping into our heads and occupying our consciousness while we are trying our darnedest to empty our minds of any thoughts.

I have on many occasions spoken with regular meditation aficionados who tell me that with practice and patience perfect stillness and thoughtlessness is attainable. My wife will attest to the fact that while I frequently practice the thoughtlessness part, the stillness is something I’ve never been able to achieve during my many attempts at meditation.

In discussing the benefits of The Habit of Mindfulness with those friends we all agree we have experienced significant and valuable benefits which, in addition to an amazing feeling of relaxation, includes feelings of being reenergized, a calming effect that better equips us to manage the daily stresses of life and, on occasion, the sudden awareness of a long sought after solution to an existing challenge or problem.

Personally, having the attention span of a gnat. I find 10 minutes is about all my mind will allow before it takes off wildly in search of excitement and adventure.

Every six weeks I attend a clinic at which I receive medication administered by IV over a 2 to 3 hour period.

The clinic is an extremely relaxed place and each patient lounges comfortably in a recliner while receiving their drugs.

The protocol requires that blood pressure be taken several times and I’ve made it a practice to test the benefits of The Habit of Mindfulness by practising for the approximately 10 minutes between the first and second times my blood pressure is taken.

I have been blessed with perfectly normal blood pressure and yet each time I do this I have noticed the number of the second reading have been markedly lower than the first.

I’ve been practising The Habit of Mindfulness for so long now that I no longer need to remind myself to set aside 10 minutes to do so.

My body does this for me by gently nudging me at certain times throughout the day to set aside everything I’m doing, sit comfortably in the chair and, well, just do nothing.

For those of you who would really like an energy boost during the day and prefer to do so without Red Bull I would highly suggest you adopt The Habit of Mindfulness.

It may take a little while before you begin to benefit from the few minutes spent in solitude but it is one of those things that after you have experienced its rewards once you will want to do so again, and again.

I know many of you already do something similar and I would love to hear from you. Please share with me the benefits you have received from this type of practice and for those of you willing to give it a try, The Habit of Mindfulness is one to which you will quickly become addicted and this is the kind of addiction you will want to carry with you for the rest of your life.

Enjoy.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

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