You may sometimes find yourself longing to sit and do nothing, yet when the opportunity presents itself, you may not know how to enjoy it.
That’s largely because our society is very goal-oriented. We tend to always be going in a certain direction and having a particular aim in mind. Buddhism, on the other hand, has a certain respect for enlightened “aimlessness.” That teaching says you don’t have to put something in front of you and run after it, because everything is already there inside you. The same is true with sitting.
Don’t sit in order to attain a goal. Each moment of sitting meditation brings you back to life. Whatever you are doing, whether it’s watering the garden, brushing your teeth, or doing the dishes, see if you can do it in a way that is “aimless.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
15 practical steps Thich Nhat Hanh says we can take to bring mindfulness to our work:
- 1. Start your day with 10 minutes of sitting in meditation.
- 2. Take the time to sit down and enjoy eating breakfast at home.
- 3. Remind yourself every day of your gratitude for being alive and having 24 brand-new hours to live.
- 4. Try not to divide your time into “my time” and “work.” All time can be your own time if you stay in the present moment and keep in touch with what’s happening in your body and mind. There’s no reason why your time at work should be any less pleasant than your time anywhere else.
- 5. Resist the urge to make calls on your cell phone while on your way to and from work, or on your way to appointments. Allow yourself this time to just be with yourself, with nature and with the world around you.
- 6. Arrange a breathing area at work where you can go to calm down, stop and have a rest. Take regular breathing breaks to come back to your body and to bring your thoughts back to the present.
- 7. At lunchtime, eat only your food and not your fears or worries. Don’t eat lunch at your desk. Change environments. Go for a walk.
- 8. Make a ritual out of drinking your tea. Stop work and look deeply into your tea to see everything that went into making it: the clouds and the rain, the tea plantations and the workers harvesting the tea.
- 9. Before going to a meeting, visualize someone very peaceful, mindful and skillful being with you. Take refuge in this person to help stay calm and peaceful.
- 10. If you feel anger or irritation, refrain from saying or doing anything straight away. Come back to your breathing and follow your in- and out-breath until you’ve calmed down.
- 11. Practice looking at your boss, your superiors, your colleagues or your subordinates as your allies and not as your enemies. Recognize that working collaboratively brings more satisfaction and joy than working alone. Know that the success and happiness of everyone is your own success.
- 12. Express your gratitude and appreciation to your colleagues regularly for their positive qualities. This will transform the whole work environment, making it much more harmonious and pleasant for everyone.
- 13. Try to relax and restore yourself before going home so you don’t bring accumulated negative energy or frustration home with you.
- 14. Take some time to relax and come back to yourself when you get home before starting on household chores. Recognize that multitasking means you’re never fully present for any one thing. Do one thing at a time and give it your full attention.
- 15. At the end of the day, keep a journal of all the good things that happened in your day. Water your seeds of joy and gratitude regularly so they can grow.
– Thich Nhat Hanh
Meditation is one path to self realization and tranquility. One of the most important meditation techniques is the mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness is a mental state that enables you to stay with a calm mind. It helps you stay aware of all the physical and mental activities of the present. It is a form of Buddhist meditation that has been practiced for eons. According to Buddha’s noble eight fold path, it is the seventh element. Mindfulness develops wisdom of the human mind.
Insight is another name for mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation helps to concentrate on the present. This technique allows you to let go of the past and future thoughts, hindering a certain peace of mind. During mindfulness meditation, you stay aware of the mind’s thoughts that are going on, and any actions that are happening in the present moment. This meditation technique helps to focus on the real present and develop concentration.
To really understand the meaning of and the benefits of mindfulness meditation you will need to practice it. The basic preparation and guidelines to practice this meditation technique properly is discussed here: Beginning Mindfulness Meditation.
Found at: Meditation Guidance
Here we have basic preparation and guidelines for a beginning practice in mindfulness meditation:
Create a favorable environment. This is one of the most important things to do. Mindfulness for beginners is quite easy, if you take that all important step and get started.
There should not be any sort of distraction in the place that you will select for practicing this meditation technique. This place should be calm and quiet. There should not be any sound or noise to distract you and disturb you during your meditation. This place should be such where you can forget all your pain, sorrow and can get rid of all your stress. This place should emit a sacred feeling. It can be a religious place or any place of your choice which gives you positive vibes. You don’t need to be a practicing Buddhist to see the benefits that come from a mindfulness practice.
Starting your meditation is a rather simple process. It may help to start meditating for just short periods, but do so frequently. Do not sit for long periods of meditation initially. You’ll need to slowly adjust to the meditation techniques for best results. Utilizing a meditation timer is a great way to keep track of time without worrying about a clock.
Having the correct posture is crucial step in mindfulness for beginners. There is a strong connection between the body and the mind. Hence, to control your mind you need to control your physical posture. The right way of meditating is to have an upright erect posture. Think of the traditional cross legged (lotus) pose. Keeping an erect posture helps with concentration, though you should not experience any discomfort. When it comes to meditation for beginners staying focused is one of the biggest hurdles.
Your focus should be down around the few inches around your nose. The eyes can remain open and still not be distracted by your surroundings.
The goal here is to focus on your breath during meditation. Your natural breathing process should be the object of concentration during your meditation. You may focus on your exhale as it passes through the back of your nasal cavity or you can feel the air as it escapes past your nostrils. If you get distracted, that’s okay, just refocus and feel your breath as you come back to the meditation.
Remove your thoughts and focus on the present through your breathing. It may be easier said than done, but this is what we strive for. Initially it will be very difficult to focus and concentrate your mind. You will feel yourself getting distracted by the constant chatter of the mind. By feeling your breath to the core, you can gradually root your mind in the present and stay focused.
These are the very basic fundamentals, as they relate to practicing mindfulness meditation. There are many Buddhist texts and guided meditations that will certainly help advance your practice.
Found at: Meditation Guidance
Night is tremendously beautiful. It is a good time for meditation. It helps you release the tensions of the day easily and effortlessly. This particular meditation will increase your connection to the Magickal Energy inherent in darkness, starlight, and moonlight.
Here’s a very simple, very effective meditation:
Before you go to bed at night, alone or with a partner, sit silently, look into the darkness. Become one with the dark, disappear into it. Look at the stars — feel the distance, the silence, the emptiness, and use night for your meditation.
Sitting on your bed, or on your balcony, or in your garden, doing nothing…just feeling, just being there. The day is worldly, the night is more spiritual. Over time you will feel tremendously in tune with night. The world is asleep. Everything stops, traffic, noises, the mundane world is quiet. People, their unconsciousness, bad attitudes, have all disappeared into sleep. The atmosphere is clean with no jarring note.
As you start enjoying the beauty of the night, you will feel it more and more. As you absorb the tranquility, serenity, and comfort night offers, your sleep will then carry a meditational and in the morning you feel refreshed in a whole new way.
Source: Pragito Dove
A meditative awareness comes like a whisper, not a shout, with noiseless footsteps. If you are full of occupations, busyness and noise it might come and wait, but then it will leave.
Set aside some time — 3, 5, 10, 15 minutes or longer — preferably every day, for sitting in silence. It doesn’t matter where you are, just sit, close your eyes, and wait. Don’t do anything, just sit in great waiting with an open, trusting heart. Then if something is to “happen” you will be ready to receive it. If nothing happens, at least you’ve had this “down time” to do nothing. No matter what, after sitting silently for a while you will feel more in touch with yourself, more peaceful.
When and Where:
Most people find that it works best to do this at the same time every day. It doesn’t matter what time you choose, but setting aside a set time, say as a mid-morning break or during your lunch hour, helps make it part of your daily routine. When the inner consciousness knows that the outer consciousness is waiting for it, there is a greater possibility of a meeting.
As you practice doing nothing, by and by an understanding will start to arise between you and the meditative state. As this understanding grows you will start to feel a subtle quality of relaxation, of serenity woven into the texture of your whole day.
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