Few months ago, I came across a book about mindfulness while wandering in Akateeminen Bookstore in Helsinki. If you’ve ever felt your ground is shaken and daily life schedule overwhelms you, ” The miracle of mindfulness” can help you still your mind and get you balanced. Written by Thich Nhat Hanh, it is a guide to slow down our life and regain our present awareness. As a master of Zen and ” Farther of Mindfulness”, the author shows readers how to develop true understanding and peace. With his guidance, even a small act, like washing dishes or eating tangerine can become acts of meditation. Elegantly written, “The miracle of mindfulness” become a classic guide. It “sowed the seeds of a revolution ..powerful and relevant” ( Mark Williams, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Oxford).
Here are few absorbing points from the book:
- The essential discipline- Focus is the key
Whatever you are doing, put all attention on it without letting the thoughts of future interfere and distract.
If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not “washing the dishes to wash the dishes.” What’s more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can’t wash the dishes, the chances are we won’t be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future -and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life.”
- How to practice mindfulness?
Mindfulness itself is a life of awareness. In order to practice mindfulness, taking hold of one’s breath is advised. Breath indeed is a connection to consciousness. Whenever your mind is scattered, it’d better to used breath to take control of current situation again.
For example, when you are in pain or simply some painful memories from the past arise, we should treat those emotion gently, not resisting it, but living with it, making peace with it. Let go of everything with peace. Imagine you are like a pebble sinking to a riverbed. Detached from everything, it just goes down and reaches its destination. When you feel yourself like a pebble reaching the riverbed, you find a place of peacefulness. You are no longer pushed or pulled by anything.
According to the book, just quiet your breath and be aware of each breath. When breathing in a long breath, you know ” I am breathing in a long breath. When breathing out a long breath, you know : “I am breathing out a long breath”. You can start counting your breaths. For each breathing in and out, count 1, and continue to 10. Without focus and attention, you can easily lose the count. Once you lose the count, start over from 1 until you can keep the counting correct. As long as you truly focus, you can reach the points where you can forget the counting method, and concentrate on solely breathing.
- Where is miracle?
“Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
Maybe our busy and fast-track daily life makes it hard for us to recognize simple yet beautiful things.
Many people assume that walking on water or thin air is miracle, but miracles lie in everywhere around us.
Miracle is to walk on earth.
Or it’s simply a walk in the nature with a soothing and peaceful song 🙂
Wish you all great days and hope we’ll find peace within ourselves 🙂