The Mindfulness Edge by Matt Tenney

The Mindfulness Edge by Matt Tenney

Author:Matt Tenney
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781119183181
Publisher: Wiley
Published: 2016-03-07T00:00:00+00:00

There are, of course, many more activities that we engage in daily. Eventually, we may reach a point in our practice where we're making the effort to be mindfully self-aware during every moment that doesn't require us to actively plan, analyze information, or otherwise be actively engaged with the thinking mind. We'll gradually replace our current habit of becoming the thinking mind as our default mode of being with the new habit of becoming and remaining mindfully self-aware as our default mode of being. However, to start the practice, I recommend you start your list with the simple, mundane activities that don't require you to engage with others or your own thinking, such as the activities listed above.

The second step is to pick one of the activities from your list and commit to making the effort to train awareness by being mindful during that activity each time you perform it, for one week. For instance, let's imagine that you start with brushing the teeth.

What is brushing the teeth typically like for you? If you're like most people, brushing the teeth is something that you rush through to get on to what's next, and you're likely thinking about all sorts of things while you're brushing the teeth. Have you ever paused in the middle of brushing the teeth and started over because you forgot which parts of the mouth you had brushed due to being lost in thought?

Let's look at what brushing the teeth is like as a mindfulness practice and how that's different from how we normally brush the teeth. When you get ready to start brushing the teeth, you could pause for one in breath and one out breath, opening your awareness to whatever you notice right now within you or around you. This simple pause is a very important part of mindfulness training during daily activities. The pause helps reestablish mindfulness in the event you were caught in your thinking, and it also helps you mentally commit to making the effort to be mindful throughout the activity of brushing the teeth.

Your only goal when brushing the teeth should be to know that you are brushing the teeth, almost as though you are observing yourself brush the teeth, aware of what each moment of brushing the teeth is like. Thoughts will likely arise quite often during the 2 minutes recommended for brushing the teeth. That's perfectly fine and quite natural.

There's no need to push thoughts away or try to get rid of them. Your job is simply to notice when there is thinking or when there isn't, which allows you to keep from being distracted by your thinking. In any moment that you're aware of your thinking, you are not caught in that thinking, which means you can be aware of what else is happening while you brush the teeth.

You may notice what the muscles in the body feel like, what the brush feels like in the hand, what the bristles feel like on the teeth and gums, what sounds are present, or perhaps even what breathing in and out is like.


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