My apologies for a lack of writing last week. It has been a particularly busy time for me as I prepare for upcoming immersions and also as my daughter shifts into new levels of awareness and person-hood. It is such a unique and bountiful challenge to be present with a baby as she continuously opens her eyes to the world. It is truly a teaching in these very concepts each and every moment I allow myself to be fully present with her.
My husband and I have made a point to reapply effort to our meditation practice since Miya was born. We both recognize how vital it is to take time to practice mindfulness and now that we have a child, we also recognize how much this will allow us to hold space for her and her evolution as an aware and mindful little being.
Practicing mindfulness is like working a muscle. The more we practice, the easier it becomes to access that muscle, most especially in triggering or challenging or dull moments. Reapplying oneself to mindfulness with a sense of joy and ease is Right Effort, or die Gründliche Anstrengung. The Right Mindfulness aspect is the act of recognizing the texture and feelings and breath of this moment. And now this one. That is Right Mindfulness, or die Gründliche Achtsamkeit.
We certainly are reminded of the great need for mindfulness when life hands us intense shifts such as the loss of a loved one or the birth of a baby. But the teachings as well as our own experience tell us that actually our life is worth tending to in all moments.
For a simple mindfulness exercise at any time during your day:
- Pause and feel your feet touching earth, or your sitting bones if you are sitting down. Feel that experience from the inside out: the tingling or weight or heat of the feet or the seat. Note any other sensation you experience while touching ground.
- Connect to your breath by feeling the texture and sense of breath in your nostrils or the back of the throat. Maybe you feel that your stomach or chest move as you breathe.
- Anytime you notice that your attention has wandered or you have lost connection to ground and breath, simply return to these aspects of the present moment. No judgement or commentary is necessary. Each time you notice yourself wandering, simply and kindly return with an inner smile, joyful that you have the capacity to return to presence.