Imagine not the horror or total inconvenience of this current quarantine channel but let’s use this as we may anything that appears initially as problematic and full of woes. I wish to use all these inconveniences as opportunities. It ain’t easy but I’m preferring to move forward this positivity rather than the typical behavior I often succumb to, the being petty, complaining and moving more towards Separation than Oneness… but more of that later.
One morning I found myself looking for my wooden meditation stool and as I was walking to take it to another room I decided to use Thich Nhat Hanh’s slow mindfulness walking and it surprised me that slowing down the body can often slow down the incessant mental chatter as well, that inner chatter of complaining, comparing, rushing etc. ad nauseum.
What an opportunity eac situation arises to either bitch and complain or even gravitate to the most juicy conspiracy theory and post them everywhere or to try what I had practiced decades ago.
Of course all these types of mindfulness practices can be used anywhere and at anytime they come in handy to surrender to certain mindfulness practices during or especially during the times of incessant social media and replying and moving in the dualities between hate and more hate.
I write this and I am doing this for myself but I thought it be cool to post this article to see how others are using the quaranteeing.
I’ll just list a few things that you the reader can laugh, scoff at immediately or use them as an experiment and see how you feel about the experience. One challenging human behavior is eating. When I’m hungry I’m prone to gulp and swallow with only a few bites. Now that I’m writing an article about this, especially since I feel the need to list things truthfully with perhaps some humor. I can hear you laughing already if you are reading this especially if you’ve never accomplished or struggled through a meditation retreat for three or 10 days.
A perfect time well they are all perfect but some are more perperfect then others. Egads my vision of Trump using that word “perfect” just entered my mind. Sigh… does mindfulness practice include judging others? Yep, Bob it does.
So I will continue. If you have no clue about SLOW walking or mindful walking meditation you can either watch the master Thich Nhat Hanh the famous and very popular Vietnamese Buddhist teacher.
I was privileged to be at a retreat at Spirit Rock in Marin County where he led a retreat. He walks quite slowly so it was quite a scene seeing people follow him walking slowly as they followed him on various paths on the property. And it’s slow … if you tried it in your neighborhood neighbors may try to help you since it could be confused as sleepwalking. But it takes time and practice to acquire the skill and you don’t have to go outside in daylight to do it. You could do it in the kitchen when moving to the living room or the garage to the bathroom or walk in from the kitchen to the living room. It’s your retreat. You can set it up anywhere you want and I’m sure Google will have plenty of books, articles, video clips and experts talking about the health benefits of walking slowly and mindfully (they are not exclusively separate).
So it’s all up to you. I initially thought of this because I felt the need to sit more (after hearing about our need as a global population to quarantine) and after I dug out my meditation stool out of storage I decided to add some slow walking exercises and then it grew to why not write an article and see if others may find it valuable.
Maybe a roommate or friend or brother or sister or parents or your children wants to do it as well, or not. Maybe limit social media to two hours a day, or don’t do it down the isles of Safeway or Grocery Outlet (well of course you can do anything you want…) And you can write me about your experiences and add them to a Facebook page called Mindfulness Retreat
Maybe you want to do it for 14 hours while you were awake or just do it for an hour and see how it goes. I will give some more options or ideas and then you are on your own here or here are some suggestions.
Well cutting vegetables for your dinner meal you could turn the music off and do slow chopping vegetables or mindfully going into the refrigerator and picking and choosing what you need to prepare a meal, or when you get in your car pause for a few seconds and put your seatbelt mindfully with attention. That’s basically what this is all about, attention to the stop sign coming up, attention to putting the seatbelt on, maybe if you have a habit of turning on the radio you can experiment with turning it off and listening to the silence or hearing the rain on your car window. As you can see there are countless ways to do this in the privacy of your car, room, apartment, yoga studio or even walking from the carport or garage to the living room or kitchen with new food supplies.
This is also a clever way to have a an interesting chat with your roommate and their kids if you have children or teenagers. Also I think mindfulness is also contributing to being attentive to your thoughts or planning or rehashing a fight you might’ve had with an IRS agent. To me mindfulness means attention like I’m having more attention to my handwriting since I’m going to have to read it into the software that turns my voice into text. So if attention is better for you than mindfulness, go use it. It reminds me of the novel Alduous Huxley who wrote a book called ISLAND (the same novelist who wrote BRAVE NEW WORLD and countless others), in one scene the main character sees a flock of birds and they are all screeching the word ATTENTION!
So I think I covered it smoothly if you have any questions email me or call me or if you have comments you can leave them at the Facebook page (https://bit.ly/33KgB1s) or email me at [email protected] Or share your comments at the Facebook page and tell your friends about it. The main article, this piece, will be at Hopedance.org as well who is specific link is here www.hopedance.org: