Monday, March 26, 2012

Mindful Living Monday: An Introduction

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© 2012 Sean M. Madden. All Rights Reserved.

Update (31 Mar 12): Visit the #mlmon page for important new information.

Following last week's successful launch of Writing Prompt Thursday (#wpthu), this post marks the launch of our second online community, Mindful Living Monday (#mlmon).

Whereas Writing Prompt Thursday is a community centered around a weekly writing prompt to help both beginners and professionals kickstart their writing, or to inspire their writing to flow in fresh, new ways, Mindful Living Monday is organized around a weekly tip to carry into your day and, thereby, get your week off to a mindful start.

Both communities, and conversations, are initiated via a blog post which will be published to Mindful Living Guide each Monday and Thursday just after midnight (GMT: London).

To automatically receive the Mindful Living Monday and Writing Prompt Thursday posts in your inbox first thing each Monday and Thursday morning, click the button, below. You'll also be amongst the first to receive all new MLG blog posts as they're published ...

 
 
As a participant, you're welcome — though there's never an obligation or expectation, as the focus remains, always, on the doing — to share your thoughts, reflections or short pieces of writing in the comments below that day's blog post.

Each post will also be hashtagged in Twitter and Google+ as #mlmon and #wpthu, respectively. So, in addition to being able to do searches on these, you'll also be able to use the hashtags to connect with other #mlmon and #wpthu participants around the world. Just be sure to add the relevant hashtag within your tweet or post so that others can easily connect with you.

Here's today's #mlmon tip ...


Bring a simple, uncomplicated awareness to your physical body, including the ebb and flow of your breath. Simply notice — and, indeed, honor — everything which you feel, all the myriad sensations of being alive in this present moment.The rise and fall of your abdomen or chest from your breathing in and out. Perhaps the passage of air entering your nostrils, passing through your sinuses, over the back of your throat, and filling your lungs. Maybe you'll feel your heartbeat, or the flow of air across your skin or through your hair.

The practice is simply to notice — without judgment — whatever sensations are present, and learning to honor them, even those which we may tend to think of as uncomfortable. We're simply acknowledging all within our present moment experience, the whole caboodle. In other words, we're bringing our awareness to reality just as it is, without commentary, without judgment, without wishing anything away. Simply noticing, or witnessing the world within and without.

Do this for 3-5 minutes, ideally several times over the course of your day, as a means to check in, to see what your body might be trying to tell you, to help you process stress and other harmful emotions out of your system, and to simply relax and recharge your batteries by occasionally taking these brief, energizing breaks.

Roll Call: Are you going to participate in today's #mlmon challenge? If so, and you have a Twitter account, please tweet your intention by clicking on the Retweet button in the tweet, below. But, first, why not Follow Mindful Living Guide while you're at it:


Also, let's get the conversation flowing in the comments below. Tell us about your experience of putting today's tip into practice. How does it feel to bring your awareness to everything within this moment? What challenges do you face, and how are you overcoming these? Also, we'd greatly appreciate your helping us to spread word of Mindful Living Monday by clicking on any of the below social media share buttons. Thank you for your help.

8 comments:

  1. Welcome to the launch of Mindful Living Monday!

    Launching two online communities in less than a week can take its toll. And, wouldn't you know it, I woke up this morning with the first telltale signs of a cold. I'm already loading up on vitamin C, but recognize, too, that this is part of the practice — opening into whatever arises, including those above mentioned uncomfortable sensations and aspects of life which we might prefer weren't present.

    So one of my challenges today is to stay aware of all within this present moment reality, including the first inklings of a cold — while being thankful that my body has the natural intelligence to return me to good health.

    I've been aware, too, all these English-winter and autumn months past of how fortunate both Mufidah and I have been that neither of us has been ill, while countless folk around us have been less fortunate.

    What challenges are you facing today?

    And, in closing, thank you for joining us for this first-ever Mindful Living Monday.

    With warm regards,

    Sean

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  2. And I spilled the hot cuppa tea that I was so enjoying with my porridge this morning! Sent great waves of potentially staining liquid all over the table, floor and the cream-colored fabric of one of the chairs at our dining room table.

    Mufidah displayed her naturally zen-master presence throughout! :-D

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  3. Mufidah! You know tea is a great natural dye so now you can get Sean to dye all the other chair covers too!

    Challenges for today? Countless ... but what a Glorious day!

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  4. Absolutely, on all counts! Must get myself into the sunshine ...

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your (wisely anonymous) comment! :-D

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  5. I found this hard today - monkey mind very insistent. Tomorrow I shall find a guided meditation on youtube to help. I need the peace. Anna

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  6. Hello Anna,

    Thank you for participating in today's first-ever Mindful Living Monday, and for then taking a moment to leave your above comment.

    A few important things to keep in mind: 1) be gentle with yourself, and try not to judge that you found the practice difficult, 2) trust — until you know firsthand — that the practice will become easier over time, that it can take a while for our monkey minds to settle down, and 3) don't concern yourself with achieving a goal.

    If we try to quiet the monkey mind through thought, or any other doing, we'll, in fact, fuel it. There's nothing we need to do to quiet the monkey mind; rather, it will, of its own accord, become quieter when we stop fueling it by hooking into thoughts, by judging ourselves, and by trying to "do something".

    Give yourself a lot of space in which to be supremely gentle with yourself, and allow everything which is part of your present moment to be just as it is while you practice bringing that simple, uncomplicated awareness to your world, both within and without. Don't try to change anything, to wish anything away (including monkey mind), or to wish for anything.

    Simply observe reality as it is, without judgment or commentary. Stay with the physical sensations, be curious about them, but don't engage them via thought. Simply witness them.

    You might also find the practice easier after exercise — be it walking, doing yoga, swimming, or what have you, as exercise itself helps us to relax, both our minds and our bodies.

    Let me know if you have any further questions. And, for now, I wish you well, and thank you again.

    With warm regards,

    Sean

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  7. Replies
    1. Your comments so helpful.
      Thank you

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