Mindfulness on Monday
I have been reading the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh and others on mindfulness and tried to practice mindful walking and eating this morning. It is a lot harder and easier than I thought it would be. Mindfulness is the practice of being fully conscious in the present moment (see “A Mindful Way: Eight Weeks to Happiness” by Jeanie Seward-Magee). I went for my morning “constitutional” — a one hour brisk walk and tried to free my mind from any thoughts other than observing the flora and fauna along my way. What a beautiful day; bright, sunny, pleasantly warm, and fresh. I saw and was cheered by numerous birds: sparrows, house finches, grackles, mourning doves, pigeons, robins, and even a red winged blackbird (the first I’ve seen in the city). Here’s a photo I snatched from the internet.I also saw a baby bunny (they abound at this time of the year), a new foal at the zoo, and a pitch black squirrel that looks just like Ek Balam! As I walked along the path I saw so many flowers — many weeds, bushes, and trees in bloom. I tried to walk in wonder of it all. I got in my full work-out and felt so refreshed in mind and spirit. I ate my breakfast afterward in a semi-mindful manner. This is REALLY hard for me. Since I was a kid I have always liked to read while eating — even if was just the cereal box. Mindfulness prods us to savor each morsel — to feel the texture, note the aromas, and enjoy the taste. Mindful eating prompts us to appreciate where our food comes from and to give recognition to the people that work the land to provide us with our meals. I will say that my strawberries were especially tasty with chopped mint and stevia from my garden.