May 5, 2015

The Best Effect, by far, of Meditation.

kid cross legged chair meditating

I’m going to let you in on the best-kept secret about being a mindfulness meditation practitioner.

And it isn’t that the food at meditation retreats is often delicious.

And it isn’t that other meditators are the nicest people you could meet.

And it isn’t that sitting meditation does great things for your posture and opening up the hip joints.

It’s this: once you skillfully learn to steer your attention away from your thoughts and to your breath in formal meditation practice, then you actually become able to steer your attention away from your thoughts and move it anywhere you want.

And this is amazing because there are so many awesome places to pay attention to.

This is really what mindfulness meditation is: a way to get control over where our attention goes.

And this is great news.

Because most of the time our attention is on little worries, big fears, ruminating about the past and fretting about the future.

And this becomes boring and unpleasant very quickly.

The main concept of mindfulness meditation is that life only exists in this moment, and if we bring our attention to this moment there is a lot of pleasantness to experience.

Here are 41 examples of things we can experience fully in the moment:

  1. Air in nostrils
  2. Saliva on tongue
  3. The texture of clothes against our skin
  4. Another person’s hand in ours
  5. A pet’s fur
  6. Feet against grass
  7. Fingers on a keyboard
  8. Hair against our cheek (another’s or our own)
  9. The texture of our own skin
  10. Hot soup in our throats
  11. Sweat
  12. The sight of bubbles in water
  13. Hot shower trickling against our scalp
  14. Soap slipping on skin
  15. Metal necklace against chest
  16. Leaves crunching under foot
  17. Smell of leaves
  18. Garden soil (all senses)
  19. Taste of tears on tongue
  20. The sound of a single guitar string
  21. The sticky cling of skin against skin
  22. The sound of scissors
  23. The weight of a knife
  24. The sound of a baby’s gurgle
  25. The sight of a mom swaying
  26. The first embrace of water surrounding us (after jumping in)
  27. Softness of a pillow
  28. Coziness of a blanket
  29. Weight of a book in our hands
  30. Heart pounding in anticipation
  31. Creases of cheek skin while we smile
  32. Stretching sensation of muscles being pushed past their comfort zone
  33. Gurgling water moving down a creek
  34. Toot toot of a horn instument
  35. Shrieking little girls
  36. Intense little boy sounds
  37. The light transitioning from day to night
  38. Tongue against lip (our own or another’s)
  39. Pulsing, shaking, releasing of orgasm
  40. Gravity holding us to the earth
  41. Anywhere we are, whatever is right in front of us, if the mind labels it as awesome, suckey or downright horrible, there is probably some sensory experience that is delightful to experience if we just steer our attention in the right direction.


Author: Ruth Lera

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Photo: Elephant archives

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