As a guy who tries to live a mindful life I recognise that practice is the foundation, backbone and rhythm of my intention. Practice is a word that is often used alongside meditation, in that what we experience is most accurately described as a meditation practice. This is helpful. A practice implies that it is something we are working on, that perfection is not an expectation and that any experience is possible during the practice.
Over the last few years I have developed a daily mediation practice, a regular mindful photography practice and, this year, a regular gratitude practice (more on that next week), with my sister in Canada. Also over the course of this year I have come to see this process of blogging as a practice. Let me explain.
Mindfulness is defined by Jon Kabat Zinn as, “Paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.” This is indeed a lifetime practice and one that we can return to any moment when we notice that we have become adrift on life’s turbulent swirling current.
So, we can apply mindfulness to any and every activity and action of life. This idea has been explored by many. There are books available on mindful walking, parenting, drawing, ageing, bereavement, baking, work, urban living, art and many more. Mindfulness is a media sensation.
I became aware that I was bringing this present moment attention to my writing in the late spring 2015 when I started sharing my life experiences and challenges through this blog. The practice of honestly writing about one’s life experiences is nothing new of course. Diaries, autobiographies and memoirs have been a regular element of the book publishing industry for hundreds of years. The difference is personal.
For the first time in my life I started writing about my vulnerabilities and feelings. This was an instinctive reaction to life throwing unexpected curve balls at me. Instead of avoiding those feelings, or internalising, I chose to share. The reaction surprised me. I had contact and support from people I knew and those I had never met. But most interesting were the repercussions throughout my life.
These ripples, caused by the stone of honesty dropping into my pool of life, continue to be felt through my life. Something that I intend to return to as a continuing element of my mindful life. Writing these blog posts will continue to be a practice, a core element, one of reflection and authenticity. It feels like an essential aspect of my mindful life, so expect more soon!