We end the month with two lessons on mindfulness.
Last week we practiced gratitude. As I said last week, this is a wonderful practice that should be carried out each day. At one time I had a gratitude journal and I faithfully wrote an entry each day. Over time I became lax in this practice and eventually I dropped it all together.
Sometimes I would lie in bed and think of what I was grateful for that day as I fell asleep. But that approach, while fine, doesn’t feel quite as complete as putting pen to paper and writing out the words, “I am grateful for…..” Writing seems to make things feel more permanent, more “official,” more thought out.
So it was nice to return to this practice last week. How about you?
This Week’s Practice: Listen to Sounds
This is another favorite practice. The intent with this practice is to open your ears and listen to all sounds…to really listen. We are bombarded with sound each day, from the TV to the radio, our iPods, traffic, and chatter. We learn to block out many of the sounds in our daily life. The low rumble of the refrigerator. The barking of the neighbor’s dog.
But what if you listened to these sounds as if they were something new? Something you didn’t label or comment on. Simply just listened.
Can you hear the uniqueness in the sound?
Listening to sounds can also help quiet the overactive, yapping mind. That might be a good place to start. When your inner voice is going into overdrive, stop, tell it to quiet down, and just listen to the sounds around you.
Reflection: Even in what is called silence there is sound. To hear such subtle sound, the mind must be very quiet. –Jan Chozen Bays