Practising Mindfulness In Daily Life


practising mindfulness,how to practise mindfulness,mindfulness meditation training There are many daily opportunities for practising mindfulness in the simple everyday tasks and activities that we normally do on "auto-pilot".

Whilst we undertake these tasks our minds are "running free" with internal chatter and "mental noise".

These are excellent further opportunities to learn how to practise mindfulness.

Once you have got into the regular practise of sitting meditation, and also of observing your thoughts and emotional states throughout the day - and these practises are now becoming established as habits - let's step things up a bit and introduce the "washing the dishes" meditation!

Actually, it doesn't have to "washing the dishes" it can be any simple, boring, repetitive daily task. Here's what to do:


    How to start practising mindfulness in daily life


    # Start off by taking a few slow deliberate breaths, relax and rather than rushing into the task SLOW DOWN.

    # Your basic method for practising mindfulness is that you are going to slow right down and break the task of "washing the dishes" into a series of much smaller individual tasks - and here's the key to learning how to practise mindfulness - FOCUS YOUR WHOLE ATTENTION ON THE IMMEDIATE TASK IN HAND.

    # So, let's follow this one through, turn on the tap. Do it slowly and with your full attention. Feel the shape of the tap in your hand. Put your fingers in the flow of water coming out of the tap - and notice the feel of the water running over your fingers. Notice the feel of the temperature of the water.

    # Adjust the temperature of the water so that it feels about right.

    # Pick up the plug to your sink or kitchen wash basin and place into the sink outflow (or move your washing up bowl into the sink). PAY ATTENTION TO PRECISELY WHAT YOU ARE DOING!

    # Pick up the washing up cleaning liquid bottle and - PAYING FULL ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU ARE DOING - squirt some of the cleaning liquid into your washing up water.

    # Select a dirty plate or dish and place it in the water....

    # You get the idea?! Complete the whole process of "washing the dishes" in a slow deliberate manner with your full attention on each and every little task and action.

    # The "secret" to getting the hang of mindful washing up is to treat each smallest step as though quite literally your life depended on it - so imagine you were a bomb disposal expert and you were deactivating a bomb, or imagine you were a mountaineer climbing the north face of the Eiger.

    # The first time you do mindful washing up it will feel strange - but stick with it - it gets easier each time you do it.

    # See how long it takes you to wash the dishes mindfully and compare that with how long it "normally" takes you to wash the dishes. You may find that slowing down and doing it mindfully takes about the same time as it always did (or just a little bit longer).

    # Observe your mental state and your emotional state once you have completed mindful dish washing:-)




You will find a series of mindfulness activities in daily life, written by monastic members of Thich Nhat Hanh's Plum Village community, here: Art of Mindful Living

Once you have got into the habit of practising mindfulness with these simple repetitive daily tasks, take it to the next level by reading and applying some of these mindfulness exercises.




Return to How To Practise Mindfulness"

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