My children gave me 'the little book of mindfulness' for my Christmas present this year. It's a way of being that I think about a lot and try to practice every day - I was thrilled with it, and with the fact that they know me so well!
Mindfullness, as I have mentioned before in this blog, is the practice of trying to live in the present moment - paying conscious attention to NOW. It isn't always easy - that is why we have to practice it!
"The breath provides a natural gently moving target to focus on in your meditation; it grounds you in the hear and now. You cannot take a breath for 5 minutes ago, or for 5 minutes' time. You can only take a breath for now."
- Mark Williams and Danny Penham from - 'Mindfullness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world'
To help with breathing, the book suggests repeating a mantra - it can be as simple as 'I am breathing in, I am breathing out.' It's a very personal thing and I guess in time you find your own mantras which help you. I like this simple one though - it's a place to start.
This section of the book went on to mention counting breaths to keep you a bit more focused, which really appealed to me! The use of mala beads was suggested. Mala beads are actually Buddhist prayer beads, used as a traditional tool to count the number of times a mantra is recited whilst meditating. Here they suggest using each bead to count a mindful breath.
|Traditional mala beads|
So Jess (11) and I went shopping this morning for beads and bracelet thread. I wanted a make a mala bracelet to wear all the time as a reminder to me and as a ready tool of mindfulness. We came home and made it straight away, and here it is - a bead for each special mantra breath, and a little flower to remind me 'to stop and smell the flowers!' To start with, my aim is to sit quietly once a day and breathe a bracelet-ful of mindful breaths, counting along the beads as I do so. It seems to me a small but very important daily thing to do.
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog, and I am always pleased to hear from you.
Happy nearly New Year!