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On Mindfulness

We live busy lives.  There are appointments to make, goals to achieve, and family and friends to engage with.  When we have a few moments there’s music to listen to, movies to watch, and plenty of browsing and chatting opportunities.  Away from our calendars, media, and the internet our minds remain busy with memories of the past and plans for what’s next.  So my question to you is, where is your moment of peace?

Two people walk in a park. One person's thought-bubble is cluttered with images. The other person's reflects the image of the park.

Enter mindfulness.  Mindfulness is defined as the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.  Yes, mindfulness does take practice, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sit on the floor chanting OM.  You can practice while walking, while at a dinner party, or even by breathing.  There are countless ways to practice mindfulness and almost as many benefits to it (Huffington Post lists some of them here).  If you live a hectic life and could use some tranquility, then these books might help.

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

by Jon Kabat-Zinn

DB 64586

Guide to achieving a state of “mindfulness”—an awareness of the present moment.  Explains traditional Buddhist meditation techniques and exercises, such as postures that help cultivate consciousness.  Offers suggestions for incorporating mindfulness into daily life to gain wisdom and find direction. First published in 1994; includes 2005 afterword.

The Miracle of Mindfulness: A Manual on Meditation

by Thich Nhat Hanh

DB 44957

Although this guide to engaged Buddhism was written by a Vietnamese monk for his students, it recommends exercises that can be performed anywhere. The practice of mindfulness can transform an everyday activity such as washing dishes, taking a bath, lying in bed, or breathing into a meditation.

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