Mindfulness Off the Cushion

RK doodle image

I recently read the “Mindfulness Gets a Hobby” article on mindful.org that talks about how mindfulness practices are often missing the playfulness and creativity that allow one to really open up, embrace, and enjoy mindfulness practice. It goes on to say that play “enhances learning—there’s a number of studies showing that play enhances our ability to remember things. Learning mindfulness through more playful modalities, we’re more likely to internalize the practice and remember the experience of it and it’s potentially going to be more impactful as well.”

Have you ever thought about starting a mindfulness practice, but are intimidated by the traditional sitting approach? You can easily infuse awareness and non-judgment into everyday activities like brushing your teeth, walking to your car, driving to work, or eating dinner. Another way is through art-based practices, which are intentionally placed throughout our curriculum, and is the subject of a workshop I’ll be giving at the Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth conference in San Diego next weekend. In fact, the image of our organization’s letters is the outcome of a collaborative doodling practice our team did together at the last staff meeting.

So, the next time you’re brushing your teeth, walking to your car, or engaging in your favorite free-time activity, try practicing mindfulness. Try focusing on just what you’re doing, and paying attention to the way it feels. Notice, without judging, the sounds, the smells, and the rhythm of your breath. This is what it feels like to be present.