“There is not a particle of life that does not carry poetry within it.”
This is a wonderfully powerful, short, and practical, five-minute-a-day mindfulness practice, as recommended by Marsha Linehan, Psychology Professor at the University of Washington.
Just Watching Meditation
* Find a comfortable place to sit, somewhere that allows you to watch the world passing by. Somewhere where there is a fairly constant stream of movement and busyness; perhaps at a bus stop during peak hour, or outside a busy cafe or a park bench. Any public place.
* Get comfortable in your posture and rather than closing your eyes, instead soften your gaze forward into the movement of people.
* Avoid looking at anyone in particular .. even if they are interesting or distract you!
* Notice people but keep your mind focused on not lingering with them .. not following them.
* Continue in this way .. just watching .. for at least five minutes.
This practice has been shown to assist in resting our focus. Meditation through the ages has been shown to exercise our ‘concentration muscle’ and research suggests that meditation doesn’t have to be intensive to have an effect.
One recent study found that students were able to improve their performance on testing of cognitive skills after just four days of meditation training for only 20 minutes per day. Now, having completed the above Just Watching Meditation you may like to add another five minutes to shift that watching inward.
Watching Inward Meditation
We do this practice by simply observing our inner selves as we watch others.
* Notice any judgments or comments or reviews that might come into your mind or awareness as you watch people pass by: what are you saying to yourself?
* Can you observe your internal commentary for a while?
* Is it about how someone looks? what they are doing? how they are acting? .. or, who they are with?
When we draw our attention inward and truly listen, we begin to hear our own mind .. and see some of the judgments or reactions we make in response to the world around us.
This is how meditation allows us to truly ‘hear’ ourselves, under all the noise and the stories.
And if we are able to disentangle ourselves from the judgments, analysis,
Have a great week … watching!
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