Mindfulness: the practice of living in the moment fully and completely, without thinking about the past or the future, and instead exploring the present with a sense of childlike wonder. Why would you want to act like a child? You’re not curious like a toddler saying, “Why does this happen? What’s that? Why?” instead, you are looking at things as if you’ve seen them for the first time. You let go of some of your self-consciousness and your insecurities and allow yourself to explore things with an almost whimsical fascination.
The great thing about mindfulness is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. So what would that mean for someone who wants to try out mindfulness meditation?
There are so many ways to explore this practice--my favorite involves eating. Let’s eat a grape. First try eating the grape using all of your senses: How does it look? What does it smell like? How does it feel? What sound does it make when you bite into it and chew? How does it taste? Then try to understand the experience of eating the grape as a whole, how does it make you feel, what thoughts come up, etc.
Unlike other meditations when you are trying to clear the mind, mindfulness invites you to wholeheartedly engage in your experiences. Think of it like a break from worrying about things that are out of your control, such as that past and future. In mindfulness you are making a commitment to fully invest your concentration on the present. Practicing letting go of anxieties and welcoming total enjoyment of experiences.
You can also do this while taking a walk, diving into a pool, sitting at your desk…anything and everything can be done mindfully. Test it out for a few minutes and see what you think!