Raising Your Mindfulness Quotient

It’s a clever idea to be aware of where you are from moment to moment, not just your immediate environment but also how you’re thinking and feeling about it. The focus can be as simple as tasting, really tasting the food you’re having for lunch.

I once went through an exercise where students were asked to spend 60 seconds eating a raisin, a single raisin. Amazing how much there is to absorb first, just in looking at the raisin, the subtle variations in color and texture of the surface. And most raisins look different as you rotate from back to front (if a raisin can be considered to have a front and a back). If you use your imagination, you can imagine the grape the raisin once was, where it grew, how many siblings on clump.

There’s even more to experience as you slowly taste the raisin and chew it. Differences from the front to the back of your tongue. I could go on, but the whole exercise is meant to illustrate a mindful approach to an everyday experience.

The art of mindfulness goes back to early civilization and it’s the subject of a number of serious research studies. The net, net is that as you increase your number of mindful moments, your experience of life deepens.

Most of us won’t be mindful every moment, but raising your mindfulness quotient can make fewer of your moments ones that you miss. I think of this when I see art representing the major tragedies we experience.   I pass this Tree Root Art every day. Its story is particularly poignant because the tree’s uprooting was the only damage to St. Paul’s Chapel in the 9/11 attacks even though the church is immediately across the street from where the World Trade Center Towers stood

 

By Dr. Sabra Brock, co-founder of Idea Spies

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