Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Your Life is Your Practice

The three fireplaces are my favorite attributes of our new home. I'm still working on the living room fireplace, so I've yet to post photos of it. The living room is the one place we're still waiting to put together. Our new couch is on its way and once it arrives everything should come together nicely.

This is the bedroom fireplace. Our bed faces this mantel, and I've kept the decorating to a minimum. The colors in here are keeping with black and white, and darker woods. On the walls near the bed I've put up two large Ansel Adams photographs in black and white, and a local artist's black and white framed photo of the weeping bride in Savannah's historic graveyard.

I read a wonderful article in Tricycle yesterday about how to incorporate your meditation practice into everything you do. It's a great reminder that we are never too busy to bring mindfulness into our lives.

I really like the idea that Thich Nhat Hahn puts forth in his book The Miracle of Mindfulness. He suggests picking one day a week to make your own day of mindfulness. It's a day in which from the moment you wake up you follow a set intention to watch the breath and to be fully engaged in everything you do. You wake in the morning and the first thought should be "waking in the morning, I take a deep breath in and a deep breath out." Something along those lines in whatever way works for you. Then you go throughout the day alternating meditation times with work tasks. When you do the dishes, or make the bed, you only do the dishes and you only make the bed. Your thoughts and your awareness is fully with each thing you do while you do it, and also on your breath.

I'd like to consider over the course of the next week when a a day might be which I can give to this practice. The women's retreat in West Viriginia is coming up in just a few short weeks, when I will spend five days in silence, meditating most hours of the day, waking at 5am with the monks and nuns, eating very little, and practicing austerities. It's become my priority to prepare myself now by making my life my practice.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed that article, thank you for sharing! I am finding that the more mindfulness I make time for, the more easily it comes. I love the idea of making one day a week a day for mindfulness. Doing a thing, and only that thing. I imagine that would be very rewarding. I'm excited for your upcoming retreat! I admire you for making time for what's important to you.