Hello! I’ve recently started a new mindfulness practice, and I’m loving it because this one is giving me a lot of satisfaction and a new level of awareness of what happens inside my mind. 🙂 So I want to share it with you!
In this practice I can do and focus on whatever I want BUT I cannot use words (spoken or thought). Which means I can run my errands, walk in Nature, exercise… do whatever I want while practicing this mindfulness, but, in anything I do, I cannot use language, not in thoughts and not spoke.
What this does is create an awareness of what goes on in your mind, the chatter, the random thoughts, the songs (my mind is alwaaaaays singing!),… Language is processed by the rational mind and by your left hemisphere of the brain. When you assign a word, a name, even a verb, to something, your mind automatically assumes it knows the thing or activity that it’s labeling, and it just doesn’t pay it any more attention. Why would it? It already knows “everything” about it, there’s nothing new there, so it goes on to the next thing.
This use of language can be extremely helpful, and it is, when we want to function in most areas of our lives in our current society, but it keeps us from fully experiencing the “thing” or activity we’re engaged in. It also keeps us from actually learning more about it, seeing other facets of it, because we already know what “it” is. That’s another reason why having a practice of mindfulness can actually make us more productive and creative, because we open ourselves to learn and take in different information, creative ways of looking at things we already “knew” before.
Let’s apply this to people. If you think a certain person is selfish or lazy, your mind is going to stamp that label on that person and you’ll only perceive the behaviors and have experiences that agree with that mental label. When that person displays other behaviors, you’ll glaze over them or assume they’re a punctual thing and dismiss them. This seems like an innocent example, but that little label, word, is keeping you from fully seeing another human being and knowing the amazing qualities and talents that person also has. It may be keeping you from relating to that person and actually discovering other very loving traits that they have.
The same applies to food, where we see it, label it and rarely savor and fully enjoy it. In Nature, you see a tree or a bird and, after naming them, you don’t see their uniqueness. Mindfulness can bring you fully back into your body and that will help you experience deeply the sensory pleasures of life.
So, again, our use of language is extremely powerful and useful, but we are using it in an unbalanced way, where everything we see and encounter becomes a symbol (word) and we don’t get to know it or experience it fully. So, a little suggestion: try walking around in your home or outside, preferably, and be mindful of your thoughts. Any time a word comes up, just let it go or imagine a breeze clearing it out of your head. Focus on your senses, feel your body and pay attention to your mind.
You’ll find that you are able to experience things you never paid attention to before and feel calm and present doing so. It will start to open your ability to have direct cognition of the world around you, where everything IS alive and communicating. You’ll be catching those communications soon too! Enjoy! 🙂
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