Can you share some tips for being mindful for new practitioners? Also, do you have any tips for being motivated to meditate for new practitioners? I read the post about being mindful at work the other day and this is something I would LIKE to do but it is a daunting task because my job involves being responsible for up to 160 rowdy teenagers. I also wear a lot of hats at my job so my mind is always bouncing around and it is hard to meditate, I don’t think I have yet managed to do it. I was thinking some sort of item, or items, around the house or on my person might serve as reminders to do both of these things. I saw a Buddha candle holder the other day that made me think of this and I was also considering a small pendant or bracelet. However, I tend to side with you on the issue of idolatry and shrines, etc. Your perspectives on these issues are most appreciated.
As you mentioned, we have discussed idols and shrines in the past. I believe that they aren’t necessary and tend to cause unnecessary attachment. That being said, the main point of having a statue or shrine is that they DO help with mindfulness. If you have a Buddha statue where you see him often, that will help with mindfulness, at least in theory; you can probably learn to tune him out if you ignore him too much. Other forms of Buddhist artwork and objects will have a similar benefit. You don’t need these objects for religious reasons, but they certainly won’t hurt in building your mindfulness. “Out of sight, out of mind” works in the opposite direction too.
I have only one tip to help new practitioners to meditate more often, and it’s a bit obvious. Set a specific time and do it every day. Force yourself to do it if you have to, but get in the habit of doing it regularly, just like any other physical exercise. Once it becomes a regular habit, you can start getting flexible with your timing, but you have to get to the place where you want to do it and look forward to it. It’s not meant to be unpleasant or something you put off or with which you procrastinate.
Everyone has their own ideas about what is or isn’t a good tip for mindfulness. I turned the question loose on Twitter and got the following responses:
@sacredmusick Take one minute every hour to sit and breathe. It will have amazing effects on overall focus and mindfulness.
@izablessing Hi Brian, I actually did a workshop with the Healing From the Core foundation. It was entitled Developing Therapeutic Presence! Excellent!
@cacwgirl Listen to the office staff!
@pamdodd Work tip: If busy, tell interrupters you’ll get back to them and set a time.
@Annie_Fox To be more mindful at work (or anywhere) begin 2 notice when UR annoyance levels kick in, then… http://bit.ly/gvkXi
@BruceDinwiddie Tips for mindfulness at work? Give up multi-tasking and focus on single tasks intently.