The Zen of Focus

What is your meditation practice?  The guidance from Thich Nhat Hanh is to focus on breathing, get into a comfortable position, and clear the mind.  When the mind wonders bring the attention back to the breath.  Here is an example of my meditation practice…

Breathe In

Breathe Out

Breathe In

Breathe Out

Brea…oh now I know what to do for that work project…

Ok start over

Breathe In

Breathe Out

Breathe Innnnn…I should advance the laundry…

I’ll just go do the laundry and make some notes about my work project.  There are too many things in my mind to meditate now.  I’ll meditate later.

Without fail when I meditate my mind wanders to other things.

I focus on breathing periodically during the day and this does seem to refocus me and bring my mind back to the present.  Being in the present moment keeps me calm, focused, and in the present.

Could a focused state be my meditation practice?

One of the definitions of meditate is to think about something deeply.

It is when I am focused and thinking about something deeply that I am the calmest.  When I am focused on something that stimulates my mind and utilizes my skills I am relaxed and in a state of flow.  I am fully engaged in the current activity.

My focus can easily be putting together a costing guide for work, solving a complex jigsaw puzzle on my iPad, or writing this blog.  These are the times when my mind is focused and I am fully present.

If focus is my meditation practice, a state of flow is where I am one with the universe.

Today’s Simple Mindfulness Igniter is to note your meditation practices.  What are the things you do that bring you back to the present moment?  When do you feel the most peace and calm?  When are you most typically thinking about something deeply?  When are you one with your universe?

For those taking the Mindfully Living in the Moment New Habit Challenge consider your new habit.  If you are developing a new habit that supports you living more in the moment how does your new habit connect you to your inner calm?  Is your new habit bringing you more into the moment?  Are you fully present when you are practicing your new habit?  If you answer “no, but I think it could with a small change”, make that small change today.  Creating a new habit is not necessarily about routinely doing the same thing each day.  Ultimately you may want to do that, but while forming the new habit be open to adapting it so it meets your needs and works for you.  As we go through the month I will share different perspectives and insights about creating habits and some of those will have you slightly changing your new habit.  Make those changes as we go along so at the end of this month you have a new practice that fully supports you.


Add Yours
  1. Cloakey Notes

    My mind wanders a lot too! It is like my mind is trying to tell me that focusing on just breathing is a waste of time and I need to be doing something else. Because we breathe whether or not we think to, right? It is a reflex that our bodies know how to do automatically. I feel the most peace and calm when I am alone. Solitude, in all seriousness, is my friend. Of course, I don’t like to be left alone all the time, just MOST of the time. It is when I can really and truly be myself.

  2. 100smilechallenge

    I do find my most thoughtful time is when I am alone. The time of my break throughs and most well thought out ideas are when I am alone. I love the energy of others, but treasure my time alone as well.

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