The Internet and e-mail are now a way of life and a principal means of communication in the twenty-first century. It is quite easy to be totally consumed by the Internet, chained to our chair, forgetting to get up and move around, eat or be in touch with our body. After hours of staring at our computer screen, our eyes are strained, our back may hurt, our shoulders are stiff, and our mind can become numb.
Breathing in, I thank the power of the Internet.
Breathing out, I am fully conscious of my current e-mail actions.
In our daily lives, we often find ourselves having to wait in line. Sometimes we get irritated by the wait. It can be the checkout line at the supermarket, the security-check line at the airport, or the pickup line at our child’s school. Being in a line is a great opportunity to sneak in mindful breathing and refresh yourself. Breathing in, I use this time just for myself, to unite my body and mind. Breathing out, I feel refreshed.
It is human for all of us to have negative emotions on a daily basis unless we are a seasoned mindfulness practitioner who knows how to prevent and transform them. Whenever a negative emotion arises, be it anger, despair, sadness, frustration, fear, or anxiety, repeat the following gatha (verse) silently to yourself for three to six in-breaths and out-breaths. Breathing in, I am aware of my anger/despair/sadness/frustration/fear/anxiety. Breathing out, I embrace my anger/despair/sadness/frustration/fear/anxiety.
LET’S HAVE A TASTE of mindfulness. Take an apple out of your refrigerator. Any apple will do. Wash it. Dry it. Before taking a bite, pause for a moment. Look at the apple in your palm and ask yourself: When I eat an apple, am I really enjoying eating it? Or am I so preoccupied with other thoughts that I miss the delights that the apple offers me? To read all of Chapter 2 including The Apple Meditation please download the PDF below.