Part of the core requirements in my graduate program is to take an advanced mediation class which focuses primarily on, mindfulness. I kid you not, it’s like the perfect program for hippies-turned-academics or academic hippies, like myself.
A requirement for the entire term is to practice at least one type of mindfulness activity once a day. Practicing mindfulness is simply the method of being aware of the present moment. It can be as simple as just noticing when you’re brushing your teeth. Or that you’re wearing a watch. Or which arm that watch is on. Mindfulness practice can last a few minutes or you can do a full hour of meditation. All that matters is that you’re aware of what is happening at that moment.
At first, I was skeptical of the whole idea of mindfulness, especially combined with the rigor of a graduate program. But after some meditation and reflection, I realized that in order to be an interpersonal mediator or even a professional one, there is a need for an awareness of one’s emotions during the heated moments of conflict.
The mindfulness practice I’ve committed to this term has been to write a brief reflection in my journal every day. I was already committed to this activity before the start of the class, but now I’m writing about my awareness levels during that moment of writing. It’s been a therapeutic experience so far!
How do you practice mindfulness? If you don’t, what type of method would you consider trying?