Welcome friends...thanks for coming by. We're seeking beauty in all of creation... in our faith and our families; our art and our music; our crafts and kitchens, and even in our own backyard. We'll share a poem or a recipe, a picture or a memory; maybe a dream of how we wish our life could be. And though we acknowledge that the world can be harsh, we're keeping it pleasant in our little corner; endeavoring to keep the words from the Book of all Books: ...Whatsoever things are lovely; think on these things.

I so enjoy hearing from you...so leave me a comment; it'll make my day!

Photo: Bee and thistle: Taken high in the Cascade Mountains where there is a bee buzzing on every thistle. by Debora Rorvig

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mindfulness, as taught in "How to Train a Wild Elephant"

I'm reading a catchy little book called "How to Train a Wild Elephant (& other adventures in mindfulness)." I like it because it's short and sweet, and gives fun little exercises to help us be more mindful in our everyday life.

The first chapter is quite simple...use your non-dominant hand off and on during the day. It helps you pay attention to what you are doing. Simple things we take for granted like writing, eating, even zipping up our pants becomes very interesting when done with the 'other' hand. The author, Dr. Jan Bays suggests that beyond becoming more mindful of what we are doing, there may be other benefits to this exercise. Our dexterity may increase over time. This just has to help our brains...right?

Now we're on Chapter 2, which is much more challenging for me...Leave No Trace. We are instructed to pick one room of our house (preferably the bathroom or kitchen), and try leaving no trace that we've been there for one week. That means picking up after yourself right away! Oh dear.

The author explains that in Zen paintings a turtle always symbolizes the practice of leaving no traces, because, to quote her exact words, "...they sweep the sand with their tails as they creep along, wiping out their footprints."

She suggests posting a sign that says 'Leave No Trace' in the room where you are practicing this habit, or even buying a little ceramic turtle, or picture of one. I really like this. I probably should put turtles in every room of my house! So this weekend I'm on the hunt for turtles (and picking up after myself.)

I look forward to reading every chapter of this book, and I recommend it to all who love the idea of living more mindfully.



ellen b. said...

That's a beautiful photo of Harrison! Sounds like some fun challenges in that book...

Linda O'Connell said...

I will definitley apply some of these piniciples to daily living. I usually do not leave a trace until mid week and then things just lay on the counter, collect on the kitchen table, and so it goes until the weekend when I scrubba dub all over again. I'm going to try an wntrie week of leave no trace. I think of this as a challenge. Thanks.


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