Friday, July 22, 2016

Mindful on the plane - again

Another plane ride. We are sitting. He child asks constant questions. I listen, and answer. The announcement goes. The rain pours. Buckles click. A cacophony of sounds and it all registers, comes and goes. This is a lesson in attention, I tell myself. This is a lesson in acceptance, and in patience.

Soon we will be above the planet. A lesson in perspective. Moving but not moving, a lesson in change. Landing - a lesson in courage, in patience again, in impermanence. Here we are, fasten your seatbelt!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Mindful crying

Sometimes things can send me over the edge. I'm generally a dispassionate person, though the right movie sends me into tears. In real life, I rarely cry due to pain or suffering, but it happens occasionally, as it did recently when I encountered a day packed with constant tantrums and language that really hurt.

After a good cry, I managed to stop and just feel how I felt. So this is sadness and this is anger. This is self pity. That dull ache in my heart, leaky eyes, a semblance of headache, jaw clenched, body drained.

I gave my daughter some loving kindness. Then I remembered myself - this is so hard. It's ok, you're human. I hope you will be safe and happy.

A good night's sleep and the world rises anew.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Minding the laundry

Drying clothes on the line is meditative, too. Take each item, wring out if necessary, flick to straighten, hang, clip.

Each piece placed, considering the sun, the organization of the clothes by size and type, pairing socks, and I am focused on this task, not daydreaming. I feel the sunlight on my skin, see the view, hear the sounds of the city,  smell the nearby flowers, taste the breeze.

The laundry, too, smells lovely, feels cool and damp. On the sunniest days, I watch the first nearly dry by the time the last are hung. I take a deep breath and exhale, then turn to survey the clothes.

I'll be back later to rotate, move some in if it drizzles, collect the dry ones and fold. By for now, this is complete as it is.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Car meditation

A long ride (when you are not the driver) is perfect for a nap, but also meditation, because you can be alert for the driver and kids but not knocked out!

I sit, and the kids squabble, but eventually they settled down with a snack or gazing out the window or a little game they have invented, or a song they like. I get a few minutes to close my eyes or stare out the window. Eventually one falls asleep, and I am here, quietly, breathing, letting the landscape pass, the road sweep under me, the silence pervade the car, no longer inside a vehicle but the vehicle itself, no longer watching the view but immersed in it.

I'm jolted by a crying child, but I can go back to this quiet when I get a moment, seeing with new eyes.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Impact of Mindfulness

Colin Beavan, No Impact Man, has a great article on Mindfulness in regard to waste (just the topic of this blog!)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mindful paper use

We are hoarders of paper at our house. Scrap artwork? Uh, yeah. Envelope? Yes, please. Cereal box? Oh yes! Cardboard box? Yay!!!

I pretty much never get unused paper, and even that is secondhand or promotional notepads or discards. The kids are used to drawing on their own old artwork, and go to the paper bin for anything from magazines to old school worksheets. They re-color old coloring, turn it into origami, then paper airplanes, then for collages. Kids can understand that paper comes from trees, so it's good to use less and help them live - for shade, birds, fruit, and more.

I, in turn, save those leftovers for notepads or grocery lists or journal paper. When they finally make it to the recycle bin, they are sometimes rescued for making new paper, projects, origami - or they make their way out to be turned into new paper.

Mindfulness, kids, technology

I was going to write a post on technology and how we and our kids are addicted, and how we should get off for the sake of the planet, but this one just pretty much did it for me, for adults at least:

https://medium.com/swlh/how-technology-hijacks-peoples-minds-from-a-magician-and-google-s-design-ethicist-56d62ef5edf3#.tya50w9ws

Practical tips here:
https://medium.com/swlh/distracted-in-2016-reboot-your-phone-with-mindfulness-9f4c8ad46538#.son63122x

For kids, I try sometimes to give them the first choice of something real over a technology solution:

Instead of...
a video game - play a board game
Instead of...
Netflix - watch live television (if you have a DVR, pause during ads and then forward), or an audiobook
Instead of...
Kindle - read a paper book (from the library!)
Instead of...
Looking it up online - check an encyclopedia or the library Instead of...
Audiobooks - read or tell them a story
Instead of...
A movie - see a play
Instead of...
Email - send a card or letter
Instead of...
Text - make a phone call
Instead of...
Online - go offline!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Mindful bathing

Children love water. We water plants, wash hands, bathe.

Here, whike we are in India, the scarcity of water makes it all the more precious. We fill a bucket with heated water, then add cold water until just right. The kids get a mug with which to pour water on their bodies, and a half bar of glycerin soap. They get to play, enjoy the feel of the water on their skin as long as they like, and save any leftover water for the next person!