A couple of days ago, when it wasn’t raining and I had no appointments, I took a walk down our road. When I got to my turnaround spot I realized that I had seen nothing, literally. Instead of stopping at the two brooks and watching the water and paying attention to the plants and wildlife, I had walked with my monkey mind in charge, having some fanciful conversation with myself and occupying my thoughts with something other than my walk.
I refocused and enjoyed my walk home.
Mindfulness is easy to deal with once you decide it should become a part of your daily life.
Mind-less-ness, on the other hand, requires a disciplined effort.
This is the scenario of an imaginary person, but some aspects are probably familiar to most of us:
X wakes up in the morning and grabs his/her cell phone and takes it into the bathroom. While eating breakfast X checks messages and social networks to see what others are doing. On the way to work X checks and perhaps talks on the cell phone while dealing with traffic. At work X places the phone within easy reach while dealing with the stresses of work. On the way home X checks the cell phone while driving through heavy traffic. At home X watches TV, gets on the computer, checks messages, e-mail and social media until supper time.
TV, bed, and check the cell phone before going to sleep. While asleep X’s monkey mind takes over causing restless dreams and restless sleep.
The mind never has time to unplug.
At some point your mind needs to unplug for a few minutes on a regular basis. Five minutes of meditation a day can do that.
Find a quiet, comfortable room away from your cell phone. Sit upright in a chair with feet planted on the floor; focus on your breathing and finally empty your mind - relax.
In lieu of this: take your rocking chair out on your porch and smoke a joint.
Mindlessness takes practice and discipline but the benefits are real