How often are we not listening? It’s easy to ignore the information and gifts our senses pick up because we tend to constantly be on our way to somewhere else. We miss what is around us in the present moment.
The Christmas song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” begins with a message that is carried by a whisper on the wind. The message is carried from the wind to a lamb until it is spread to “people everywhere.” We need to listen closely to hear a whisper on the wind. If we aren’t present, we may miss some meaningful messages in life.
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, however that looks for each of us, try listening for your mindful moment practice. For just a few moments, really listen to what you can hear around you. It may the wind against the window, the hum of a heater or chatter down the hall. Whatever it is, just notice it. When your attention strays, simply bring it back to just listening.
For a more formal practice, you may choose to listen mindfully to your favorite music (preferably music without lyrics), the crackle of a warm fire or the settling of your house. Set aside time to listen. You may hear something more meaningful than you expect.
Mindful moments are short practices to be used throughout your week to relax, integrate and center yourself. Inspired by the wisdom traditions and science, mindful moments are meant to be accessible and simple enough for anyone to practice. Many teachers and leaders in integrative medicine have influenced our approach to mindful moments. Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Pema Chodron would say it is “practicing in the gaps.” Look for the weekly mindful moment every Monday. May it support you in finding your center to live life to the fullest.