In our busy lives is so easy to get caught up in our own worlds. We get consumed with our daily tasks, our families, our jobs and so forth. In this process we fail to see the world outside of us. In addition, when we become stressed or overwhelmed, it’s as if life contracts. We feel this physically — a tight chest, tunnel vision, as if everything is constricting. Our worlds become even smaller. Instead of considering the billions of people we share this planet with; we focus on the few dozen or so who we see each day. Some examples would be family members, co-workers or even our own thoughts. We get caught up in comparing and judging. When we work to create spaciousness or openness we broaden that horizon and look outside of our small worlds into a more expansive and larger world.
This week, see if you can practice expanding the space within which you exist. Challenge yourself to move past your neighborhood, past the problems that are in front of you and open up to the larger world. You may notice that the feelings of pain or suffering seems to dissipate. This practice is not to minimize your own pain or suffering, but to create a larger space to hold it. When the space is larger, it often feels less sharp and less lonely.
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.
Join us for Sitting Meditation on Tuesdays at 5 PM or Thursdays at 5:30 PM at Lakeside.