Be as mindful as a monk
The practice of mindfulness is about training your attention to be able to rest in the present moment. It is thousands of years old and provides many physical and psychological benefits. There are different forms such as yoga, meditation or just the act of enjoying a mindful cup of tea.
Recently we were lucky enough to meet a monk from the buddhist monastery Plum Village, where they practice mindfulness everyday. Brother Ben spoke to us about how mindfulness can enhance our lives and improve our mental health. He also told us how the monks at plum village use mindfulness in their everyday lives.
What is mindfulness
According to Brother Ben mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. It is the continuous practice of touching deeply in every moment of daily life. To be mindful is to be truly alive. To be present and at one with those around you and with what you are doing.
Brother Ben told us that to practice mindfulness we must first learn the art of stopping. He suggested a simple exercise for learning how to stop, why not give it a go?
Now sitting at your computer:
- Become aware of your posture in your chair
- Sit up straight and relax your shoulders
- Close your eyes
- Take three mindful breaths focusing on your breathing
- As you breath in inhale in compassion and as you breath out exhale all of the tensions in your body both mental and physical.
Brother Ben says that just by taking these three mindful breaths we can begin to restore our wellbeing.
Building mindfulness into your day.
Brother Ben believes it’s possible for anyone to build mindfulness into their day. You don’t have to pack up and move to a monastery to be mindful. He suggests simply setting an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to take those three mindful breaths.
Meet the monks.
Brother Ben and some of the other monks and nuns from Plum Village are travelling around Ireland providing free mindfulness training. They will be in Queens University Belfast, Tuesday, 1st November and Dublin City University, Thursday, 3rd November. This event is hosted by Mindfulness Ireland.
For more information visit www.wkup.org , email: firstname.lastname@example.org