Monday, January 11, 2010


I love mindfulness as a practice. Not so much to think of it as a discipline, but to take advantage of the richness and color it infuses my life with. If we're not aware of it, we can spend most of our lives without being fully present in our moments, letting the mind take over with its endless stream of stuff. When I pay attention to my thoughts, I realize how many of them have nothing to do with anything bearing on the present moment. When I allow that to happen (which is most of the time), I feel I'm only partially having my life, because so much of it slips by unnoticed.

I went out at lunchtime today and walked to Barnes and Noble. It was no big deal, maybe a five minute walk, and I was caught up in whatever random thoughts were sliding by. I knew where I was going and what I was going to do when I got there. There wasn't anything else that needed my attention in those five minutes. Whatever I was thinking about during my walk I could have thought about later and it would not have made any difference. But there I was, walking without really noticing I was walking, and thinking.

I chose to be mindful in that moment (thank you, God, again, for my remembering), and brought all of my attention to the present. In that instant I was where I was. I was aware of lots of cold grey around me, the wet fog, the cement of the sidewalks, the parking lot, and thought briefly that maybe it wasn't so important to be really present for this particular walk. Certainly I could conjure up something alot more pleasant in my mind. But I knew that wasn't true, as I noticed the slight resistance my body felt being surrounded by that damp blanket of fog and the lifeless scenery. If I had not chosen to be mindful, I would not have been aware of feeling heavy and sluggish in response. It's not at all like being in nature, which my body responds to by feeling incredibly light. It was much more subtle, and delightful because of how much I noticed it, I - am - walking - on - pavement.

That simple state of just being turned a very unimportant moment into one of beauty and grace. It was a gift that I brought back to work and enjoyed throughout the afternoon.

Here's to having our moments!

May this tool be a blessing. . .


  1. Thanks Sherry, I learned about being mindful from Eckhart Tolle. It is a difficult concept to live in the NOW, with each day and moment being "Mindful"...I remember as a child, playing outside and sitting in the grass to watch the ants come in and out of their small mound. A simple thing, that often as adults, we take for granted: The universe is filled with wonder, delight....even when we are in the concrete jungle...some form of nature is in our midst, in our man made the air we breath, the dust that settles, the beams of light shining through the window. How marvelous it is, when we can enjoy every single thing. Thanks Sherry, keep writing...

  2. Beautifully written Sherry. As moderator of a Meditation website, I'm so often asked 'What is the correct way to meditate?'. I shall refer people to your article as an example of how to live each breath and be mindful. You do not need to sit quietly in the lotus position and chant! :) Thank You, Nigel.