Do you feel as though you are going too fast and living on autopilot too much of the time? Most people get to end of their lives and wonder “Where did my life go? It went by in a flash.”
This is because we were barely paying attention.
We can learn to slow down and become more attentive and fascinated by the world we live in. We can become curious about the beautiful yet simplest things that we otherwise would never have noticed.
Most of us are aware that a morning meditation can set the tone for our day, making us calmer and more focused. Yet, how often do we make ourselves too busy to take 30 minutes to meditate?
Because so many of us feel we don’t have enough time, we’ve created a new practice—a fascinating, different kind of mindfulness practice that only takes a few seconds, yet gives us the benefits of meditating while we move through our busy days.
With Microdosing Mindfulness, we stop 4 or 5 times a day and begin to deeply notice what’s happening in the moment. This practice uses a reminder, so that several times a day, we remember to stop and notice what the world is offering to us right NOW. If you want to know more about this practice, click on this link to learn about our online classes, and discover how to get the benefits of meditating without meditation.
In this article, I want to offer an added practice of extending your micro moments over a short period of time to create a profound form of active meditation. This is a practice of being impeccably focused on everything and anything that you’re doing as you move yourself through the ordinary and un-ordinary activities of your day.
One way to access this state is to take notice of everything you’re sensing: seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, or smelling. This could be simply feeling your breath, sensing your body move through space, noticing the breeze or the sun’s warmth on your skin.
Right now, I feel my fingers manipulating the keys of my computer. Then I notice my bottom on the chair cushion and my cat rubbing against my leg under my desk.
Next I am hearing the bird outside my window chirping, feeling my body moving toward the window as I get myself up to see the bird, then noticing the purple flowers with yellow and black butterflies near my window.
Here are three examples of ways I have extended moments of mindfulness:
Extended Microdose One:
I hear a dog bark outside my door, I notice moving myself out of my chair. I feel my bare feet touching the floor and my body moving through space. I reach out, grab the doorknob, feel the coolness and shape of the knob in my hand, notice my hand turning the knob and pulling the door open.
I smell the freshness of the air rushing in. I see my neighbor’s dog, Ghost, who has come to visit. I notice the smile on her face, her hair shining in the sun, her expectant eyes meeting mine, and I say, “Hello Ghost, I delight myself to see you.”
Extended Microdose Two:
I walk myself into the hot springs water. The warmth alone is an invitation to go deeper and deeper into the pool. I feel my way along the pebbly bottom with my feet. I move myself against the liquid resistance to the corner of the pool, settle my bottom on the underwater banco, and close my eyes. Ahhh.
In front of me I hear the rushing sound of three voluptuous waterspouts filling the pool rapidly, and behind me the sucking sound of the overflow taking away any excess as the pool seeks its own balance. I hear a raven crowing on the cliff above and muffled whispers of fellow seekers of delight – soaking nearby.
As I open my eyes, I take notice of the surface of the water reflecting the sky and clouds. Looking up I see the clouds and cliffs in their “real” and still version. I look down again at the water. Cliffs and clouds are dancing because the water is in motion.
I look up again and see the clouds are not really still at all. With brilliant rainbow edges they are moving in slow motion past the sun through the blue sky. I see the raven I heard on the side of the cliff. He has discovered a hole to hide something in and is eagerly stuffing this treasure into the hole—his black feathers shining in the sunlight. He may be black, but like the cloud, he has rainbow colors too.
Extended Microdose Three:
I envelop myself in a large warm Turkish towel as I step out of the hot steamy bath that my husband prepared for me earlier. My bare feet connect to floor as I walk through our dimly lit bedroom to touch the light switch near our bed that was left on low. I turn off the light. I sense a further quieting of an already quiet room.
I slip my body under the downy covers, delighting myself with the contrast of my body’s warmth from the bath and the cool silken sheets. I feel my muscles letting go and then letting go even more; only now noticing the daylong sense of holding my body erect.
To my right I hear my husband’s deep throaty breathing denoting he is asleep. I want to wrap myself around him, yet also don’t want to wake him. I choose to let him be. To my left my cat is taking and up most of my pillow. He likes contact. He glues himself to my head every night and both of us vibrate with his purr.
I feel grateful for the next 8 hours with nothing to do, and yet, at the same time not wanting to miss a moment of being awake and aware that I am alive. Giving in, I connect with my breath and drop off to sleep without noticing when.
With this practice of paying impeccable attention, as we go through any activity in our lives, we may not only add years to our lives, but make those years richer, more rewarding and ultimately more pleasurable.
If this interests you, I suggest you join the next Microdosing Mindfullness class.