It’s not the art of doing nothing, it’s the art of doing only one thing

I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of meditating and I’m pinching myself for not having started earlier. My mind is used to taking new concepts and thinking “okay now I have to make this a routine so I can get good at it” but in the process of reinventing myself, I’m allowing genuine interest to take control of when I do or not do something. Naturally, my focus goes to things I’m good at – Spanish class, sketching followed by meditation.

But I’d like to expand on what learning about meditation has taught me. The meditation technique I use is not the kind that teaches you to empty your mind, it also isn’t transcendental meditation (TM) because I couldn’t be bothered to find a certified mentor to help me. My friend introduced me to a form of meditation that basically just focuses on using breath to feed the “monkey mind” while training your mind to be aware of thoughts, not resist them.

The link above would help with information on the technique.

While meditating, a thought came to my mind. That this could apply to alot of things that we do in our daily lives too. It also reminded me of a book I once read that talked about putting down our utensils after each mouthful of food, so that we can savour what we’re eating, and taste the different textures and flavours of the ingredients.

Just like we would give our 100% to a concert we’re watching, or a movie, something as simple as eating also requires our 100% focus and attention, so we don’t lose an opportunity to take joy in something as privileged as a well balanced meal. It’s ironic that we would pay $300 for our senses to be overwhelmed in a concert, when we can pay $3 and equally indulge in the senses we arouse while enjoying a meal.

I remember how I used to multitask all the time. Texting while walking, eating while reading, constantly finding ways to save time and make my life more “efficient”. But I never learnt the art of savouring time. What was I saving all the time for, when I wasn’t using it on improving myself or expanding my knowledge on things? The minutes I saved, I didn’t spend on sleeping more, or reading more.

The next time we eat, we shouldn’t pair it with a Netflix movie, or be checking on social media. Maybe for just one meal a day, we can start by just taking a bite, putting down our utensils instead of prepping for the next, and then just….. Eat.

My uncle used to sit my cousins and I down and make us chew 30 times before we swallowed our food. His point was to get us to digest our food better but I think he was on to something! Something as simple as taking time to chew, something everyone can do, would benefit us in the same way as meditation does.

When we focus on things we are currently doing, on one singular event, perhaps we will then allow other thoughts to come to us freely. If we are eating, we eat. If we are walking to somewhere, we focus on walking and maybe enjoying the view around us while we do it. And just like when we meditate, we focus on our breathing and let thoughts freely come and go, so we create space to allow inspiration to flow through our minds.

I like this life I’m living now. I can feel my thoughts expanding in range and in perspective. I think differently, more acutely and more freely. I’m excited for the days to come.

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