We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
“Mindful Reading” can be a way to practice being present and in the moment without formal meditation.
Mindfulness is “paying attention”.
When I started mindfulness practice, I found something that was finally completely true.
I was breathing in and breathing out.
My breathing was real.
What wasn’t real were the endless thoughts and judgements that jumped into my mind,
(like “I probably am doing this wrong” or “what am I going to do tomorrow about…”)
What was different in mindfulness class, was that if I didn’t hang onto these thoughts, they would disappear.
I would be whole, and together and still be breathing in and out.
I know that, even as poorly as I practice now, mindfulness provides
- an openness
- and changes my relationship with me
- and with people that I love.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness means that you gently remind yourself to be aware moment-by-moment.
Awareness can be of
- our thoughts,
- bodily sensations,
- and/or our environment.
Mindfulness also involves acceptance.
This means that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings
- without judging them
- —without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment.
When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
Meditation has its roots in Buddhist tradition. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program has introduced mindfulness to doctors and their patients, schools, prisons, hospitals, veterans centers, and more.
What is Mindful Reading?
Often reading is more of a race to finish text than than a search to find answers.
Mindful reading is different because
- it slows down the reader and the act of reading.
- requires reflection
- moves the reader into calm awareness
- and increases understanding.
More about exercises to increase mindful reading are discussed here.
Reading thoughtfully and listening to what arises (in your thoughts or body).
Zen Shorts is a children’s book that might be read mindfully.
Lyrical art work illustrates three ancient Zen stories.
Each story is filled with enlightenment and love.
For you to share:
The “Poetry of Presence (An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems)” edited by Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby R Wilson is a collection that inspires mindful reading.
Here are some of the shorter poems from this beautiful book.
The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy by John Brehm (editor) contains 125 poems that are best with “mindful reading”.
Brehm closes with an essay on Mindful Reading.
In his words” When we sit in meditation, we shift from thinking about our life to experiencing whatever arises in the present moment: body sensations, sounds, feelings, the breath. Thoughts will happen too, but we learn not to indulge or chase after them.”
Brehm then writes “Just as we shift from thinking to experiencing in meditation, when we read a poem we can also focus on noticing and appreciating rather than interpreting and explaining.” Brehm’s essay enriches this collection.
For more inspirational quotes, discussion about creativity or collections of great games or books for babies or your family here is a link.