Today, I attended a seminar given by Dr. David Burton.  A segment of the training centered on the concept of mindfulness.  Most of our daily thoughts focus on future tasks, upcoming deadlines, and past events.  Rarely do we focus on what we are doing right now, in the moment.  This is unfortunate, as we operate best when our mind is clear.  Our mind can only be clear when we focus on our existence in the present.

Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and focusing on what our senses immediately perceive are paths to mindfulness.  Jiu jitsu does this for me.  Drilling technique, rolling, and even the camaraderie after class as we sit around and bullshit are all very experiential.  I can’t pinpoint why jiu jitsu has this effect, but my mind is clear and I function in top form after class.

What works for you?


5 thoughts on “Mindfulness

  1. I feel real good usaully if I feel like I have improved. But if I am doing the same stupid mistakes over and over I feel crapy. But thats part of it. Motivation to do better is i dont want to feel like shit after class.

  2. It’s interesting that you mentioned mindfulness. That was one of the Buddha’s steps on the Eightfold Path toward enlightenment. I think mindfulness is extremely hard and rare. With pure mindfulness, you don’t think of the past or the future; the whole focus is on the present. But it’s not even knowing that you’re in the present. It’s the experience itself that gives full mindfulness. For example, when I watch a movie, I don’t say to myself, “Hmm. . . I’m watching a movie.” Instead, I’m so engaged in the experience that the notion of “I” isn’t in my mindset anymore. Can we do that with everything? Another Buddhist monk named Thich Nhat Hanh suggested that we should be mindful of everything, even mundane activities. Can we be mindful of washing the dishes? Or simply eating breakfast? And even going to the bathroom? It’s tricky business.

    That being said, it sounds kind of weird but I’m very mindful when I mow the lawn. I don’t know why. I’m totally engaged in the experience that I don’t even think of the “I” anymore. I’m just going with the flow of experience and simply mowing my lawn.

  3. I’ve been working on being mindful during mundane activities, but that is counter to the idea of being mindful as I’m “working” on it. When I shower, though, I get the same feeling as when you mow the lawn.

  4. I like doing what is called ‘segment intending’. I see in my mind what I want to happen during class before it beings. What I ‘intend’ typically depends on how I feel. If I’m worried about getting hurt, I intend to now get hurt during class. If I feel I’m getting tapped too easily, I set forth the intention to be aware of what it is that is my most obvious hang up that night. Mostly I try and set forth a positive outcome.

    Works well for me.

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