Sit in a cafe like you’ve never sat before

Danforth_Coffee_ShopMy friend posted this mindfulness exercise the other day and I think it’s a great one. Take a moment to get in touch with your senses and surroundings. Watch and feel the world come alive.

“Try this exercise. Sit in a café or diner (or bus or train), perhaps one that you have been to many times before. As you sit, instead of losing yourself in your thoughts, feel the presence of your own body. Now take a moment to look around at the details of what people are wearing. Listen to the tones of their voices and to the sounds of traffic outside, and smell the slightly stale coffee and the sweetness of the doughnuts. The place itself suddenly comes alive, as if you had awakened from a dream for a moment. You are actually here; the world is actually here…

Perhaps you will discover a little sore spot on your heart, a little feeling of tenderness for yourself and your plight – your sorry state. You may feel so sad that you fall in love with yourself. It’s lonely. You can’t share yourself with anyone yet. But that sadness slows you down and makes you sensitive to your world. You start to feel the space, which is basic goodness, and you start to come alive. You start to appreciate yourself – being alone with yourself is so rich. You start to appreciate the whole world of colors and sounds – the trees, the greenery, the chipmunks and birds, even taxicab horns for that matter. These sensations can attach themselves to your senses and wake you up out of your deep sleep. The world becomes alive and bright, and the more you can open to it the more you can see. So when your sad and lonely and joyful and tender retreat is finished, you may venture back to your world a little tentatively, but you may see with new eyes – the eyes of basic goodness.”

(from Jeremy Hayward’s Sacred World: A Guide to Shambhala Warriorship in Daily Life)

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