Be a Mindfulness Master: 12 Essential Tips

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Become a master of mindfulness with these essential tips.

1. Slow down. Be deliberate. Moving a spoonful of soup from a bowl to your mouth should take minutes, not seconds. To the external observer, you should appear as a living statue.

2. Set a “savor alarm” on your phone to ring out at one-minute intervals, throughout the day and night, to ensure that you are never forgetting to savor each moment.

3. Understand that judgment doesn’t help you. Remind yourself that your rush to judgment is as pathetic and useless as it is unforgivable. Give in to the shame.

4. Do not send text messages during, before, or after lovemaking. Power it down.

5. Recognize your thoughts as just thoughts. They are neither good nor bad. That feeling of regret, the terrible sound of those sobs, the scent of her perfume… Just thoughts.

6. Do less. If you are doing two things, do one thing. If you are doing one thing, cut it in half. If you are doing half a thing, destroy it. Do nothing. Do negative things negatively, but don’t do a lot of them.

7. Mindfulness literally means “a mind full of ness.” But what is ness? Is it a rare substance found only in Tibet? Is it shorthand for the Loch Ness Monster? Does the Loch Ness Monster possess secrets of mental control that are beyond human understanding? Contemplate these questions at least once per day.

8. Call things as they are, without moralizing. When you are eating a sandwich, say “This is sandwich,” but do not moralize. When you are riding on an airplane, say “This is airplane,” but do not moralize. When you fly into a rage and punch someone in the face, say “This is fight,” but do not moralize.

9. Should you find your mind wandering aimlessly, seize the opportunity to ambush it.

10. Clear your mind of thoughts, plans, worries, memories, distractions, grievances, surprises, beliefs, disbeliefs, attitudes, intentions, numbers, letters, symbols, alphanumeric strings, images, colors, sounds, scents, movements, stillnesses, things, objects, and stuff.

11. Relinquish your “need” to fill your time with obligations and tasks. It is okay to just be for a while. When you can truly disengage from the hustle and bustle, you will discern the truth: that all external objects pause when you are not looking at them.

12. Get grounded. When you walk, tune into the sensation of your foot against your shoe and your shoe against the ground. Feel the ground as the Earth, and for but a moment appreciate that the Earth is but a tiny fleck of dust in a vast universe that is utterly indifferent to your suffering. Where you end up walking to, or what you end up bumping into along the way, is not so important.

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Mindfulness image copyright Moyan Brenn. Licensed under CC 2.0.

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Written by

Alex Baia is writer and marketer living in Austin, TX.