One thing I notice since starting Transcendental Meditation (TM) in January 2018, is how mindful I have become. It comes naturally; I do not try. I just am. This strikes home as I have always seen myself as scatter-brained. Back before, when I brushed my teeth, I would also let in the cat, pour a glass of water, maybe even cut up a piece of fruit for breakfast. Now, when I brush my teeth, I brush my teeth. That is it. I stand there at the sink and brush my teeth. I notice the ridges of each tooth and the spots with which still need brushing. I hear the birds outside the window singing; my husband snoring.
Same goes for when I work with the bees, I work with the bees – better or else! When I compose an email, I compose an email. I do not step away at every bing notifying an incoming message. I tend to what I am doing with a still mind. A mind that is intent and 100% engaged. Then I move on to the next thing. Maybe that next thing is my son coming in the door with a flower or to ask for a snack. If so, I tend to the flower in hand or make a snack. If the phone rings I stop what I am doing and answer the phone. Fully there, ready to converse. There is nothing else that distracts me as I am deeply involved in what I am doing. No surface skimming, this I see. I used to do that … skim the surface. Now I dive in and notice that through my day, there is this ever flowing way of how things unfold.
Perhaps this shift happens to everyone who begins to meditate or maybe I am noticing more because I was once upon a time diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and put on Ritalin until the side effects became unbearable. I know that my mind is prone to scattering in multiple directions and I have learned tricks over the years to stabilize and center myself. Since I was a kid, I would easily become bored in one place or with one thing and look for something else to do … one of the main traits of ADHD … easily dis-tractable.
I like this mindful feel and when I meditate twice a day for 20 minutes each I can feel more and more tightening and toning of this newfound trait of mine. Tighten away! I am finding TM is almost like yoga for the brain. For so many years I have held a steady practice on my red yoga mat and now this sitting on my purple meditation pillow brings me to a new level of awareness and yes, mindfulness.
‘Mindfulness’ is a neat word for when you break it down, seems to mean ‘full of mind’. Yet, essentially the word is a translation of sati, a word in the Pali language of ancient India, in which Buddhist texts were written, that can be translated as ‘awareness.’ I would say that accurately sums up where I am at the moment; full of awareness and aware of what I am doing with a heightened sensitivity that has me present and available to myself and to others.
May all bellies be happy!