“And so mindfulness, for me, is the very simple process of actively noticing new things. When you actively notice new things, that puts you in the present, makes you sensitive to context. As you’re noticing new things, it’s engaging, and it turns out, after a lot of research, that we find that it’s literally, not just figuratively, enlivening. But I find that what lots of these people do — and it’s also part of folk psychology, where you tell people, “Be there, be in the moment” — when you’re not in the moment, you’re not there to know you’re not there, so it’s really an empty instruction. I don’t think you can make a decision that “I’m going to be present.” What does that mean? So that the people who tell you to meditate, there’s an assumption that over time, that will put you in the present. But if you’re actively noticing things — so you’re going to go home tonight and, if you live with somebody, notice five new things about that person. It’s very — it can be very specific. And what will happen is, the person will start to come alive for you again, and that facilitates the relationship.” Ellen Langer.
Today, you could just find somebody you know and make it your task to notice 5 new things about them. Notice how it changes your view of them and the quality of your relationship. May be after that you may be interested in spending time listening to the podcast by Ellen Langer and her fascinating research that offers a pragmatic approach to mindfulness that does not require retreating to a monastery, becoming a monk or a yogi to enhance your wellbeing or turn back the clock on ageing… [we bet this will make you want to listen, who does not want to turn the clock back, eh?]
This Daily Stillness has been recycled from previously published ones:
• #tds940 Just actively notice new things and be enlivened (Jan 25, 2018)