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Mindful : October 2014
50 mindful October 2014 It’s tempting to think “I’ll develop more mindfulness after my job is less dema nd- ing, my kids are grown, and I have more time.” We’re waiting for the perfect schedule to mag ically align with our desires. Yet we may need the benefits of mindfulness even more when we think we have the least time to pursue them! Like a good diet, adopting a mindful- ness practice is a matter of looking at the habits of our life and making choices about what we can reasonably do, setting an intention, and getting the help we need to stick to it. The Meditation Diet Just as a balanced diet mixes food types in sensi- ble servings to keep your body healthy, a meditation diet helps you develop a healthy mind. Step back, look at your time as a whole, and serve up med- itation—in various portion sizes—to enrich your life. A good meditation diet mixes some daily practice with pauses throughout the day, something else we do weekly and/or monthly, and if possible some- thing longer and deeper that we do once or more a year. Your persona l circumstances dictate what works for you. There is no single right way to do it. If you struggle to arti- ficially jam meditation into your day, it will become an unpleasant tug of war. In the end, marr ying meditation with your life is a matter of balance. ● What’s the Right Mix for You? STAY-AT-HOME DAD Eric takes care of t wo young kids while his wife Jean star ts her career. He emphasizes shor t sesssions twice daily, a monthly visit to a meditation group, and one weekend a year of retreat. GRANDMOTHER Kimiko volunteers part-time at a hospital. She’s long had a daily prac- tice, and now she sits for 45 minutes every morning and 30 in the evening— sometimes her granddaughter joins her. CAREER MOM Jean helps raise the kids while building her counselling practice. She takes shor t pauses between clients, ten minutes at the end of the day in her office, and a t wo- day mindfulness training yearly. COLLEGE GRAD Jose is devoting two years to recharging and char ting his course. He sits 90 minutes most days, a whole day with a group some week- ends, and is plan- ning to do a 10-day retreat in the spring and in the fall. Matching up meditation with your circumstances is the way to make it a vital part of your life. pauses shor t daily long daily weekly monthly annually PHOTOGRAPHS©ISTOCK.COM/REDHELGA,ANKI21,VALENTYNVOLKOV,SAMOHIN,DONNICHOLS,SUBJUG getting started: fitting it in