Increasing Your Prayer Life Through Mindfulness

Increasing Your Prayer Life Through Mindfulness

Last night, I was commuting home later than usual. I said a prayer of protection over myself as I was exiting the train (a particularly wise practice ANYTIME you’re traveling on the Green Line) . As I walked, I also prayed for others who were commuting late just like me and I thanked all the people that may have been somewhere praying for me.

I know for a fact that there are regularly people who think of me and pray for my safety. A couple of Sundays ago it was raining cats and dogs outside and I received a call from a good friend of mine. She was out driving and called to see if I was commuting and in need of  a ride. How sweet was that?! Fortunately, I was out of the rain, at home lounging in my bed, but it was awesome to know that someone cared enough to see if I was okay. As it turns out, I was in need of dinner, so she picked me up and we made a food run to Soul Vegetarian. J’yeah!

Tuning in and becoming more mindful is a habit I’m actively developing. The practice  became more of a focus about two years ago when I decided to try a prayer game with myself. Anytime I happen to glance at a clock and see that it’s 11 after the hour, I stop and think a quick prayer or affirmation. I chose 11 because it’s one of my favorite numbers and it seemed I have a knack for catching the clock at 11 after the hour pretty often. When I stop to do this, it helps bring me back to the center and shift my focus, regardless of what may be happening around that time.

In the last year, I’ve gotten into a bad habit of eating breakfast at work at my desk. In an attempt to make yoga a true lifestyle practice, a friend of mine recently suggested I make the act of eating more mindful; really take time to sit and eat, WITHOUT multitasking. Now, I’m more deliberate about eating breakfast AWAY from desk, either before I leave home, or getting downtown early so that I can eat before I get to my desk. Something as small as not multitasking while I eat is a big shift. It allows me time to just be present in the moment and really enjoy one of my favorite hobbies.

I also do a lot of walking. A LOT. In general, I’ve always loved walking because it helps me release stress and anger, but now I’m learning to do more walking meditation. There are actually workshops on how to do walking meditation, but I haven’t tried one yet (hopefully, I’m not doing it all wrong). When I practice walking meditation MY way, I focus on my breathing or my steps. I try not to let my mind wander and only think about my focus object. This article suggests imagining a ball of light in the belly, and as you walk, you are attempting to hold the ball in place. I tried this the other day and it was pretty cool. I felt like I was walking taller and thinking about holding the ball up was great for my focus.

Pray for me, that I learn how to be more mindful while I’m writing! My brain is a bit of a chatterbox and writing isn’t always the most relaxing activity for me.

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