In addition to persuing more a more meditative life, I have started exploring a deeper understanding of mindfulness, and how it can improve my life. As a result, I have started reading How to Train a Wild Elephant and Other Adventures in Mindfulness by Jan Chozen Bays, MD. The book is set up brilliantly. For someone who's mind is always on, but never fully aware, this book is a god send. The introduction to the book is worth reading. It breaks down reasons that mindfulness is often not a priority in our lives, the importance and benefits of mindfulness practice, misconceptions about mindfulness, and how to use the book. The techniques described in Dr. Bays book are easy and effective. For example, the first mindfulness exercise is titled "Use Your Nondominant Hand", and it is exactly what it sounds like. The mentality is that one must fully focus in the present to really succeed at using one's nondominant hand. I decided that this book would be most effective in my life if I practiced these exercises throughout each week, focusing on one target practice per week. I have a journal that is supplementing my mindfulness practice that is used to jot down thoughts, ideas, concerns, etc for my "skill of the week" to which I can reflect on how my practice is going, things to tweak, consider, or re-practice. My hope is that by journaling my journey and outlining my practice, it will make the experience more meaningful and long-lasting.
|How to Train a Wild Elephant by Jan Chozen Bays, MD|
My hope is to write about my journey using this book, with the intention of posting once per week. If you are interested in experiencing this journey yourself, I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book. It is a very easy, comprehensible read, especially for beginners to the practice.