Updated: Apr 21, 2022
The other day, my daughter and I spent an afternoon looking for sea glass. We walked and talked, crouching along the shore, sifting through rocks, searching for sea glass to pop out as waves reshuffled the beach. We shared with one another our wins with pride and delight. "I found a green one!" or "Another amber!" I felt totally and completely in the moment, attuned to the sound of waves crashing against the beach, the feeling of cold water and polished rocks under my feet, and the beloved person next to me.
Amid this connected and immersive experience, I thought, "I am experiencing mindfulness," which of course pulled me out of my mindful moment! However, some meditation teachers say that it is in that moment of noticing the mind wandering that we learn mindfulness. On the meditation cushion, we catch our thoughts drifting, and without judgment, begin again to focus on the breath. So after my mind-wander on the beach, I did want I do in meditation: I noticed the commentary, and returned to crouching on the sand, sifting through rocks, feeling the wind on my face and enjoying the company.
There is a deeper inspiration within "beginning again" that we learn through mindfulness meditation. If we've lost our way, in a moment of recognition, we can also begin again....begin again to allow joy into our hearts, begin again to embrace kindness, begin again to dedicate ourselves to our goals. It can be anything, but it's the pairing of recognition and redirecting, with acceptance and self-compassion, where the practice jumps off the cushion into real life, cultivating greater resilience.
Where can you begin again today? This week? What distractions or misguidance can you notice (in non-judgment and acceptance), and return to your truer path?