Oakville Zen Meditation

#195 Mindfulness on the Go: appreciating the little stuff Oct 12 17

       Mindfulness on the GO: Appreciating the little stuff

Learning to appreciate even to be grateful about this and that or about someone is a wonderful mindfulness practice that anyone can practice several times during the day.

Initially it will not be easy especially when we are taking things for grated, when we are on the rush

or when what we are doing is routine as usual.

Try this: often as possible, stop and consciously identify what you are able to appreciate in the moment or even being grateful to.

It could be something about yourself, another person, your immediate environment, what you are doing or sensing. Appreciating things in life as they are is truly a great skill that few have. It does not mean to see everything positively nor being over optimistic.

Be curious in asking yourself: “ Is there anything I can appreciate right now?”

You can even set-up time when to ask yourself this question.

Appreciation practice anytime and anywhere is a true investigation helping us to cultivate little bit of joy and serenity. The Buddhist term for joy is "mudita". It is more than just appreciating what makes us feel good. It includes also the happiness and empathy we feel in connection with other people’s joy and good fortune.

This quality of joy is not hard to feel and to share when the other people are the loved ones such as our child’s happiness with a new toy. However, sharing the happiness of someone we do not appreciate too much is a different story. In fact it is almost an impossible task.

All great Zen Masters are asking us to appreciate not only our own life but also the life of all living beings as often as possible. It can be done by systematically looking for the positive little stuff even when experiencing difficult times and struggles.