Oakville Zen Meditation

#382 Resting your hands: a mindfulness on-the-go exercise 08 1 21

                                           Mindfulness on the go: Resting your hands.

Over time, I am trying to alternate so-called spiritual/philosophical Dharma topics with more practical ones. The following belong to the latter.

How often do you pay attention to your moving hands? Almost never.

Paying attention to something that we never do is a wonderful mind circuit breaker because, being forced to focus on something very unusual, our overheated mind circuit is cut off. I will talk more about more mind circuit breakers next week.

Here is an example: focusing on your resting hands...I learned this little exercise many years ago during a retreat and still practice it.

Several times a day let your hands relax completely.

For at least a few seconds or even one min., let them be completely still.

At first, this exercise will make you feel weird because you are stopping everything that you are doing.  Even after a few seconds, you will start to wonder if you are not wasting your precious time.

Remember: our ego wants to be busy all the time and that includes not only your mind but also having our body, including hands, in motion all the time even if you do not realize it.

All of us are suffering from an ego-driven “busyness disease” because we want to project to others and to ourselves that, indeed, we are busy i.e. “I am important or I am indispensable” How often do you tell someone that you are not busy?

How to proceed?

Place both hands comfortably on a table or on your lap and then, focus your awareness on the subtle sensations in the quietness of your hands while taking a few breaths to help relax.

Then something strange will happen:

Your hands may get restless, your body agitated, your mind aroused and your keyboard bored.

When you are able to relax your hands, even for a short period of time, the rest of the body and even the mind will relax too .........quicker than you may anticipate.

Oriental spirituality is teaching us that body and mind are a single unit and they always work together.

Relaxing the hands is an easy way of quieting body and mind as long as you do not become impatient and restless too quickly.

When the body is still, the mind will settle automatically.

Putting in reverse: when your mind is quieter, your body including your hands will relax.

Remember to relax your hands for a short period of time, several times during the day.

You will greatly benefit from this little mindfulness-on-the-go exercise.

Your ego of being “not busy” will suffer a bit but so what!    Thank you all.