Good morning again! Welcome to Day Two of our Meditations in Gratitude. I hope you all remembered to set the day off with the strong intention you had pre-established during yesterday’s exercise.
If not, there is zero point in beating yourself up about that. Newer things are easier to forget. Just do it after reading this. And then see if you can remember first thing tomorrow. We’ll still get this meditation in today, so even having missed that, you’ll still have moved yourself forward psychologically and spiritually.
As we do these, you will find they fall into different categories. Some are designed to make us more present, often by dealing with our senses. Others will require our imaginations, or memories. Some will be about us, some about the world.
Today’s exercise is about presence. We cannot spot things to be grateful for if we’re only noticing a small percentage of what’s going on. So today we’ll place your focus on somewhere reliably beautiful, readily available, yet something you’d rarely include in your usual description of your ‘reality.’
(Since some very impressive doctors saved my sight late last year, I’m sensitive to the fact that this is a sense-based exercise. If someone is blind, they will need to develop their own hearing-based version of this exercise, which shouldn’t be too difficult.)
This is an practice I often recommend and I do it frequently myself each year. For me, I find it helps me to keep score on myself in terms of how much I’m remembering to do it, versus how many times I let the opportunity slip by. Knowing I’m keeping score helps keep me alert to my opportunities.
The practice today is to note in detail, a description of everyone’s eyes we speak to, or watch on TV if we’re stuck at home. Many people have gorgeous eyes, they’re all around us, and yet almost none of us pay any attention to them, let alone stop to define them.
At the end of the day we can assess how often we noticed versus how many pairs of eyes we saw. And we can also think about whether the little descriptions we used for each set of eyes changed as we looked more throughout the day. If it did change, what does that change say about our awareness?
Even having done this for just today, we all will have made eyes more important to our brains for a fairly long time, so expect to start noticing people’s eyes far more often. It’s a great way to stay present, and so many beautiful examples to look at, it gets hard to see the world as ugly.
Remember: we should note their eye’s, and then define them with just a short self-talked description. If we can describe them then we saw them in the present moment. And if we did that, that means we will have taken a step in teaching our brains to place a higher value on presence.
Congratulations on another small step forward. Over time, these take us on our journey. See you tomorrow.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.