A Day Of Mindfulness
by Thich Nhat Hanh
The purpose of this retreat is to give you the chance to practice being mindful of how actions and thoughts effect your life. By taking the time to be more aware and interested in your regular activity you will experience more calm and space in your life. This is a practice recommended for once a week.
Step 1 – Remind yourself.
Figure out a way to remind yourself of your day upon waking, eg. hanging the word ‘mindfulness’ on your bedroom door.
Step 2 – Breathe slowly.
While still lying in bed begin to slowly follow your breath. Continue being aware of your breath as you rise. Continue your morning activities in a calm and relaxing way, each movement done with mindfulness – calmly and quietly.
Step 3 – Take a bath.
Spend at least 30 minutes taking a bath. Bathe slowly and mindfully so that by the time you have finished you feel light and refreshed.
Step 4 – Enjoy your space.
You may do some housework and general cleaning up – mindfully, with pleasure in the things you have. Don’t do any task in a way that ‘get’s it done’ – be resolved to do each job in a relaxed way, with all your attention.
Step 5 – Maintain a spirit of silence.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak, but only speak if it is necessary, and about important things. Keep singing or humming to a minimum.
Step 6 – Have a delicious lunch.
At lunchtime, prepare a meal for yourself, something delicious.
Step 7 – Prepare a pot of tea.
In the afternoon prepare a pot of tea. Enjoy your tea, don’t rush, take your time. Live in the moment with your tea, don’t think of the future or the past. Enjoy the warmth, the flavour, the cup.
Step 8 – Expand the mind.
Read some scripture or a dharma related book, something that keeps your mind in a virtuous place.
Step 9 – Keep it light in the evening.
Have a light dinner, and go for a gentle walk.
Step 10 – Sleep mindfully.
Be aware of the movement of your breath as you fall asleep. Be grateful for your day – a day to nourish and recharge for the benefit of all beings.