Ancient wisdom from a 2 year old
June 8, 2010
I just started reading The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh. Thanks to my 2 year old daughter I actually think that I understood the concept almost immediately.
Mindfulness is about doing what you’re doing and what you have to do, just for it’s own sake. Mindfulness is about focusing on the now instead of what’s to come. It’s about “washing the dishes to wash the dishes” as the author puts it. When you can wash the dishes without anything else in mind except washing the dishes and enjoying the ride, then you’re being mindful.
About six months ago, my daughter then 18 months old, started forming her first senteces. They where always on the form “me I’m sitting” or “me I’m swinging” or “me I’m eating”. I used to interpret them as naive obvious statements just to show us that she was learning to speak. After reading the first chapters of The Miracle of Mindfulness, I’m starting to believe that she already nows all this stuff about mindfulness and that I’m the one being naive. She is always mindful of what she’s doing. She is always living in the moment. She’s not planning ahead and doing things in order to get to something else. When she’s sitting she is just sitting for the sitting itself. When she’s swinging, she’s swinging just for the sake of swinging. And do you know what? She seems to be a lot more content with life than I am.
I think that I’m getting the concept but I’m certainly not mastering the art like my 2 year old daughter. I probably have years of practice to get even close to where she is. But I’m starting my journey. I want to live in the now and enjoy every moment the same way she is. So to Juni, my Zen master … me I’m writing.