Lesson Topic, 1.3
Frequently Asked Questions
Q– 1. What does sitting still with my eyes closed have to do with my job, or my life in general?
A– Sitting with your eyes closed while paying attention to the breath or sounds is a training; it’s not “the game.” But like other activities we practice with repetition, it helps to strengthen our ability to focus.
Q– 2. How can paying attention to brushing my teeth help? Isn’t it better if I use that time for planning my day?
A– Training the attention to stay with experience as it is really occurring supports the mind’s ability to see clearly and learn. We begin to see what truly is present, not what we wish or fear is present.
Q– 3. Yesterday my meditation was easy and today it was hard: My mind just kept drifting away to my weekend plans. What am I doing wrong?
A– You know that the mind you sat down to meditate with today was very different than the mind you sat down with yesterday. The practice is to use that recognition to gently redirect the attention back to our intended focus.
Q– 4. How long will it take before I notice a difference?
A– It’s fairly common for people to report within a couple of weeks of dedicated practice that they were able to meet a situation with a new sense of having choice in how they respond.
Q– 5. Can I listen to music while meditating?
A– At first it is best not to listen to music. Over time, if incorporating music into formal practice still interests you, experiment, remembering to notice if this seems to support your ability to remain attentive and curious.
Q– 6. I can’t sit still for 10 minutes, is it OK if I move around?
A– Through mindfulness practice we begin to learn more about the inter-relationship between the body and the mind. So we do our best to not shift position automatically and bring awareness to any movements we decide to make.
Q– 7. I’m fine with silent meditation, but once I open my mouth I’m not mindful at all! Does this ever get better?
A– Bringing mindfulness to communicating is a bit more challenging than paying attention to the sensations of the breath. Eventually we are able to weave mindfulness into more complex activities, such as speaking and listening.
Note: To benefit from Mindfulness For Marks training, we suggest:
- Maximum of one lesson per day
- Practicing 10-15 minutes each morning