Contemplative Practice

In contemplation, I stop and breathe.
The Sculpture Promenade of Contemporary Art

backstory: Some people do yoga, tai chi, meditation and so on, as a contemplative practice to calm the mind, I walk. As autumn advances and darkness (November) approaches, it becomes more important for me to pay attention and keep finding beauty. Because when I moved North, I inherited seasonal affective disorder. Combine that with anxieties of present days, and you get the picture!

Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe. โ€“ Wayne Dyer

What practices or rituals help you nurture your mental well-being?

p.s. Iโ€™m also linking to Poets and Storytellers United.

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and blogger. Her blog focuses on poetry and creative nonfiction, and also features poets and their books.

38 Comments

  1. I need culture. I need to read a little every day. I need to write something. And tea. I need a cup of tea in the morning. If I have these things I am goodโ€ฆwell, better than Iโ€™d be otherwise

  2. I need SPACE. Space to twirl, space to make a mess, space to get lost in discovery, space to practise/spread out my music.
    When I was in music school, a famous cellist told everyone during a masterclass that no matter one’s instrument (but especially for cellists as it’s a biggish instrument) a performer should “Claim your space!”
    hugs

  3. Walking is a great type of active meditation. I like doing it in the woods, walking that is. My favorite kind of active meditation is dancing and gardening and cleaning. I can get lost in the moves conjured by a good song, in caring for plants, in rearranging my books and dusting.

  4. i fish. and i don’t mean the kind of fishing where you sit on the shore or a boat drinking a beer floating bait, i mean standing hip deep (or even chest deep) in a lake or river tossing flies around. it’s very zen, very meditative and focused on the moment, no room in the head for politics or relationships, no room to write poem or stare at clouds and daydream, just the moment as it is, focused on pretending to be a mayfly nymph, last spring i quit my job and spent 3 month wandering around colorado and wyoming just fishing, by myself, it was awesome!

  5. Working and being among Nature, cloud and moon watching in particular. The moon in particular connects me to all that is. We all see the same moon, no matter where we are.

  6. Well the awe of nature is good too. But i clibg to the good old fashioned Catholic Litanies.

    And well there is alwsys beer๐Ÿ™ƒ
    Happy Sunday

    Much๐Ÿ’œlove

  7. That sculpture reminds me of one I saw in Utrecht. I do meditation too but it is a very non-spiritual meditation focusing on immediate experience.

  8. I recently realized that I tend to go from one activity to the next, without any break. So, what I’ve started doing is just sitting in stillness for five minutes between each activity. It really does seem to help slow the brain down and signal, like hey…we’re letting that other thing go right now.

  9. Well there’s tea of course. But I also find my days feel steadier when I make the time for regular spiritual practice in the morning and afternoon. Prayer beads are my companion of choice in the afternoons, but I like to keep to a looser structure when I first wake up.

  10. Life is a delicate balance between being and doing.

  11. I also walk. The Latin saying “solvitur ambulando” (it is solved by walking) became my mantra years ago when I stumbled upon this phrase.
    Wishing you strength with the lack of sunshine over the following months.

  12. Wayne Dyer was my favorite guru. His advice was (and is) so wise. I’ve been suffering an attack of SAD myself this week as rainy, chilly, gloomy day follow one after the other. It takes concentration to lift one’s spirits, for sure!

  13. You make the writing poems part sound easy, Rosemary. ๐Ÿ™‚ But yes, I’ve heard about contemplative writing; observing one’s thoughts with pen and paper nearby.

  14. I relate to the need to read a little everyday. I too, start my day with a bit of reading and usually it’s a poetry. And I fall asleep with a book of fiction. ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. I agree that writing poems is mostly calming. But I think it depends on the subject. For instance, I don’t find writing dark poetry and political poetry soothing; it’s more like purging. ๐Ÿ™‚ And meditation yes, I practice it from time to time.

  16. I can picture you twirling around, lost in music or discovery as you put it…such beauty! And I like the thought about claiming space. I would even say I guard mine fiercely. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Yep, me too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I find walks in the woods the best. Yes, of course, dancing and cleaning do the trick. It’s funny strange that you are also into active meditation. I’d have thought I wrote this comment, if it were not for gardening; something I don’t really do much here in the city. I rely on IKEA to keep the plants alive…Lol!

  18. Phillip, the description; you fishing hip deep in a lake and tossing flies around sounds so familiar. It’s common around here, too. I must say being in the moment like that (your mind with no room for anything else) is just beautiful and admirable. And kudos to you for taking time out, after quitting your job! We owe it to ourselves to quit things that are not working as well as enjoy ourselves. Just brilliant!

  19. “The moon in particular” that I know from your poetic openings of your newsletters. ๐Ÿ™‚ You know ever since you told me that we see the same moon, each time I’m watching one I think of who else I know could be watching, right at this moment. The state of being connected with each other…it’s powerful!

  20. I agree good old fashioned prayer never fails. And then there’s beer, which has the opposite effect of calm, for me. ๐Ÿ˜€

  21. Oh, the pic of the sculpture was taken from on the Finnish cities, Kotka, I visited recently. This sculpture promenade is said to be Finland’s biggest outdoor gallery.

    Come to think of it, I probable meditate in kind of very non-spiritual way, as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Oh, wow! Such is the beauty of your contemplative practices. I truly can’t imagine anything better than to love…powerful! And thank you so much for feedback, Helen. I’m glad to hear you find my posts thought-provoking.

  23. You are so disciplined, Kathy. That jumping from one activity to the next is my daily grind, and I can’t break the spell unless I literally put on my shoes and go out. I really admire your ability to just sit in stillness, for few minutes.

  24. Your contemplative practice sounds soothing, Rommy. Prayer beads, especially always intrigue me. I often observe people who use them appear so zen, and lost in the rhythm in between their fingers. A really wonderful way to calm the mind, I must say.

  25. It is indeed solved by walking, I can attest to that. Thank you Mariss for well wishes, I’m going to need all the strengths I have…

  26. Sorry to hear you’ve been attacked by SAD. It is a force to be reckoned with…to put it politely. I hope you have some ways to alleviate it or a coping mechanism. And Dyer’s advice is wise; an advice I take to heart more especially during the dark months. Take care, Bev!

  27. Me too. I read on an ereader and when it whacks me in the face itโ€™s time to sleep

  28. It is a challenge when the seasons influence your mood negatively. Summer always makes me miserable. I find joy in the autumn and the winter. I have been hiking through the autumn to absorb the colors and the crispness in the air. When winter comes, I will try to ski and get out in the snow. There is an outside activity for every season, and I try to embrace the change in routine and the cycle of the year the best I can. Though I wish I could live in autumn the longest.

  29. It’s amazing how much peace can come in five minutes of mindfulness, Khaya. I also have “sad” and use a lightbox when I start feeling sun-starved during our seven months of rain. I hope you get outside to notice the beauty all around you… especially on those sunny days. <3

  30. Late autumn is definitely a challenge. November, especially, is the month you don’t want to visit Finland. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I hear you about summer making you miserable. As you said, it’s a challenge when seasons influence one’s mood negatively. But nature is an antidote to most, if not all, our ills. That’s why it’s great to hear about your joyous outdoor activities. Enjoy the season!

  31. That’s all it takes. But it’s easy to forget, when we are busy chasing deadlines. And SAD is a… *[fill in your favourite word]. But thanks to whoever invented the lightbox, it certainly provides great relief. Oh, yes outside always we must go. ๐Ÿ™‚ Take care, my friend! <3

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