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2011-11-11

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November 11, 2011 - 4:11pm

Everyday Spirituality: One hot minute

BY CHRIS ANDERSON

Have you ever completely stopped everything you were doing? Has it been for more than just a few seconds? If not, you’re missing out. Here’s a little perspective on practice and benefits for taking one hot minute and recharging batteries during the busiest of times.

Come this time of year, I’d definitely say we are in the “pre-Thanksgiving push.” Large reports are due, professors are covering more content than ever and next semester’s course guide is snatching remaining scraps of attention. Oh, and there’s that thing called looking for a job. It’s a blur chalk full of deadlines, meetings and stress, with a little food and sleep thrown in. This grind mode is draining, and ultimately takes away from the quality of our work and daily life.

That’s where this special minute comes in. I’m talking about one full minute of nothing.

Nothing.

Coming from the Zen Buddhist concept of “no-mind,” this hot minute is a time to just be. Each day, we spend sheaves of energy judging a situation, feeling guilty about what we did or didn’t do, or analyzing some current role we’re in. There’s a lot of thinking, but most of it isn’t very efficient. Time to put the mind back in its place, and get back to our day (i.e. the basic premise of this blog).

Try it! Stop everything for a full minute. Breathe. Feel what’s happening around you, but hold off on any commentary. Just observe.

At first, it may be a challenge; I liken the experience of quieting mind chatter to training a hyper puppy. There’s no need to time it precisely, just go on gut and a glance at your phone. You’ll be surprised how full a minute actually is. Give yourself some time to adjust. Try this multiple times a day, or whenever the mind feels particularly beat. It may seem trivial, but one minute (or three!) can make a huge difference and create a nice awareness of the day. With a small dose of silence, we rewire for a sound mind.

Thanks for reading everyone! Looking forward to your feedback. cjpa@umich.edu


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