Do you have to sit and observe your breath for 20 minutes a day to practise mindfulness?
No you don’t.
Sitting mindfully is helpful and builds that “mindfulness muscle” but it isn’t essential.
Many people don’t live in circumstances in which they can sit mindfully for 20 minutes a day: long commutes, demanding kids or a lack of privacy all put paid to monk-type meditating. Others would give up on mindfulness if they had to do it because, well, they can usually find something more interesting to do than sitting for twenty minutes with their breathing – actually the same is true of people who meditate daily and they do it anyway: if you are not made of such stern stuff don’t drop mindfulness but use some of the ideas below.
Mindfulness in daily life
So, if sitting mindfully isn’t your thing, you can aim to cultivate mindfulness in your daily life. How? Try these:
Mindfulness as we practise it today was developed in the Buddhist tradition. But historians say most Buddhists have not traditionally practised sitting and meditating, that this was more a practice for senior monks in monasteries – the juniors were busy doing the hard work!
So if sitting in meditation isn’t for you, practise mindfulness anyway and you’ll still get the benefits of this great life skill.
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