In the introduction of her book, "How To Train A Wild Elephant," Jan Chozen Bays says that mindfulness is "like a game of connect the dots, or like a paint-by-numbers kit." You start with a small area of your life -- like taking three deep breaths before you pick up the phone -- until the practice of being totally aware and present spreads to all other areas of your life.
Chozen Bays, a meditation teacher who lives in a Zen monastery in Oregon, also asserts that mindfulness -- the simple act of staying present in the current moment -- helps us perform tasks more skilfully, makes us emotionally resilient, guides our spiritual paths and improves our relationships.
In the simple and simply written soon-to-release book, Chozen Bays has laid out the essential foundation for a life of mndfulness. There is a whole host of easy activities that one can incorporate in one's daily lives. These are a few of them:
Excerpted from HOW TO TRAIN A WILD ELEPHANT by Jan Chozen Bays, (c) 2011. Published by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston. www.Shambhala.com.