“The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for exiting. One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structures of reality.” – Albert Einstein
I love a good question. I loved them especially when the question was posed by my students. I always told my students that no question is silly, stupid, or a waste of time. We had a question board with the headline “QUESTIONING MAY BE THE ANSWER”. I had several pockets on the board with various categories. For example one category was “absolutely must know”. Those were usually the most challenging questions. The students wanted to stump me at times. But I made it clear that there were questions I would have to research to give them an accurate response and a responsible one at that.
Some questions were very mindful as well. The question was thoughtful and many times very profound. This is what I call mindful questioning. It is the question that was based on careful observation of something. It was the question that needed careful analysis.
My students knew that those questions would make me very proud. I would praise those students by giving them a certificate that proclaimed them as thinkers. That made them proud.
I miss that activity very much. I try to propose a mindful question every day. I learned recently that such activities helps your brain stay sharp because the process helps to learn something new.
Since I do not have a captive audience anymore I thought I might ask the readers of this blog to send me a mindful question. I will not promise to research every question myself but I hope that the questions I post will stimulate a conversation.
Do you have a mindful question? Please post your question in the comments section.
Happy mindful questioning!
I was forced to take some time off from posting on a regular basis. I appreciate your support and hope to get back on a regular schedule of posts. You can expect to read posts three times a week. I will share my ideas and insights about becoming more mindful. I hope you join me on my journey to a more still, purposeful and mindful place.
Peace and Stillness,
I found myself looking at this bookend I was dusting off as I was reorganizing my library. I thought about all the tragedy recently. I was hoping not to let negative feelings take over but we have had our share of crazy unstillness lately. I think I just made up a word. I realized that I needed to ease up and also figure out on how to help others regain ease and peace.
I sometimes have to talk myself into staying focused and on track with my goals. I remind myself that only I can simplify my commitments so I am not so overwhelmed. I have to work on being mindful of the daily distractions.
I looked at this jester type figure and focused on finding something comical or funny to get myself relaxed. I picked up some joke books and had some hearty laughs. Afterwards I was able to fight off the distractions and stay focused and still.
What do you do to stay focused and mindful? I would love to hear from you.
I have had my share of deeply mindful moments. Today was special. I looked out the window and it was snowing as had been predicted a few days ago. The snow started at about eight in the morning and it was a truly beautiful sight. The thick flakes created a very serene moment. I started getting my camera ready to make a short video clip to send to my grandson who does not get to see snow where he lives. Then I noticed the battery needed charging. I looked outside again and the beautiful white flakes had turned to rain. I had missed the moment.
It is too often that we want to photograph something to capture the moment forever on film but we miss the real moment. There may have been a squirrel frolicking about, also mesmerized by the snow. I may have missed someone looking up in awe of the heavenly white showers.
About a half hour later it started snowing again but it was not the same. The flakes were not as thick. The magic if you will was simply not present.I was so disappointed.
On snowy or rainy days I usually sit to paint or draw. I sat and tried to paint a snowy landscape. I ended up tearing up the paper and doodled instead. I later colored in the blank spaces. The colors reminded me of springtime. My mood changed almost immediately. I had lost that one moment I wanted to videotape but I was able to shift to a new mindset.
Sometimes mindful moments are purposeful and truly meant to help us shift gears to think about other things that help us to be more creative. A video camera captures special moments. Today my special moment was when I doodled my way into springtime. Only about five more weeks to go according to the ground hog. I cannot wait to sit and watch the flowers bloom.
This week I came across a few “feel good” stories about people being mindful of the mishaps and tragedies of other people. They were truly heart warming. I wonder how these events come about. Is it that someone just happens to be at the right place at the right time? Is it a sudden awakening of kindness? Is it accidental? Was there a divine plan in the works because someone had to learn one of life’s lessons?
I believe that we can develop a mindful heart. I think it happens when you are surrounded by others that are constantly demonstrating how humans work because humans have feelings. I think a mindful heart is a lifelong experience. You show up and just pay attention to the needs of others. We see this a lot during disasters, and moments of human calamity.
Growing up I watched my dad being mindful of the needs of others. I remember he would take me to neighborhoods that were run down and where deep poverty was present. He’d donate loaves of bread and other foods to soup kitchens. He never walked by someone who asked him for some change or not offer a smile. He never judged and never questioned. He told me once that it was important to watch people and look into their eyes because eyes always tell the truth about a person’s situation.
When my dad passed I remember that many people came to the funeral service to pay their respects. Many of them I had never seen before. But every one of them had a story to tell about how my father had been kind to them. The stories made me proud.
I believe my dad had a mindful heart. He cared about people. He hated to see anyone suffering. He was compassionate.
I think we all need to look around and be more attentive to the needs of others. These days there seems to be so much bickering about this or that and we lose sight of the things that truly matter and that we need to help fix. It could be as simple as writing to elected official on a given issue. It could be that you become a little more passionate about giving and making your community a better place.
Just think; our hearts all beat the same way. When we are born our hearts are beating and had been beating from the start and when we pass our hearts stop the same way. Listen to your heart beat while you can and know that it may connect to someone else who may need a friend or a helping hand. February commemorates love and friendship. I think this is a great time to start being a little more heart mindful.