Expressing your moment in 3 small lines.
A simple mindful writing practice
Take a pen and a piece of paper and note down the things you are aware of now in your immediate situation or environment. To offer you an idea on how to get started, here's an example of a list I made earlier:
I’m aware of:
- the smell of coffee…
- the sound of rain on the windows…
- the feeling of breathing
- my tummy..
- If I open my eyes I am aware of colours, trees, walls, shapes and light.
- I close my eyes again and I am aware of:
- my feet…
- the sound of a bird..
- the feeling of having hair..
- a sensation of heat in my arms…
- a sense of quiet calm…
- I’m also aware of myself, being aware…
- I see that this awareness is essentially what I am
Writing down the experience you are having right now can be a nice way to feel more in the moment and a little more in touch with life. It can be particularly helpful if you find that you keep leaving the present moment, perhaps to think about the past or worry about future events.
This practice also illuminates how ephemeral and changeful life is. For example, just as soon as I wrote down ‘the sound of the rain on the windows’ the rain stopped and a bird started singing.
Once you have written down your impressions, you might also enjoy expressing the moment with a little added creative flair. One way to do this is through writing poetry.
There is a type of poetry called Haiku which can be used to express an experience or a moment.
The haiku is a Japanese verse, usually in three lines. Line one usually has 5 syllables, line 2 has 7 syllables and line three has 5 syllables. Here's a really easy one I made up a moment ago:
rainy window pane
wet day at home on the farm
drinking warm coffee
Why not string a few haiku together on a rainy day - or any day, as part of your mindful explorations. Remember that by putting light heartedness above trying to get it right or trying too hard to make a good one, your haiku time can be really great fun!
Here are a few examples I thought you might enjoy, by the poets Basho & Shiki. They don't all follow the same 5-7-5 syllable pattern, but oh, they are fab!
a baby crab
climbs up my leg –
such clear water
The old pond
A frog leaps in.
(Both by Basho)
darting among pinks –
(by Shiki (tr. Stryk/Ikimoto))
As well as haikus, there are many other ways to creatively express your immediate experience of life. Which others can you think of? Leave me a comment bellow and let me know how you get on and the other ideas you have tried.
Here is a short clip on Instagram of a moment captured using video rather than haiku, on a recent trip to the Cotswolds.