Good Morning Yogis! For those of you in the United States, it is Independence Day – Happy 4th of July! We are in the middle of a special Santosha and Mindfulness Summer Fun Month to align with July’s Anti-Boredom Month. I have heard if we focus on the past we will be depressed, if we focus on the future we will be anxious, and the key to joy is living in the present moment. A couple of the Yamas and Niyamas reflect this secret of happiness hidden in the “now”.
Mindfulness is central to a number of eastern religions and philosophies, and is becoming a common theme in western therapy, psychology, and self-help. We have also focused on mindfulness in some of our past daily practices, especially on past Santosha Days and with some focused meditation practices. Mindfulness and losing oneself in the current moment is my idea of “finding flow” that we most commonly experience during “getting in the zone” during particular athletic, work, and artistic activities. Zen Buddhism takes this concept further with Zen Arts such as Tea Ceremony, Archery, Painting, and Flower Arrangement. So, we will focus this month on trying different practices and activities to at minimum beat boredom for Anti-Boredom Month, and hopefully help you experience a flow state.
Today is the start of Clean Beach Week. 4th of July is the number one day for beach attendance, but also the number one day for beach littering! I think everyone can agree that litter on beaches or anywhere in nature is quite undesirable.
I learned that plastic is not truly recyclable, and often ends up on our beaches. We are often doing better by throwing plastic in the trash than the recycle bin! Recycle IS last in “Reduce Reuse Recycle” so see if there are other ways you can reduce or reuse your plastics, since they often are not actually recycled.
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try today’s Anti-Boredom / mindfulness/flow Activity: get outside and enjoy some time by the water, and do some beach cleanup to honor Clean Beach Week or another form of outdoor clean-up. You can consider this a practice of selfless Saucha. Many of us will be heading to a beach, or another outdoor location for the holiday or to enjoy this summer weekend. Make sure to pack in and pack out all your trash and belongings, and pick up any trash you see along the way for Clean Beach Week! I also find the beach is a perfect place to relax and let everything else slip away, so perhaps you can find your Zen state today by the water!
Environmentalism and Mindfulness
I find the water is a great place to help my thoughts quiet. Try to calmly take notice when your thoughts drift back to the past or forward to the future. Try to bring yourself back to and fully immerse yourself in the present moment by focusing on the sight, sounds, smells, taste, or feel of your surroundings.
Make sure to practice mindfulness and try to enjoy each day’s practice with all five senses.
- If you are one of the many people heading to the beach this weekend, make sure to pick up after yourself!
- Maybe bring gloves and trash bags and do some extra clean-up in honor of Clean Beach Week since you’re already there.
- If you are not near any beaches or have other plans, keep an eye out for litter while you are out and do a little clean up when the opportunity presents itself.
- If you do not have holiday plans, perhaps find and participate in an organized clean-up.. these events are usually great for maintaining social distancing!
- Perhaps plant a tree.
- Or, keep your holiday plans and support beach and ocean cleanup efforts by purchasing a 4Ocean sea plastic bracelet.
- Or, if none of these suggestions resonate with you, find another way to practice some environmentalism!
We started this month with a deep dive of the Zen Tea Ceremony, but today is a more simple activity. Tea and other beverage recommendations from our intro had enough varieties to suit nearly everyone, but some of our practices this month will not be a good fit for you.. that’s okay! If today’s practice is not for you, try to get outside near another body of water of your choice, or go back and try another personal Tea Ceremony today!
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Please comment and share your experience with today’s practice. Were you able to find flow or contentment in the now? Always remember, be kind!