The Surprising Reason Travelling Triggers Greater Mindfulness

Travelling brings us into the present moment and that’s one of the reasons we love it so much. So whether we’re riding across France or riding the bus to work, the changing scenery around us brings into sharper focus whatever it is within us that doesn’t change, whatever it is that doesn’t go anywhere. 

Plus, travel brings new vistas and different faces and our minds love that sort of novelty. Brain function research suggests that familiar and unfamiliar items are processed by different brain regions. Familiar items being processed by the frontal lobes, and unfamiliar objects being processed by the temporal lobe, a sorting room type region which takes in sensory information and decides what it all means.  It’s helpful that our brains remember familiar things in this way, or else it would take ages to get anything done. Just imagine having to learn what a fork was every time you sat down to dinner! 

The good news is that you don’t have to go on holiday to be captivated, there are lots of thrilling experiences on offer much closer to home. By approaching every day items with an open mind and a willingness to be unconcluded, you’ll hear what these objects have to say. To borrow a line from Austrian poet Rilke, you’ll encounter ‘the silence of their concentrated reality.’

So why not give it a go. There is much magic to be found in the familiar parts of life. The trick is to look at every day things with fresh eyes, just as you would if you were travelling. For example, the way the trees move on a windy day, or the sound of the washing machine spinning or the look on your lovers face when you tell them how beautiful they are. (Find pockets of mindfulness in your every day life with this little book!)

Life is always trying to thrill us, but sometimes we’re looking the other way.What do you think about all this? Let me know what you think in the comments below, I always love reading what you have to say.

If you love these kinds of enquiries, you might also enjoy my monthly newsletter, you can join it for free HERE

The Surprising Reason Travelling Triggers Greater Mindfulness

The Surprising Reason Travelling Triggers Greater Mindfulness
Do you like to meditate on the beach, or somewhere special when you travel?

This morning when I was meditating on the beach something happened which was nothing less than truly beautiful. I was listening to the perfect waves of the sea rolling in and out. The sound was millions of years old. But also very new and fresh. Deep, soft and effervescent all at the same time. And then during my sitting, the sea seemed no longer a sea away from me and apart from me. The distinction of self and sea fell away. I could feel the tide drawing in over the sand and shells as though it were in my own body; in me also swelled the waves, crashing on the shoreline all frothy and great and the joy of each wave breaking was my own: whatever it was that kept us apart was nothing.

I sat for a while and later on during the day my mind flicked back time and again to some lines of the poet Mark Rutherford and I wanted to share my version of them here with you, as clunky as words are for this sort of thing. 

There are currently no comments.