“Books don’t offer a real escape, but they can stop a mind from scratching itself rough.” – David Mitchell
Almost any activity you engage in can be a chance for you to practice mindfulness.
One is reading.
Have you heard of meditative reading? If you haven’t yet, you’re on the right page.
There is no mindfulness practice that does not include breathing practice. In fact, that’s one of the things you should do first—count the breath, notice the quality of the breath, and slow it down. Basically, it’s all about being aware of your breath.
Reading is also a mindfulness activity. In fact, it is one powerful tool for meditation. Why?
Why Is Reading Effective For Meditation?
Do you remember the time when you were so engrossed in a book that you forgot what was going on around you?
This is a clear sign of extreme focus on one activity.
See, many of us go on a mindfulness journey to calm ourselves down. To connect with our inner selves. To be in the present moment.
When you are engaged in reading, all these things happen without thinking about it.
Your mind is active when you read—you produce your own images, sounds, and feelings in your imagination.
These are exactly the things why reading is a powerful meditative tool.
There are two opportunities for mindfulness that you can get from reading—the first is the physical one, and the second is your cognitive reactions to the act.
If you want to get into meditative reading, it’s best to stick to fiction books. Non-fiction books are not written for recreation. You want to find a book that is relaxing for you to read. The book should be capable of something that interests and engages you.
Keep in mind that reading is not a race. You don’t have to buy a lot of books just to collect them and promise yourself that one day you will finish them all. Take your time and don’t feel obligated to rush to the end.
Just enjoy the journey.
Meditation is not about emptying the mind, because our brain is designed to think, and you really can’t stop it from doing its job. Instead, meditation is all about paying attention to thoughts, and that’s exactly what you can get from reading a good book.
So, if you think sitting still and meditating doesn’t work for you, try meditative reading instead. It will take you to a whole new world that will open your eyes to the wonders of meditation and how it can help your overall being.
Plop down on the sofa and get some reading on!