Sometimes Mindfulness Sneaks Up When In a Mindless State

Leave the first response December 18, 2011 / Posted in Mindfulness


Present moment, beautiful moment. It is all we have.

And in the present moment it is amazing what can be created when one looks back at a compilation of present moments.

For it is with the heart that one sees rightly
For what is essential is invisible to the eye


And from the viewpoint of someone who watched it happen

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

— from “Leisure,” by W.H. Davies

In an article “Pearls Before Swine” written by Gene Weingarten he relays the story of virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell playing incognito in the the Washington, D.C. Metro station at L’Enfant Plaza on his three million dollar Stradivarius. On Friday, January 12, 2007, Joshua Bell played for 43 minutes. Of the 6 pieces he played he started with Bach’s “Chaconne” one of the most difficult violin pieces to master. In those 43 minutes 1097 people passed by on their way to work. At the end of his playing, he had collected $32.17. Of the 40+ people the Washington Post contacted there was only one who mentioned the violinist immediately.

The full article “Pearls Before Swine” is a good read. How often our busyness and business finds us in a state of mindlessness. How can we embrace our lives from the context of mindfulness?

W. H. Davies

WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

And as I searched for more videos on Joshua Bell, the present moment presented me with a video that said:

The following content has been identified by
the YouTube community as being potentially
offensive or inappropriate.

Viewer discretion is advised.

I was reminded by the poet Terence: Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto

I am a man,
I consider nothing that is human alien to me.

And I watched.

I was saddened and realized what my fellow man endures and so often I have no knowledge of those experiences
I was reminded of my previous post. There is both sadness and joy. There is both compassion and brutality. There is both hate and love. We are humans and nothing that is human is alien to us.

Sometimes watching the mindless helps us realize that everything I do is a choice. Will I feed mindfulness or mindlessness with each of my choices. Susan Scott words from her big 3 ideas in Fierce Conversations: My life succeeds or fails one conversation at a time.

Can I quiet myself enough to listen?

Wiseman is a good listener

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