In class this past week we practiced an exercise in mindfulness and we learned how being mindful allows people to better deal with wicked problems. Outside of class time we were tasked with taking on our own mindfulness practice for 5 minutes a day. Something similar to meditation if we could manage it. The moment we were tasked with this, I knew exactly what I was going to use for my mindfulness practice, as I had done it before.
See, I used to have a daily mindfulness practice I did before bed but I got away from it after moving to college. I got busy, I forgot, I could not find the time, and a thousand other excuses. My mother bought for me a meditation candle. The candle is cylindrical, white, in a black metal container. The wick is birch wood that burns black and Inside the candle wax are rose petals and lavender so that as it burns the aroma of these calming flowers fills the room. When we were practicing meditation during our class meeting, Professor Armstrong asked us to either close our eyes or focus on an object near us. Well, using this candle is for the latter. There are instructions and a prayer that come with my meditation candle. I say the prayer a few times before lighting the candle and then I set a 5 minute timer and simply watch the flame dance as I take deep breaths and enjoy the calm of gazing at this flame and inhaling the rosy air.
While it is calming, I have been apprehensive to actually use my meditation candle. I did not really see any use in meditating. In my mind, always having noise and being busy with something just to do something was not a bad thing. This week’s meeting however, helped me to understand that I can be a better me and a much better problem solver if I take those few minutes a day to ground myself with the real world.
Being mindful can help solve real world problems by being the first step. When we are mindful we take a step back from our own biases and inhibitions and are able to see more sides of things much more clearly.
If everyone practiced mindfulness, there would be a lot more compassion between people in this world and a lot more openness and understanding. With this openness and understanding we could begin to tackle some of the world’s wicked problems. Especially in light of the current elections and political situation, it is important to remain mindful, tolerant, and kind to those around you.
By being mindful, you can light your own flame and start to make differences in the world.