This year I have spent a lot of time engaging in activities that have become for me mindfulness meditations. Mindfulness meditation can happen in many forms, but my two favorite meditations are gardening and making Challah bread. These are activities that allow me to focus entirely on the present moment, to value it, to enter into it fully. Gardening can be the simple acts of removing weeds, composting, planting seeds in which I am fully engaged. Each of recent weeks I have taken time to knead and shape dough into Challah loaves, and I honestly revel in the process.
Tomorrow at sundown begins eight days of Pesach (Passover). I will refrain from all leavened bread, including what has become a beloved tradition for me. This year, as this day quickly approaches, I find myself saddened, not by the idea of abstaining from bread, but by the thought of not taking my time to enjoy and meditate over my Challah. I am approaching this important holiday with joy, but also trepidation.
So, the question becomes – How can I celebrate this holiday of loss and freedom with joy? What can I learn from this new perspective of doing without?
The practice of mindful meditation sustains me. By being mindful and consciously engaging any present activity, I can open my world for better understanding, more compassion, and new perspectives. This will become my mindful meditation, and, hopefully, it will leave a lasting impression that will carry on into my favorite activities when they return.