Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mindlessness vs Mindfulness

I was farming on Facebook today: click, click, click, click...harvesting each little square of my farm when I had this thought: Oh my God, this is so mindless.

Mindlessness: a. Marked by a lack of mind or consciousness b(1) Marked by displaying no use of the powers of the intellect (2) Requiring little attention or thought; especially: not intellectually challenging or stimulating

This is opposite of the life I am seeking: A mindful life!!!

Mindful: (1) Bearing in mind: AWARE (2) Inclined to be aware

Aware: (1) archaic: Watchful, Wary (2) Having or showing realization, perception or knowledge

Can I live a mindful life whilst spending so much of my "free-time" doing utterly mindless stuff? Good question...

So, my challenge for this week is to be AWARE, to keep track of how much time I spend in mindlessness...Maybe I'll make this part of my Lenten observance...seeking out mindlessness in my life...What do you think?


Arizona mom to eight said...

I hear you Debra, I actually experience two different emotions when it comes to the mindless activity of online game faming, one is, thank goodness I can just zone out for a bit, but usually it is, I am so bored. When I farmed at FT, I could talk to people, learn about their lives, and catch up with friends, it was different, interactive, the other games make me feel lonely.

We have been discussing FB and the lack of interpersonal contact there, sure you can chat, but meaningful conversations are few adn far between, is it an indication that we as a society no longer wish for intimacy in our friendships? I miss the old email days when we would talk for hours about one thing.

MysticBlueRose said...

Agree. I understand the zoning out for a bit...and I'm trying to decipher when it is "too much/too long" of a zone out. And yes, when we all started farm town we stood around and chatted. Part of the problem, imo, is the facebook chat program is inadequate and frustrating. I also agree that meaningful conversations are few and far between and that drives me bonkers. Sometimes I think I fill in those blanks by the mindless farming @ Facebook!!! Sigh

Raymond said...

You'll only be capable of an approximation. The instant you recognize you've been in a mindless state is an instant of awareness. It's like the particle physicists who try to track accelerated protons. They're not able to view the actual particle, only the path it leaves.

MysticBlueRose said...

Good point, Raymond.

jayiin mistaya said...

Long comment will be long.

(Not that I'm sure you'd welcome ponderings or what passes for wisdom from your daughter's weird friend...

Not that such has ever stopped me from putting my two cents worth in.)

So it's not a secret I'm not a fan of the facebook games or other mindless pursuits. I've never been good at them, really - I always get bored or feel guilty for not doing other things I need to do.

That's one (other) part about being a writer no one warned me about: you're sharing your head with characters and worlds and plots, and they all want attention, so it's hard to just blank your brain.

None the less: many contemplative orders teach mindfulness through mindlessness. Zen calls it 'no mind.' It's a form of meditation where you do a tedious repetitive task, allowing your mind to be freed up for other thought.

Mindfulness is less about what you do and more about how you do it. It's about being aware of your actions; the cause of those actions, and what you intend the consequences to be.

The awareness is not simply observing or acknowledging, but acting upon or choosing not to act upon. Mindfulness is also about choice; choosing each action you take or don't take with purpose and deliberation instead of circumstances dictating what you.

In every situation, there is always a choice - the consequences for one particular choice might be catastrophic, but there is always the option. By being aware there is always a choice to make and choosing, deliberately and purposefully, what your actions are, you being to be mindful of your life.

I hope that made sense. It's been a long day.

/jayiin (alan m rogers)

MysticBlueRose said...

Well thank you, Alan. It made perfect sense and was, indeed, what I was sensing today. :^)