An Awakened Life

People often say to me, “I’d love to practice mindfulness, but I’m so busy I can’t seem to find the time.”

Most people think of mindfulness as something they must squeeze into an already full schedule of working, raising children, caring for a home. In truth, making mindfulness part of your life is more like a game of connect the dots, or like a paint-by-numbers kit. Do you remember those pictures where each small area is labeled with a number that tells you which color to use? As you filled in all the brown areas, then the greens and the blues, a pleasing picture begins to emerge.

Mindfulness practice is like that. You begin with one small area of your life, let’s say how you answer the phone (…). Then you add another mindfulness practice, such as mindful eating (…). Gradually, you are present and aware for more and more moments of the day. The pleasing experience of an awakened life begins to emerge.

— Jan Chozen Bays, How to Train a Wild Elephant