“Mindfulness is the ground; refraining is the path. Refraining is one of those uptight words that sound repressive. Surely alive, juicy, interesting people would not practice refraining. Maybe we should sometimes refrain, but not as a lifestyle. In this context, however, refraining is very much the method of becoming a dharmic person. It’s the quality of not grabbing for entertainment the minute we feel a slight edge of boredom coming on. It’s the practice of not immediately filling up space just because there’s a gap . . . If we immediately entertain ourselves by talking, by acting, by thinking- if there’s never any pause- we will never be able to relax. We will always be speeding through our lives.”
-When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron
Today, despite the countless opportunities to speed through your life, take a few, deliberate moments to “refrain.” Refrain from a useless, additional half-hour of TV; disengage from idle or gossipy conversation; shut your cell phone off. Reconnect with who you are without all the cultural accouterments. Breath deeply. Feel the immediate healing and rejuvenation that comes with this practice, even if for only a few, stolen, solitary moments per day.