Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mindfulness & Multi-tasking?

In thinking about how much I “need” to get done today, I came up with a question: Can I multi-task and be mindful at the same time? The answer I came up with is a definite “maybe”.

The idea of mindfulness is that we are engaged in the immediate task. This moment. A classic example is that when we’re handwashing the dishes, we are not worrying about the future or the past, but are fully present, washing dishes. We concentrate on the dish itself, the smell of the soap, the feel of the bubbles, etc.

But our world is a multi-tasking world. And we’ve got so much to do. Can we multi-task, and still be honest mindfulness practitioners?

I say “maybe” because so many things in our world have become automated. At this moment, writing this post, I am multi-tasking. I’m blessed to be able to work from home some of the time, so right now I am:

-washing laundry (automated)

-washing dishes (automated-LOVE my dishwasher!)

-cooking dinner (automated-the crockpot is a modern miracle)

-free-ranging the chickens

-spending time at home, which I love

-spending time with my animals, who are happier when mommy sits with them.

But with all this going on, I can still focus entirely on what I’m writing.

I would say that we can use modern technology to allow us to mindfully multi-task. Use our machines, our technology to do what they were meant to do: to simplify our lives. By selectively using modern conveniences, we are free to focus on the task at hand.

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