In today’s world, we are always distracted by notifications that turn our cell phones into buzzing boxes of chaos. It’s hard to pay attention when Facebook is telling us that memories are waiting for review, Twitter chirps that so-and-so retweeted this-and-that and Instagram says Becky liked your last picture. It’s no wonder we’re addicted to our screens.
What if we could use our devices to develop our mindfulness practice instead of hindering it?
I’m not talking about turning off all the notifications on your device, but that’s not a bad idea. We don’t have to get extreme by completely cutting the cord. There is a simple mindfulness hack that anyone can use on any device. I want to share it with you!
Make your device a meditation bell
Many who meditate in a center or use an app like Insight Timer are familiar with a meditation bell. Meditation bells are peaceful, they are pleasing to the ears, and they remind us to come back to the breath – to the here and now.
A meditation bell is the opposite of a social media notification.
So how do we make our device a meditation bell? It’s simple: add mantras, lines of prayers or scripture and even quotes into your device’s calendar app. Then schedule them to go off throughout the day. You can plan them to run for multiple days, weeks or the entire year and to repeat, making the process super easy.
Caveat: don’t go crazy packing your calendar with reminders to go off every half-hour or hour it will defeat the purpose. I’ve found that every three to four hours work well and I’ll share more about what lines I use below.
Lines and times
As I mentioned above, you want to make sure to give your meditation bells some space so that they don’t become like social media notifications. We want to feel like we’re returning to center, not like we’re stressed missing out on what’s happening in the digital world.
I have my meditation bell go off at 7 am, 10 am, 4 pm and 7 pm. Currently; I’m using the “Going for Refuge” prayer, and I mentally repeat it three times. The prayer goes:
“I and all sentient beings, until we achieve enlightenment, go for refuge to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.”
Obviously, there are times when I can’t repeat the lines because I’m in a meeting or talking with someone face-to-face. But even when I can’t recite the lines, I hear the bell, and it makes me feel calm and centered. I’ve created a positive mental habit.
Tip: you know your day better than anyone else, so make sure to schedule your meditation bell accordingly.
Quotes to get you started
If you’re having a hard time thinking of lines to use, check out these quotations for inspiration.
“The nonobvious moments are the ones that count. Like now, perhaps.” ~Seth Godin
“Better to be present to what is happening than to be lost in our ideas and beliefs.” ~Thomas Moore
“Failure is a sign that I’m challenging myself and I can choose to try again.” ~Amy Morin
“What you believe about the future shapes, informs and determines how you live now.” ~Rob Bell
“Faith is remembering in the darkness what we have experienced in the light.” ~Richard Rohr
Do you have a mindfulness hack that you use regularly? I’d love to hear about it, so please leave a comment below.
Originally appeared on CM.
Photo by Pixabay.