Mindfulness Week 1

Mindfulness Week 1:  Use your non-dominant hand for some daily activities
“Discoveries:  This experiment always evokes laughter.  We discover that the non-dominant hand is quite clumsy.  Using it brings us back to what Zen teachers call “beginner’s mind.”  our dominant hand might be forty years old, but the non-dominant hand is much younger, perhaps about two or three years old.  We have to learn all over again how to hold a fork and how to get it into our mouths without stabbing ourselves.  We might begin to brush our teeth very awkwardly with the non-dominant hand, and when we aren’t looking our dominant hand will reach out and take the toothbrush or fork away!  It is just like a bossy older sister who says, “Hey, you little klutz, let me do it for you!
“Struggling to use the non-dominant hand can awaken our compassion for anyone who is clumsy or unskilled, such as a person who has had disabilities injuries, or a stroke.  We briefly see how much we take for granted scores of simple movements that many people cannot make.  Using chopsticks with the non-dominant hand is a humbling experience.  If you want to eat a meal in under an hour and not end up spilling foo all over, you have to be very attentive.”
from Jan Chozen Bays, How to Train a Wild Elephant, Shambala Pulbications, Boston, (c) 2011, p. 20.

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