Mindfulness and Japan

The Japanese have been practicing the discipline  of mindfulness for ages but it’s only become in vogue here in the states in the last few years. I know that it was a large topic of conversation in my last company in and around the staff and I’ve even attended workshops here in San Francisco on it exclusively.

But what hasn’t quite happened yet is the full integration of it in our entire lives:

Countless practical applications govern virtually every aspect of daily life, all designed to help you ‘be in the now’.

I remember living in Japan for a handful of years back in the mid/late 90’s and seeing professionals take breaks during the day to rest and to stretch. The article mentions that even construction workers will do stretch activities throughout the day and I remember seeing this in action while walking to and from school!

An unbelievable, global integration into the entire workforce of a culture. It’s something to definitely aspire to… but, it’s something that I believe can happen at the microscopic level as well, in our own personal lives and then, perhaps, in the teams and businesses and organizations that we run and participate in.

I also think it’s been an important discipline to practice as I’ve worked through my own mental and emotional challenges of life, the idea of taking more time to pay attention to the mundane:

… purposefully paying attention to things we ordinarily never give a moment’s thought to…

Ironically, many of the seemingly-mundane things in our lives are actually impacting us at a fundamental level. To see the entire spectrum of influence, action and reaction, in our lives is powerful stuff.