Day 17: Mindful communication
Whether we’re practising mindfulness formally or informally, it’s very challenging not to get drawn into mental images, thoughts, stories, or memories that can so easily kidnap our attention. Sometimes we get so distracted, we actually forget we are meditating or in a conversation with someone else.
The word mindfulness is a modern translation of the Pali word “sati” which can be more literally translated as remembering or recollection.
This is very relevant to our practice as we try to “remember” to keep our attention on sounds, breath, or another person during conversation.
This is a great opportunity to practise mindful communication. With the speed of our lives and competing forces constantly pulling at our attention, mindfully listening is a truly precious gift.
Experiment today with bringing your full attention to someone as they speak.
Here are some tips for mindful communication.
Twelve steps to a mindful C.O.N.V.E.R.S.A.T.I.O.N:
- C – Create a clear intention to be fully present and mindful
- O – Open to the other person
- N – Notice their features
- V – Voice quality
- E – Engage with the content
- R – Restrain from interrupting
- S – Speak the truth
- A – Allow for pauses
- T – Tune into your body and its responses during conversation: breath, heartbeat
- I – Invite a non-judgmental attitude
- O – Observe judgements when they arise
- N – Notice when your attention has drifted and bring it back to the person’s words