“Books don’t offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.” – David Mitchell
Almost every activity that you engage with can be a chance for you to practice mindfulness.
One is reading.
Have you heard of meditative reading? If you haven’t yet, you’re on the right page.
There is no mindfulness practice that doesn’t include the practice of breathing. In fact, that’s one of the things you should do first—counting breaths, noticing the quality of breath, and slowing it. Basically, it’s all about being mindful of your breath.
Reading is also a mindfulness activity. In fact, it is one powerful tool for meditation. Why?
Why Is Reading Effective For Meditation?
Do you remember the time when you were engrossed in a book that you have forgotten what’s going around you?
This is a clear sign of an extreme focus on a single activity.
See, a lot of us go on a mindfulness journey to calm ourselves. To connect with our inner selves. To be in the present moment.
When you are engaged in reading, all of these things happen without you even thinking about it.
Your brain is active when you read—you produce your own images, sounds, and feelings in your imagination.
These are exactly the things why reading is a powerful meditative tool.
There are two mindfulness opportunities that you can get from reading—the first one is the physical, and the second is your cognitive reactions to the act.
If you want to get into meditative reading, it’s best to stick to fiction books. Non-fiction books are not written for recreation. You need to find a book that is relaxing for you to read. The book should be able something that interests and engages you.
Keep in mind that reading is not a race. You don’t have to purchase a lot of books only to pile them up and promise yourself one day that you will finish all of them. Take your time and don’t feel obliged to race through to the end.
Just enjoy the journey.
Meditation is not about emptying the mind, because our minds are designed to think, and you really can’t stop it from doing its job. Instead, meditation is all about paying attention to the thoughts, and this is exactly what you can get from reading a good book.
So, if you think sitting still and meditating doesn’t work for you, try meditative reading instead. It will take you to a whole new world that will open your eyes to the wonders of meditation and how it can help your overall being.
Plop down on the couch and get some reading on!