How do students learn how to pay attention? How did you learn to notice things? Jessica Smith is back this week as our guest blogger and she tells us about one technique some students are practicing to develop their attention skills.
In my last post, I discussed the benefits of mindful breathing. Now, I am going to discuss mindful seeing. When you are looking at your surroundings and the world mindfully, you are paying attention to every detail surrounding you.
While working with students in the mindfulness group, we practiced mindful seeing. The students were instructed to find an object in the room and focus on it while paying attention to specific details. Some of those details include:
The color of the object
The shape of the object
The details of the object (For example, does it have a distinct pattern?)
Imagine you are walking in a garden of flowers. Let’s say you find a purple lily that caught your eye. Instead of simply glancing at this beautiful lily, mindfully look at it. What shade of purple is it? Does it have any speckles? What does the texture of the flower petals look like?
You may notice little speckles or dots, or the lines on the smooth texture of the petal. This is how you see mindfully.
You look for details that you might not notice if you were looking at the flower as you normally would.
Seeing the world around us mindfully can help us notice things we may not have noticed before. We become aware of details we may not have been aware of prior to using our eyes in a mindful manner. We may learn to appreciate our surroundings by noticing the small details. We might notice the smallest details in a painting at an art museum, for instance.
Ever since I learned the technique of mindful seeing, it has helped me pay closer attention to my surroundings. I notice the patterns in a ceiling and the smallest details while watching a movie or a TV show.
Once you start seeing the world through mindful eyes, your perception will be different in a good way. Mindful seeing helps us slow down and notice our surroundings more carefully.
The more we use our eyes mindfully, the more likely we will appreciate the beauty of our world and the joys in life.