Using Interest to Boost Your Practice

...there are many ways you can use this interest category. You can apply your attention skills to something your are curious about, something new about yourself or a situation you have become fascinated about or to an interest or hobby.

Using Interest to Boost Your Practice
Photo by Dominik Van Opdenbosch / Unsplash

ION is an acronym used in the basic mindfulness class to help beginners find easy ways to practice throughout their day because it is easy to overlook opportunities to practice with things we consider ordinary.

So I'd like to spend a few moments sharing how you can use the interest category to give your mindfulness practice a boost. To start, let's say you are a naturally curious person. Using your curiosity to lean on, you can make anything in your environment a practice focus.

Say, for example, you wonder if the food in the microwave will get hot enough on a particular setting. Using this simple thought as a starting point, you can do a few minutes of See Hear Feel as you keep an eye on the food.

Each time you check and stop checking the food's progress can help you focus and refocus on your object of interest. Ta-da! You just spent 30 seconds or a minute or two or four applying your attention skill of, say, focus, to the situation.

One of the first activities I applied my practice to was a new hobby, (building miniature models), I started the year before the pandemic hit. During the pandemic, I had a lot more time on my hands so I used that activity to increase my focus and concentration. I spent hours over the course of that year doing See Hear Feel during model building sessions. In this case, I was applying my skills to an activity of interest.

You can see there are many ways you can use this interest category. Here are some ideas if you aren't sure where to start. You can apply your attention skills to something you are curious about, like a color or a scientific breakthrough. Or maybe you have about how something works. Or, perhaps, you've newly discovered jazzercise. You can do some practice in motion as you track the feeling of your arms as they move to the music.

There are so many ways you can practice in daily life - and it doesn't have to be boring.

I hope this brief exploration helps you find new and easy ways to enhance your mindfulness practice. Remember, microhits throughout the day count as practice and can really increase your level of concentration through time.

Have fun!