We experience mindfulness in a lodge when we simply pay attention to ritual. We don’t whisper to others sitting near us, we don’t pull out the meeting agenda or write notes to ourselves for later. We simply pay attention.
This is powerful, especially if you allow yourself to immerse in the experience. How many times have we felt the ritual just feel good, or possibly raise the hair on our necks when we see it performed with intent? Mindfully participating in ritual gives us focus on the here and now. It’s a means of being present in our chairs while watching the movements and listening to the words. It applies equally to officers and members, and when visiting another lodge we quickly feel it. Or not.
If we’re fortunate enough to belong to a lodge that burns incense, then we add another sensory experience beyond sight and sound. Tactile feeling of our butts in the seats, standing when we are called upon to do so, and sitting again, all add to the experience. Yes, even the actions of standing and sitting give opportunity to be mindful and present in the moment.
Mindfulness and being present are simply that, but they can be difficult to achieve with our worldly distractions and full calendars. Lodge gives us a somewhat unique opportunity to explore many things not obvious or as easily obtained outside of the lodge. Let’s take advantage of those opportunities.