This Masonic contemplation series focuses on simple exercises we can incorporate to make use of our time in different circumstances, in different environments, to further strengthen our minds and sharpen our focus. Mindfulness and reaching an altered state of consciousness are different concepts, but both are useful and can be combined during a meditative session. Let’s explore a scenario and put some context around it.
Mindfulness exercises can be as simple as setting a timer and focusing on some activity, or simply focusing on one single activity through completion. Accessing the altered state of consciousness is more difficult at first, but becomes easier with practice. Advanced practitioners reach a point where it becomes easy to tune into the body (body awareness) and find that deeper relaxation through even a few breaths or moments of concentration. As Masons, you learned the most valuable lesson is Prayer, and applying that lesson now is suggested.
As we look at different environments for contemplative practice, I highly recommend work, or the office, for both mindfulness and accessing the altered consciousness. We spend 40+ hours each week in the office or work, and why not use it for our own personal growth and benefit?
As a mindfulness exercise set a timer for a couple of minutes, or possibly set your phone alarm for 2-3 minutes in the future. We tend to focus on what we’re typing, or what we’re doing onscreen. For the 2-3 minutes exercise, let’s just focus on the feeling of our fingers moving across the keyboard or the arm and hand as we transition to the mouse. What does the hand feel like as it rests at the base of the keyboard? What do the tips of the fingers feel as they touch the keys? Which thumb do you preferentially use when hitting the space bar? What does the rest of your body feel like while sitting there typing?
As a contemplative exercise, either close your eyes or focus on one thing directly in front of you, and take 4 long, deep breaths. The first breath is to allow you to better focus on the next three breaths. I like to use this exercise to clear negativity and stress, so as you breathe in, let us focus on bringing in good, clean air, and as we exhale imagine a little cloud of dark negativity and stress being kicked out of the body and mind. In with the good air, out with the bad, right?
A couple of minutes each day can make a difference, so why not incorporate quick, simple exercises into your daily routines?
Randy and his wife Elyana live near St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Randy earned a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry, and he works in Telecom IT management. He volunteers as a professional and personal mentor, NRA certified Chief Range Safety Officer and enjoys competitive tactical pistol, rifle, and shotgun. He has 30 plus years teaching Wing Chun Kung Fu, Chi Kung, and healing arts. Randy served as a Logistics Section Chief on two different United States federal Disaster Medical Assistance Teams over a 12 year span. Randy is a 32nd degree KCCH and Knight Templar. His Masonic bio includes past Lodge Education Officer for two symbolic lodges, Founder of the Wentzville Lodge Book Club, member of the Grand Lodge of Missouri Education Committee, Sovereign Master of the E. F. Coonrod AMD Council No. 493, Co-Librarian of the Scottish Rite Valley of St. Louis, Clerk for the Academy of Reflection through the Valley of Guthrie, and a Facilitator for the Masonic Legacy Society. Randy is a founding administrator for Refracted Light, full contributor to Midnight Freemasons, and an international presenter on esoteric topics. Randy hosts an open ongoing weekly Masonic virtual Happy Hour on Friday evenings. Randy is an accomplished home chef, a certified barbecue judge, raises Great Pyrenees dogs, and enjoys travel and philosophy.