For SWA13 I’d like you to try TWO of the Buddhist practices listed below and write about your experience with them. Note that none of these practices are necessarily religious in nature, so I am not asking you to practice Buddhism. All of these practices can be strictly non-religious or can be incorporated into other religions.
How this works: choose two of the below practices associated with Buddhism. For the next three days, spend 15 minutes each day on each practice (30 minutes total). You should start these three days no later than Saturday because the write-up for this SWA is due on Tuesd.ay
1. Mindfulness: being fully present in the moment. If you choose mindfulness, google to find some articles on ways to practice it. You will want to spend 15 minutes dwelling on what you are currently doing (taking a walk, washing the dishes, eating a meal, etc.) and focusing on what you are experiencing (your five senses, your emotions, etc.) and avoiding multi-tasking or allowing your mind to wander to think about other things besides the immediate present.
2. Meditation: there are many ways to meditate. You can find guided YouTube videos, download a meditation app, or try it on your own with a timer. You can focus on your breathing, choose a mantra, or focus on an image in your mind. Find a form of meditation that appeals to you and practice for 15 minutes a day.
3. Acts of compassion: in the spirit of the bodhisattva and the Buddha, you can try doing compassionate things for others for 15 minutes a day. Call your grandmother. Write a letter or card and mail to someone who is lonely. Help your mom or dad or siblings with a task you wouldn’t otherwise do. Let someone who is going through a rough time right now vent to you without feeling the need to try to fix their problems or talk about your own. Spend 15 minutes on social media just leaving encouraging comments on people’s posts. These are just a few ideas–pick something that requires a bit of self-sacrifice that helps someone else.
At the end of the three days, write a paragraph on each of the practices you chose: What did you do, and how did you do it? What was the experience like? Was it difficult, easy, frustrating, peaceful, etc.? How so? Did it help you cope with anxiety or fear or dissatisfaction? Did it bring you any peace or comfort? Do you think this is something you’d consider continuing in the future?
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