Mindful Music Trick
Here is a quick way to find your center even in the midst of a hundred thousand things to do.
My mind tends to go extra fast when I have a lot on my plate, jumping from need-to-be-done tasks to concerns about things that haven’t happened yet. It can be easier said than done to take a deep breath.
When my mind is loud, it helps to have a physical sound to guide me into a mindfulness. During piano lessons, my students enjoy using piano keys as tools to find center with playful curiosity: We find a note or two to play together. (Pairs of black and white keys that skip over a note of the same color are harmonious.) My student plays the note or notes and holds them down until the sound goes away. We may notice how long the sound lasts and then play a note or two in a different spot on the piano (to the right, left, or center), comparing how long the notes lasted.
Sometimes the focus can be mindfulness, depending on my student’s mood and age. In this case, we listen to the note or notes as invitations to breathe deeply and follow the quality of the sound: What would happen if, as the sound gets quieter, the mind settled more deeply into listening to it? This can be done on a digital keyboard, set to a piano sound.
You can practice this with any sound-making aspect of your life: a water faucet, an air conditioner, a door opening and closing, the sounds on the road? The point is to pay attention to the sound and name its qualities until you feel comfortable listening wordlessly with a soft focus.