Building Mindfulness Through Reading

The idea that mindfulness is only possible through conventional meditation is untrue. Did you know that reading offers many of the same advantages as practicing mindfulness? People often read for enjoyment and relaxation, but they don't associate reading with a sort of focused meditation.

Girl reads a book
Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

According to Jon Kabat Zinn, mindfulness is "paying attention in a certain way, on purpose, in the present, and without judgment."

We are getting close to fitting his criteria by deliberately choosing to read a certain way and paying attention to the words in a book. When we immerse ourselves in language, we have a tendency to lose track of time. Our regular thoughts, sentiments, emotions, and responses are momentarily forgotten; they settle and impact us less as we are taken to a new, fascinating realm. We read the words without passing judgment, accepting them as they are (at the moment, non judgementally).

Being present means letting go of the past and the future and allowing our brains to rest in the here and now without allowing our ideas, feelings, emotions, or responses to run amok in our heads. This method of reading to be mindful gives us the power to choose to change from "habitual thinking" and give ourselves space to simply "be." We benefit much from that "simply being" time in terms of our mental and emotional well-being as well as many other areas.

It's possible to make room in our minds for concepts, information, inner wisdom, creativity, happiness, joy, peace, relaxation, inspiration, confidence, whatever we need, to come in and help us reach our potential, whatever that may be when we practice mindfulness through reading or any other method.

Reading may divert our minds off a well-traveled route of worry, tension, and anxiety. However, it need not be a self-help book; anything that transports us and places us in the present is OK.

Reading and writing are now more accessible than ever thanks to electronic media, including newspapers, magazines, comic books, media, and pen and paper. We are fortunate to live in a culture with many options, free access to them in libraries, and countless locations and mental experiences.

Imagine the opportunity books may provide for our children. By diverting the mind via reading, we can create new pathways and write new scripts that better serve us in life.

Despite the unfortunate fact that some people are still unable to read or write, we can take books for granted and assume that everyone can. But unfortunately, we tend to forget that many people lacked access to educational institutions and opportunities not so long ago.

Today, we can learn from and about other communities through literature, utilizing language to describe our differences and shape our own society. Books may support another mindful discipline, compassion if used for a more significant benefit by providing information and insight.

The delight of reading aloud to others, especially youngsters, is amazing and can change their lives, creating the next generation of scientists, performers, educators, doctors, poets, and storytellers, to name just a few professions. In addition, books may be used to start conversations and arguments. The knowledge included below may provide readers the capability and courage to question assumptions and find like-minded others.

It all begins with our kids and us. Without books or the capacity to read, the world would be less vibrant. Thank You, Professors!

In support of the 100 Million Minutes Reading Challenge from Achievement for All, we were motivated to develop a reading meditation. It was created to assist kids in discovering the love of reading and show them how, regardless of talent, it can help them determine their future, develop resilience, and open up opportunities.

As part of the Achieving Wellness module of Achievement for All, we have also developed mindful meditation sessions. The sessions are created to foster growth mindsets, offer tools to assist self-regulate emotion, encourage mindsets more receptive to learning, and help people be more resilient.