Does this sound familiar? You pick up a book, determined to read it, then your mind starts to wander, you get distracted and before you know it, you’re on your device instead of your book!
In an age of information and media overload, it’s hard to take your time to read with concentration and understanding. That’s why this Read! Fest, we’ve invited Paul Griffin to conduct a workshop all about reading mindfully.
Before you attend it, here’s a quick introduction to mindful reading.
Taking it slow
Reading is already a big part of our everyday lives. We skim through text messages, emails, Facebook posts, advertisements…but it is often a race to finish the text rather than reflecting and searching for meaning within it.
Mindful reading is a different type of reading; it is all about slowing down the process. It involves a quiet reflection where you let go of distractions and allow yourself to be fully immersed in the book.
So how do you slow down?
Steps you can take
Find a comfortable and quiet space to read.
Before reading, concentrate on your breathing. Place your hand on your abdomen or chest, and focus on it expanding and contracting as you breathe.
Pay attention to the sensations of the book—how flipping through the pages feel, how the ink smells and how the spine of the book feels against the palms of your hands.
Read a few lines and savour the words. How do you feel as you read each line?
If your mind starts to wander, simply say to yourself, “I’m thinking about…” and bring your focus back to the page.
There is more to mindful reading than what we have mentioned so far, and the best way to learn about it is to experience it firsthand with an expert. Who better than with Paul Griffin, a member of the Mindfulness Initiative @ SMU. Attend Griffin’s workshop this Read! Fest and bring a book to read. For every 10 people who read for 15 minutes, a book will be donated to selected beneficiaries. Last year, a similar workshop pledged 1470 min to Read for Books and raised 147 books for beneficiaries. With this workshop, you’ll be able to ace techniques, read with newfound clarity and support a good cause!