You’re about to take a sip of your cup of fresh tea, and the phone rings in the next room. What do you do?
Do you hurriedly put down the tea cup while spilling hot tea all over, rush out of the chair with second-degree burns, and start running towards the phone?
Or perhaps you just continue enjoying your tea while telling yourself “it’s fine, I’ll call whoever it is back later”.
What if I told you there’s a third way – the meditative way?
I got reminded by this technique two times over the last few days. One was in a Lifehacker article where they credit Sharon Salzberg for this technique:
“Don’t pick up the phone on the first ring. Let it ring three times and breathe, and then you pick it up.” Why? “We’re trying to interject moments throughout the workday where we come back to ourselves, come back to this moment.
– Sharon Salzberg
The other reminder came in the form of a news.com.au article that I mentioned in another blog post.
There they credit the idea as coming from Thich Nhat Hanh:
Vietnamese mindfulness expert Thich Nhat Hanh, who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr, has another tip — “telephone meditation”.
When you hear the telephone, you stay where you are, breathe in and out consciously, listen and smile. If it’s important, they’ll wait three rings.
And I first heard about this technique from Eckhart Tolle in his speak on meditation at the Wisdom 2.0 conference.
Exactly where it comes from does not matter though, so let’s instead look at how this technique might benefit you.
Here are 3 reasons to meditate before answering your calls:
- Turn a daily task into an excuse to have a mini-meditation.
You probably answer phone calls almost every day. So why not turn this regular task into a trigger to relax and meditate for a few seconds.
- Bring some mindfulness into your daily life by taking a fresh look at your relationship with your phone.
Mindfulness can at first be hard to take from a concept and turn into a daily practice in your life. Creating a habit where you force yourself to re-think your actions and observe them “from the outside” is a great way to make your life a little bit more mindful.
- Makes you start the phone conversation from a more peaceful and attentive place.
Most phone calls are often “jumped into”, and don’t always start off on the right foot. Giving yourself time to relax and take a few deep breaths slows you down and let’s the phone call start from a more relaxed place.
What do you think?
Is this something you’re gonna try out?
Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts.
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