Before taking a mindfulness class, Dr. David Deitch couldn’t wait to take “mowing the yard” off of his To Do list so he could enjoy his weekend.

After three weeks of practice, he told our group how he had come to savor “alone time” while mowing. 

This is the story he shared with us, which I use with his permission. 

I divide my work into stages: move objects out of the yard, rake leaves, cut grass, etc. I move deliberately, fully focusing on each task.  For example, while rewinding a hose, I look at it, feel its weight, notice where I experience the weight sensations in my body, how the hose looks as I loop it, etc.

When I mow the grass, I notice the scent of the lawn, the mower’s vibrations in my arms, the sound of the machine, the grass after it is cut.  I know that I am in the process of cutting the grass or edging the driveway.  I experience any and all sensations without thinking, interpreting or evaluating.

If my thoughts wander or an emotional reaction seizes my mind, I bring my awareness to my breath and then, when calmer, I focus back on each task.


© 2008 David Deitch. Used with permission.