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Mindfulness of Daily Activities

As the Rambam describes, it is best to take the shvil hazahav, to find the middle path between the extremes of every middah. The key here is to do what is needed with awareness, doing what is needed to be effective, while at the same time experiencing fully the uniqueness of each moment by being present for that moment.


We all have things that we tend to do mindlessly, like eating or driving, and by the time the activity has concluded, we can barely remember how we got there. We want to become more aware of the tasks we are engaged in with the ultimate goal of increasing our ability to choose our behavior. This focus impacts our thoughtfulness of habits and our ability to exercise bechira in choosing how we behave.


Mindfulness does not always require closed eyes and complete silence; we can be mindful of chaos if we strengthen our mindfulness muscles. For example, while we’re doing work we might think, “this is so annoying” and feel frustrated at having to do our work when we’d rather be doing something else. And at the same time, it can be helpful for us to become more mindful of doing the work itself, while noticing thoughts and feelings as just that and not getting “caught” in their content. This enables us to be the most effective at whatever we are involved in during this moment.

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