For the red zone to fade away
I have been thinking about the relative amounts of time that we can dedicate to meditation, mindfulness and encounter (which I have variously called making connection or engaging fully but I am now using the term Pope Francis is using).
Meditation (with focus meditation as the main practice) is purely solitary and so we are limited to perhaps an hour per day. We cannot do anything else as we are meditating.
Mindfulness (with being in the moment and being aware of sensations and feelings internally, and what is occurring externally, being the main practices) we can do with other activities such as eating, walking in the park, driving and so we may be able to put around two hours into this practice.
Both meditation and mindfulness help limit (meditation) and modulate (mindfulness) the red zone.
Encounter (with full attention focused on another and responding with kindness and compassion being the main practice) we can do two to five hours per day in our professional life (at the higher end or more in a school) plus the same amount in our personal lives, particularly in a family with children.
It is encounter that allows the red zone to fade away and we can do much more of it than either meditation or mindfulness combined. It is harder to get started though, one of the reasons that it is so effective when we do practice it.
So, let’s just do it!