Mindfulness, Etiquette and the Royal wedding.

Hannah Betts in her article in the age 23/05/18 ‘Backlash likely but give Meghan a chance to shine’, that Meghan, now Duchess of Sussex acting abilities are a strength but also could make her vulnerable. Her ability gives her the appearance at least, of appearing engaged. After watching the Royal wedding like millions of other people, it would seem to me that most of the people present at the wedding and especially the Royals, could do with some coaching in how to at least appear engaged, but more importantly, how to be engaged in the moment.

Yet it really should not be about acting. Mindfulness, in all its various forms, needs to be central to social etiquette. 

Mindfulness is learning and being able to be present in every situation that you are in. I wonder how many of the guests at the Royal wedding were really present? From the people shown in the TV presentation, my answer would be it would seem very few.

Some friends of mine suggested that the Royals are trained to appear neutral, that is, to show neither approval nor disapproval. The danger with this is that it easy for neutrality to slip into negativity and disinterest.

I remember reading a book many years ago and unfortunately I have forgotten both the author and the title where the author described speaking to a group of Japanese people. They all had their eyes closed and yet as he spoke the level of concentration in the room seem to keep intensifying. They were all meditating.

Some meditation techniques suggest meditating or being mindful with your eyes open others with your eyes closed. In terms of social etiquette, it would seem to be that we could learn both. As the speaker in the episode mentioned above was a little disconcerted by everybody having their eyes closed, so might we be if we were in the same situation. Yet if that was our social etiquette, that is accepted behaviour, then it would be fine. But however we practice mindfulness we could adapt:

  • To gently regard someone who is speaking and yet be centred and attentive.
  • To close your eyes and immerse yourself in the music yet which ever it might be it’s about being present to the moment.

You are no longer an onlooker but by truly giving of yourself to the moment you are enriching experience for everyone. A detached observer is just that and contributes very little if anything to the experience of the occasion.

Bored people are more bored in public because they are with out the props that keep them from boredom. It really does not matter how good you might be at something that makes you a star, there is a deeper level where we need to be connected in every situation.


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