In this fast-paced modern world, it's easy to miss simple pleasures. We're increasingly distracted, stressed out and unable to focus. That's why mindfulness, or focusing on the present, is now being taught in businesses, schools, and health clinics as a way to boost productivity, manage stress and create calm.
Nearly 20 years ago, I read a moving piece by Dr. Kenneth Prager in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) about the ancient practice of "mindful elimination" in the Jewish religion. That's right — paying active attention to our pooping and peeing.
To this day, Dr. Prager's article remains seared into my brain. That's because it contains lessons about health and gratitude that are even more relevant today, no matter your religious beliefs.
So what was this ancient wisdom?
In the Talmud, the book of Jewish law, there’s a particular blessing that shows appreciation for the miracle of elimination: