Dukkhaboy

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Walking and Falling Mindfully

Laurie anderson

I’ve written about mindful walking previously both here  and here. But I was reminded of it again just recently. I was to be guiding some mindful walking last week and didn’t want to do so using the same old words, so I reread a bit of Jon Kabat-Zinn “Full Catastrophe Living” to improve my phrasing of and thinking about the practice. This was an excellent resource and indeed I read parts of it instead of my own guidance….

We carry our mind when we walk, so we are usually absorbed in our own thoughts to one extent or another. We are hardly ever just walking, even when we are “just going for a walk”. Usually we walk for a reason…..

Walking meditation involves intentionally attending to the experience of walking itself. It involves focussing on the sensations in your feet or in your legs…. It is an internal sensation that is being cultivated, just the felt sensations associated with walking, nothing more…. We are simply inviting ourselves to experiment in being where we already are in this moment, with this step and not get out ahead of ourselves. The trick is to be completely where we are, step by step.

But then he also said

In MBSR we tend to walk extremely slowly, so that we can experience the various aspects of the gait cycle, which is, when all is said and done, a continually controlled falling forward and catching oneself.

And I realised where I had heard those last words before. Laurie Anderson had said something very similar. And I love it when connections in my life fall into place. Like walking in one part of a big city and suddenly coming upon another part of the city you had always assumed was separate. But now in fact you understand is right next door. Suddenly both parts of the internal mind map just like the city map, make so much more sense seen side by side and joined together.

And yes I realise that maybe Laurie Anderson wasn’t thinking of the MBSR mindful walking practice or Jon Kabat-Zinn at all when she wrote this in the 70’s – to me that doesn’t matter anyway.

Walking and Falling lyrics

“I wanted you,
and I was looking for you,
but I couldn’t find you.
I wanted you,
and I was looking for you all day,
but I couldn’t find you.
I couldn’t find you.

You’re walking and you don’t always realize it,
but you’re always falling.
With each step, you fall forward slightly,
and then catch yourself from falling.
Over and over, you’re falling and then catching yourself from falling.
And this is how you can be walking and falling at the same time.”

 

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MBSR week 6 June 2018

 

TNH tea

Home Practice

This week with the whole day session as well the home practice is simpler.

1/ I would like you to alternate  the sitting practice with either the body scan practice or the lying down mindful movement. Choose one of the body scan or mindful movement to go with the sitting practice and stick with it for the week rather than juggle 3 practices. By now with the body scan you will be familiar with a guided practice that works better for you and I recommend staying with that one.  Click here to hear the one from Rebecca Crane I have linked before, while below is the one from Jon Kabat Zinn some of you have also been using.

There are more here as well.

2/ The lying down yoga practice I would like you to follow is here

 

3/ The sitting practice I would like you to follow can be found by clicking HERE

4/ The 3 step breathing space is a marvellous way of bridging formal practice and your daily life. Also it helps with noticing habitual stress reactions, whether you are using pro- or re-actively. Use this in relation to the stressful communication diary below if you wish.

 


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MBSR week 5 June 2018

 

TNH tea

Home Practice

1/ This week I would like you to alternate  the sitting practice with either the body scan practice or the lying down mindful movement. Choose one of the body scan or mindful movement to go with the sitting practice and stick with it for the week rather than juggle 3 practices. By now with the body scan you will be familiar with a guided practice that works better for you and I recommend staying with that one.  Click here to hear the one from Rebecca Crane I have linked before, while below is the one from Jon Kabat Zinn some of you have also been using.

There are more here as well.

2/ The lying down yoga practice I would like you to follow is here

 

3/ The sitting practice I would like you to follow can be found by clicking HERE

4/ The 3 step breathing space is a marvellous way of bridging formal practice and your daily life. Also it helps with noticing habitual stress reactions, whether you are using pro- or re-actively. Use this in relation to the stressful communication diary below if you wish.

 

5/ Complete the stressful communication diary. This is set out as the (un)pleasant ones were. Use it as a chance to develop awareness of difficult communications and exploring options for responding with greater mindfulness, spaciousness and clarity.  always remember that the breath is your anchor and that the three step breathing space is available if you wish to use it. If you have no difficult communications during the week, either remember some, or imagine communications that would fit in to your knowledge of yourself, and explore them. Once more I have linked the hot cross bun diagram to help you if you wish to refer to it.

home practice Hot cross bun

6/ As ever I also attach a copy of the Mindfulness Journal if you prefer if you want to keep that. Practice Record sheet 

6/ Last week I read a poem by Rumi called the Guest House, which you can read here. The Guest House Rumi

This week I read “A Reply to Rumi” which was written by an MBSR participant called Amy Newell. You can read that here. A Reply to Rumi

I am looking forward to hearing all about it next Tuesday 🙂


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MBSR week 4 June 2018

 

TNH tea

Home Practice

1/ This week I would like you to alternate the body scan practice we have been doing with a lying down yoga practice. By now with the body scan you will be familiar with a guided practice that works better for you and I recommend staying with that one.  Click here to hear the one from Rebecca Crane I have linked before, while below is the one from Jon Kabat Zinn some of you have also been using.

There are more here as well.

2/ The lying down yoga practice I would like you to follow is here

 

3/ A written guide to starting a sitting practice is here . Sitting mindfulness practice checklist You should be becoming familiar with this now. Finding time to practice this for 10-15 minutes a day will greatly help your mindfulness

4/ The 3 step breathing space is a marvellous way of bridging formal practice and your daily life. Also it helps with noticing habitual stress reactions, whether you are using pro or reactively. Here is a lovely guided version of it if you wish to use from Mark Williams.

 

5/ During your days I would like you to be aware of your stress reactors: look for how you react when unpleasant situations arise. You dont need to write anything down about this , like we did last week. However if that helps you reflect on them, there is the same sheet you used last week linked here along with the hot cross bun diagram.

Unpleasant experience diary

home practice Hot cross bun

6/ As ever I also attach a copy of the Mindfulness Journal if you prefer if you want to keep that. Practice Record sheet 

6/ Here is a digital copy of the poem by Rumi I read at the end of the session. The Guest House Rumi

I am looking forward to hearing all about it next Tuesday 🙂


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MBSR week 3 May 2018

 

TNH tea

Home Practice

1/ This week I would like you to alternate the body scan practice we have been doing with a lying down yoga practice. By now with the body scan you will be familiar with a guided practice that works better for you and I recommend staying with that one.  Click here to hear the one from Rebecca Crane I have linked before, while below is the one from Jon Kabat Zinn some of you have also been using.

There are more here as well.

2/ The lying down yoga practice I would like you to follow is here

 

3/ Complete the unpleasant events table and/ or use the hot cross bun diagram to help you unpack your pleasant experiences. Digital links to these if you want another copy are below

Unpleasant experience diary

home practice Hot cross bun

4/ The step breathing space is a marvellous way of bridging formal practice and your daily life. It is definitely what I would call a portable practice. Here is a lovely guided version of it if you wish to use from Mark Williams

4/ also do keep if you can your Mindfulness Journal or maybe using this simple table if you prefer. Practice Record sheet 

5/ A written guide to starting a sitting practice is here . Sitting mindfulness practice checklist

6/ Here is a digital copy of the poem by Portia Nelson I read at the end of the session. Autobiography in Five Chapters poem

I am looking forward to hearing all about it next Tuesday 🙂


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Mindfulness and autopilot

This post is a collection of three simple practices to develop or maintain your mindfulness practice. These are:

  1. Sitting mindfulness practice
  2. Mindful walking
  3. 3 step breathing space

As a combination they are excellent in letting you see habits and patterns of the mind and how these can occur without you realising; in other words recognising when autopilot is on in your life. The mindful sitting is a formal practice and one for which you will need to find some time and a quiet space to practice. The mindful walking can be done as a personal practice away from your ‘everyday life’, but it can also be done as part of your everyday activities. If you want to notice autopilot for example, then you could use this when you are walking along a familiar route. You will notice a few glances if you do this in public mind you; most people find it odd that anyone should walk without a purpose and without wanting to get somewhere!

Finally the 3 step breathing space can help you be aware of your thoughts feelings and boy sensations at any time of the day. It is really beneficial to try to do this 3 or 4 times in a waking day.

There are some links below if you like to be guided in these practices, but I am also sharing some written assistance so you can complete these in silence if you prefer.

 

 

Below is a mind and body sitting meditation

 

Herre is a 3 step breathing space practice (called by its old name of 3 minute breathing space, but dont worry)

And here is the instructions/ introduction to walking mindfulness. Instructions for Mindful Walking

Here are some written guidelines

3 Step Breathing Space

 

Autopilot versus Mindfulness

Sitting mindfulness practice checklist

Good luck with all your practices!

 


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MBSR week 2 May 2018

 

TNH tea

Home Practice

1/ continue with the body scan practice. I shall share the same as I did last week for this. I recommend this one from Rebecca Crane as she phrases it very well for those just starting a mindfulness practice. So I think it is great for a week 1 home practice.  Click here to hear it. If you prefer to start this week with a 30 minute not a 45 minute practice here is a youtube one from Jon Kabat Zinn

If you wish to try some others. There are more here. I haven’t listened to them all myself, but the ones I have are good. However, in the first couple of weeks I would recommend sticking to just one guidance; trying others could become a distraction.

2/ If you didn’t do The Nine Dots Exercise then here it is.

3/ Complete the pleasant events table and/ or use the hot cross bun diagram to help you unpack your pleasant experiences. Digital links to these if you want another copy are below

Pleasant experience diary

home practice Hot cross bun

4/ Continue to intentionally bring moments of awareness during your day; bring some mindfulness into your routines You can find a mindfulness anchor in any moment in any day. the opportunity is always there.

4/ also do keep if you can your Mindfulness Journal or maybe using this simple table if you prefer. Practice Record sheet 

5/ If you wish to try some sitting practice like we did at the end of the second session here is a checklist to help get you started. Try doing this one without any guidance. Sitting mindfulness practice checklist

6/ Finally here is a copy of the Mary Oliver pom I read at the end. summer day mary oliver

I am looking forward to hearing all about it next Tuesday 🙂