Dukkhaboy

Have felt worse


Leave a comment

On retreat – what’s that like?

I promised Carol I would write about my retreat experience at Gaia House. I was struggling with what to say about t what is such a personal, internal and immeasurable experience when my 11yo sorted me out. On my train journey home she texted me. This is how it went (though, bless her, she had sent the first one whilst I was away and incommunicado)

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Mindfulness-Quietening the Mind week 2

Firstly thank you so much forgiving up your own precious time to come along this evening. I really appreciate it. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me by the group facebook page or by email at philipanderson57121@gmail.com

Here is a copy of the sheets that were handed out.

Practice Record sheet (same one as last week)

Tchich Nhat Hanh practice 

Autopilot versus Mindfulness

Habit Releasers

Sitting mindfulness practice checklist

Below are the same two body scan practices I linked last week. It is best at this stage to stick with the one you used most last week. however if you want to to try a habit releaser here as well, then go for it!

If that is too long here is a slightly shorter one (15 minutes) from Mark Williams

 

If you would prefer to do sitting mindfulness of the breath, then here is a practice for that

 

Finally here is Mary Oliver’s poem that I read at the end of the session

summer day mary oliver

Good luck with your practices and I look forward to seeing you next week.


4 Comments

A breathing meditation from Tchich Nhat Hanh

img_0879

A mindfulness practice from Tchich Nhat Hanh

 (This is taken from his book “Silence” ISBN 978-1-84604-434-2)

Breathing in, I know I’m breathing in

Breathing out, I know I’m breathing out

(In. Out.)

 

Breathing in, my breath grows deep

Breathing out, my breath grows slow

(Deep. Slow.)

 

Breathing I am aware of my body,

Breathing out I calm my body

(Aware of body. Calming.)

 

Breathing in, I smile

Breathing out, I release

(Smile. Release.)

 

Breathing in I dwell in the present moment

Breathing out I enjoy the present moment

(Dwell. Enjoy.)

 

 Tchich Nhat Hanh’s instructions:

With the in breath say the first of the two lines quietly to yourself and with the out breath say the second. With the following in and out breaths you can say just the key words.

My brief thoughts:

You could say this as a short drop in type practice and simply say the whole thing once through. Once you have memorised the 10 lines you could do this at any place and at any time of day.

Alternatively, you could use this as the basis of a sitting practice, taking your time over each couplet. I have done this in recent weeks and added in a body scan after I have said the 3rd couplet. I love the way the ideas start from the breath and build out to the whole of the present moment as an all encompassing idea and event. I also love the happiness in this practice. There is a deepness to it, but not one that comes to you overburdened with seriousness and intellectual striving. Instead he introduces you lightly and kindly to your present moment, undisturbed by thoughts of past or future.


Leave a comment

Mindfulness-Quietening the Mind week 1

Firstly thank you so much forgiving up your own precious time to come along this evening. I really appreciate it. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me by the group facebook page or by email at philipanderson57121@gmail.com

Here is a copy of the daily practice record sheet. Practice Record sheet

I am linking two body scans practices. I would recommend trying both and then sticking with the one that ‘suits you’ for the week.

First is a 30 minute body scan from John Kabat Zinn. The first few minutes are an introduction, so the practice itself i probably a bit shorter than that. But the introduction is an excellent description of the approach and attitude that best helps doing this practice.

If that is too long here is a slightly shorter one (15 minutes) from Mark Williams

 

Also I suggested taking a normal daily activity (like brushing your teeth, making a cup of tea, putting on socks or similar) and trying to do it mindfully. This is designed to help us live less of our life on autopilot.

Finally this is a link to the Tchich Nhat Hanh practice I shared if you have misplaced your sheet or just want a digital copy of it.

Good luck with your practices and I hope to see you next week.


3 Comments

Mindful Walking

img_0835

I never got mindful walking. I was always a sit down on my cushion meditator, breathing in breathing out, getting distracted, returning to the breath and getting distracted again meditator. Then 10 days ago in a room with a view of the Nantlle Ridge Mountains in Snowdonia I found mindful walking to work.  Maybe it was Susanna’s wonderful guidance, maybe it was me settling the balance between my faith and doubt in having another go at it, maybe it was the supportive caring company – all of us trying together squeezed in to the room, maybe it was the cold floor keeping me alert to my toes and feet through my thin socks. Whatever it was, I got it.

And now I can feel it feedings in to my other practice. Walking flows more effortlessly into the next part of the day. When I finish a sitting practice, I stand up and move into the next room to carry on the day. It can feel like I am concluding the spiritual part of the day and then moving back into normal life. Walking more naturally avoids that threshold crossing; it is simpler just to carry on. Therefore mindful walking can help me spend more of the day mindfully. As I queue I can be aware of the feeling of my feet, as I walk from car to front door I can do so noticing the feeling of my feet on the ground beneath me.

And so I hope that now when I get up from my sitting meditation I can take some of it with me. Sat at my desk having just pressed send or save, I might feel my outbreath for a minute and when my mind wanders I might gently and precisely bring it back again.


Leave a comment

Being in the bath

bath 2

I much prefer taking a shower to a bath. I have never voted Conservative. But I would like to defend a Conservative MP from the criticism he is receiving for spending an hour a day in the bath. The Guardian is making disparaging remarks about men in their 50’s being naked and ridiculing this habit. Whilst The Mirror is worried about his £5 a month water bill. Both articles sneer at a public servant regularly taking some time out of his day to step back and look for the interconnections and wholeness of his life and job. The BBC at least gives Tim Loughton the chance to put his side of the story.

Finding and fitting in the time to pause and think, to reflect and become aware of ourselves, our body and mind and our surroundings will enable us to become better at decision making and concentrating for the rest of the day. As Thich Nhat Hanh says “Doing nothing is doing something.” The belief that Tim Loughton is wasting time and indulging himself because he is not rushing around all helter-skelter is the attitude  that commits us all to live at break neck speed without a thought for our mental welfare. Until we learn to value being as much as doing the mental health crises will continue to be unsolvable. Scoffing at someone for doing so is exactly the same line of thought that condemns us all to be mute when we should be discussing mental health.

So let us please value and encourage more people to stop and be for a period of time every day. I am delighted that one of our MPs is leading by example by lying in his bath every morning.