We hear about Mindfulness a great deal these days.
But what actually is it?
It is about living in the moment- not worrying about the past or the future.
That does not mean to say we don’t plan ahead or think back . However it has been found that adopting Mindfulness practice on a regular basis will help us to cope with every day stress and anxiety, pain and other life feelings.
I need to say that whilst Mindfulness was a Buddhist practice it is in no way religious and is suitable for all faiths and none. It is now a main stream secular way of helping to deal with the stresses of life. It is recognised by the NHS NICE guidelines. Sadly it is not widely available on the NHS.
It is advocated that we practice every day and set aside time to do this.
It is a form of meditation but does not necessarily mean you have to sit cross legged on the floor or chant whilst doing it! So no contortions or impossible positions necessary! To practice, you can do it anywhere without any special equipment. You can do it alone or in a group. There is no need to share with a group why you are choosing Mindfulness but sometimes it is good to share experiences and learn from eachother.
However to get the full benefit of mindfulness practice we are invited to adopt a respectful posture, sitting either in a chair or on the floor. It is encouraged that we take off shoes, feet flat on the floor, sit upright and away from the back of the chair – resting one’s arms on the thigh with palms upwards. This allows for easy ingress and egress of breath from our bodies – being open to what will happen.
There are eight basic practices and those can be learnt easily. It is not always possible to recreate ones experiences simply by doing the practices- each practice brings its own experience depending on where you are at that moment in time. Above all please do not beat yourself up if whilst doing your practice your mind wanders. That is what minds do! Just acknowledge that is what has happened and note where it has gone. Then gently and compassionately guide your thoughts back to where the practice is taking you .
Practice makes perfect- or so they say! Give it a try and bring some peace in a troubled world and bring calm to your mind.