Resident club psychologists Amy Spencer and Dr. Greg Clarke break down the key principles of mindfulness; what it is and how best to practice it...
Jon Kabat-Zinn: “Awareness arising from paying attention without judgement or reacting, to what’s here in the present moment.”
Mindfulness is about being in the present moment, treating ourselves with kindness and compassion, and having a sense of acceptance of what’s already here.
In this instance, in light of COVID-19, being in our experience, understanding the realities without prejudice or emotional reaction can help us to feel calmer and more at ease.
After all, we have ultimate control over our choices; where we choose to place our attention and the decisions we make.
Mindfulness requires dedication and practice; the same as learning any new skill or changing a habit (which is particularly hard to do). A willingness to undertake daily practice can really help.
As we know, most things that are worthwhile and of value require time, patience and practice.
It can be useful to approach a mindfulness programme with a healthy scepticism, but it is also true that the more you put into it the more you will get out. As best you can, with a sense of openness.
What mindfulness is not…
- Emptying your mind
- Sitting in a pose on a cushion
- A cure for pain
- A religion (although the concept is based on Buddhist ideas)
Take a moment to reflect on what brought you here, and what you hope to gain from practicing mindfulness.
What preconceived judgments do you have about mindfulness before it’s even started? (Make a note of these thoughts as it's helpful to review them later).
Introduction to sitting meditation and breath awareness…
Meditation is about focussing on a single object. The first step is paying attention to a single focus and allow other distractions to come and go.
Meditation is not about clearing the mind; it’s about being aware of the mind and its patterns. It’s a tool to gain insight, into the way the mind works.
Although traditionally called a sitting meditation, the posture is not important. Meditation is normally done sat up for ease of space, and to keep awake. The main thing is to be as comfortable as possible.
Join in with the video included within this article, as Greg and Amy guide you through the basics.