Mindfulness means being able to bring direct, open-hearted awareness to what you are doing whilst you are doing it; being able to tune into what is going on in your mind and body, and in the outside world, moment by moment.
Practice sessions in Mindfulness meditation are offered to everyone, whether you are a complete beginner or have experience of Mindfulness practice. The sessions help you become aware of
- What is happening in the present moment
- What is happening in your body and mind
- To be less drawn into the past or future
- Habits of thought
The practices are led by trained Mindfulness teachers with years of experience of facilitating individuals and groups in Mindfulness practice.
Sessions are offered on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month, 10:30 to 12:00.
Mind Full or Mindful?
There are a few words from Mary Oliver’s poem “The Summer Day” which have stayed with me since I first came across them many years ago:
Tell me “What is it that you plan to do with your one and precious life?”
A quarter of a century later, a small adjustment gives these words a richer resonance:
How do you want to be in your one and precious life?
This question can help us get closer to understanding what mindfulness is and in what way it might be worth exploring.
Mindfulness is about paying attention in a compassionate way to the whole of our experience. When we are mindful, we know we are thinking when we are thinking; we know what we are feeling when we are feeling; and what is going on in our bodies when something is being experienced in the body. But most of us do not live with this kind of awareness ; we tend to live in a kind of ‘Automatic Pilot’. Whilst we’re doing one thing, we’re thinking of another, checking the phone, dealing with emails, making plans, remembering things …. our attention is being pulled in many different directions at once. We cannot stop our minds from being busy, but we can stop getting carried away by our thoughts.
Mindfulness helps us recognise what’s going on now, in this moment, in our thoughts, emotions, sensations. Mindfulness is a shift from ‘doing mode’ to ‘being mode.’ As human beings, we’re more like human doers, so busy and caught up in activities which distract us from being in the present, from being with ourselves, as we are in any one moment.
It takes practice to learn how to pay attention; to stop, pause, breathe, to step back, to listen. This is at heart about learning how to meditate.
So give yourself a break; slow down, take a few easy breaths, look around, and give thanks.