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-Introduction to Mindfulness Education.
Most of us find life stressful at times, particularly when afflicted by illness or faced with difficulties. We tend to be impatient, and lost in the past or in the future instead of being present. We also tend to resist or react to things by denying, commenting, or judging them rather than being receptive and trying to understand them. This reaction creates more stress.
This Evening course is already reduced price from 37 £ to 8 £ and we have limited tickets so book your Tickets now from this link:
From down in the dumps to over the moon, join us to explore the art and science of human emotions.
• Learn how to become emotionally intelligent so you can deal with this busy world in a calm way.
• Learn how the behaviours we adopt effect our Life.
• Learn how to calm anxiety and your Mind.
FACILITATOR : MAGDALENA BACIU.
Over the last years I have explored a wide array of ideas and fields through literature, training and real life experience on subjects such as Authentic Happiness, Success and Productivity, Confidence and Self-Esteem, NLP, Meditation and Mindfulness, Energy Healing, Hypnosis, EFT, Yoga, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Coaching.
Medical And Non Medical Benefits.
of this practice for chronic pain, stress, anxiety, depression etc. including studies in cancer patients and healthy volunteers showing improvement of their quality of life and immune function.
Mindfulness is a mental quality that reminds one to be present. It is the bare, choiceless, relaxed, moment to moment non-judging attention to the mental or physical activity that is occurring here and now. It pays equal respect to pleasant and unpleasant objects. It also possesses a quality of inquiry, patience, and acceptance toward all that is occurring in the present moment.
Mindfulness is one of the "universal" wholesome (beautiful) mental factors that when fully present, will enhance other beautiful mental qualities (such as loving-kindness, joy, equanimity, generosity, etc.) and weaken the unwholesome ones (unskilful, such as anger, jealousy, fear etc.) Therefore practicing mindfulness is a way to make one's mind beautiful.
There are four ways of establishing mindfulness which explore four different aspects of life experiences:
1) Body (or physical aspect).
One establishes mindfulness by being aware of:
-Body postures (sitting, standing, walking, lying).
-Physical activities/movements: bending, stretching, reaching, stepping, holding an object, putting on clothes etc.
-Physical sensations within the body.
-The breath: being aware of its nature (in or out, long or short, the motion, pressure, tingling, warmth etc.)
A direct way to experience physical sensations is to be aware of reality, the elemental nature: texture (hard or soft, rough or smooth, light or heavy), temperature (warm or cool), dynamics (motion, vibration, or tension/pressure) and cohesiveness or fluidity (which is usually too subtle to directly experience). This differs from the usual concept of “my body” as a generalized form or shape which is to be kept in the background in formal practice. These four kinds of manifestation are traditionally known as the earth, fire, air (wind), and water elements.
2) Feeling tone.
Not to be misunderstood as emotion or sensation (which it is sometimes translated), it actually is the mindful awareness of the three feeling tones (impressions or qualities) that is associated with all physical or mental experience: pleasant (agreeable), unpleasant (disagreeable), or neutral. One notices that there is simply pleasantness, unpleasantness (physical or mental) or neither present in this moment.
Mindful awareness of consciousness and mental states/emotions/thoughts.
4) Phenomena (Mental objects/contents):
Mindful awareness of phenomena, things that we experience at our sense doors, including "the mind's door": the dynamic functions and relationships of consciousness, mental states and thoughts.
With respect to the last two, there are overlaps between mind and mental objects and any object that does not fit in the first three would belong to the fourth one. Therefore, to simplify, 3) and 4) could be considered together as mindfulness of the mind. This involves non-judging awareness of (and objectively observing how they are manifesting):
- thoughts (thinking, reflecting, remembering, planning, etc.),
- mental states and emotions (sadness/joy, fear/hope, aversion/appreciation, anger/love, confusion/clarity, drowsiness/agitation etc.) or
- consciousness itself (the container for the above, just as a clear glass holding water or yellow juice... and is colored by them).
It also includes the observation of specific mental qualities or effects such as the hindrances (difficulties) of the practice, awakening (insight/enlightenment) factors and the sense door experiences (seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching etc.) - including the mind's reaction to them. We can also see how we are caught in these experiences, thus being able to free ourselves from them.
In practice, one does not need to figure out which element or foundation the object represents but simply to be aware of them, with a relaxed interest without expectation, without adding or substracting anything from them or controlling them. It is helpful however to know which experiences are real (see Concept and Reality) and pay more attention to them.
CONCEPT AND REALITY
We normally identify with the conceptual aspect of life. This conventional reality of names and forms: "I am a student", "my knee hurts", "I am angry" etc. It can be useful for functioning in the world although it is quite often colored/distorted by our biases, prejudice, past experiences (positive or negative) or by misunderstanding, overlook or ignorance.
In mindfulness practice, one keeps the "concept" (conceptual reality) in the background and pays more attention to the true nature or "ultimate reality" of all phenomena (what one directly experiences in the moment without interpreting or referring to past knowledge). Instead of "my knee hurts" (concept) one feels the reality of pressure, tension or heat at the knee (first foundation) or physical unpleasantness (second foundation) or aversion to it (third/fourth foundation). Instead of "I am angry" (concept), one experiences this emotion or mental state simply as anger (third/fourth foundation), or mental unpleasantness (second foundation) or the associated heat or tightness (first foundation). One does not identify with these experiences as being me, mine or myself but objectively observe them in order to understand their true nature, just like looking at clouds in the vast sky, like a scientist observing an experiment without bias.
Observing reality helps develop insights and this wisdom allows one to see more reality and less concept.
At the beginning of the sitting meditation, consider the breath your home or primary object, a place to take refuge in during the sitting meditation..
1/ Informal mindful walks:
As you take a stroll or walk from place to place, simply pay attention to general present time sense door experiences (moving, stepping, seeing, hearing, touching, breathing, coolness, pleasantness, etc.). One way is to spend a moment (short or long as suitable) with seeing, a moment with hearing, a moment with stepping or just have a relaxed, open soft gaze into the moment-to-moment present time life experience. Although the awareness could occasionally fall on the breath, one does not need to intentionally keep it there. This type of walk is considered walking meditation in some traditions. It is a very helpful and practical way of applying mindfulness but it does not replace the formal walking meditation in this tradition. Likewise, overall mindfulness in daily life activities does not replace formal sitting.
2/ Formal walking meditation:
During formal walking meditation, one establishes mindfulness mainly through the physical aspect (first foundation) without paying attention to other experiences. Simply choose an individual path and walk back and forth while applying mindfulness of the body: the feet touching the ground, the changing sensations of motion, heaviness, pressure, tingling, coolness...
(More description of the sitting and walking techniques will be presented in the course).
RIGHT MEDITATION ATTITUDE
To be relaxed yet alert.
Have no expectations.
Let go of controlling. Let it be. Try not to make any thing happen but also not to reject anything (not adding or subtracting anything, just observe things as they really are).
Hold a joyful interest in understanding life by simply watching it unfolding in each moment: accept and observe both "good" and "bad" experiences, not wishing the pleasant ones to last and the unpleasant ones to stop. Roots of stress:
-Wanting something to happen is attachment.
-Wanting something to go away is aversion.
-Not knowing what is happening is delusion.
Just like a farmer preparing the land before planting his/her crop, to embark upon the mindfulness practice, it is helpful to commit oneself to a harmonious way of life, allowing the mind to be peaceful and more conducive to this practice. Be kind to yourself and to others. One traditional way is to follow, as best as one can, the five training guides or commitment of refraining from
1) Killing any living being
2) Taking what belongs to others
3) Harmfully expressing one’s sexual energy
4) Using untruthful or harsh speech and
5) Habitual or more than moderate use of substances (such as alcohol or drugs) that could cloud the mind or harm the body.
Instead of feeling guilty if one breaks one of these training guides, reflect on how it was unskillful and resolve to do better the next time.
Try to renew this commitment daily, perhaps as you begin the day or before the formal sitting.
You can also take the positive approach of the above by making an effort to
1) Protect lives
2) Be generous
3) Keep harmony and commitment in relationships
4) Utter comforting and beneficial speech and
5) Live a (physically and mentally) healthy life