Awareness of Mind

This was our third session.

We recapped the framework for thinking about ourselves

This time we focused on the mind, divided into thinking, perception and something else.

We practised Sitting Meditation and Walking Meditation. We are getting the hang of it.

and then we had tea… 

Practise Again..

This is another 15 minute sitting meditation 

Try it again and see if it is the same.

Each time we sit the experience is different

because we are not the same as before.

Give it another go…

Just once if you only have time for that but ideally

try to make it a new habit…

Last Chance to Get Headspace

As a beginning point for anyone interested in Mediation and Mindfulness

I thoroughly recommend Headspace.

It is FREE for the foundation ‘Basics’ pack.

Subscription is £10 per month 

or 

£72 per year (£6/month)

This is the last plug for it I promise

If you haven’t  at least checked out the

site stop reading this and go there now.


Some ideas about Mind

The framework splits the mind into three sections.

Perceptions – Thinking – Something else

The mind is a tricky one to put your finger on or grasp hold of. I have heard it described as trying to hold a freshly caught trout that you pulled from the river, thrashing and writhing around. You don’t want to hurt it but also you do want to take a good look at your catch. If you don’t hold hard enough it will wriggle free and back into the stream yet if you grasp to tight, that grip will push it out of your hands, like a slippery bar of soap.

So you have to find a balance between a passive awareness and an active focus. Not an easy thing to do and it will take quite a few goes before you get any kind of outcome you are satisfied with. Remember you just have to have a go. No one can do the kicking and paddling for you but with a regular practice you will be swimming in no time and then wondering why you hadn’t done this before. 🙂

Thich Nhat Hanh

Use your perceptions

Here is a bit of a trick you can use. Remember you don’t need to spend any more time thinking! We are all thinking addicts and you need to quit that addiction. You can’t stop thinking but you could be less aware of it and more aware of your perceptions. With your eyes closed this will predominantly be hearing but it could be smells (that is why I use incense sticks) or touch, the breeze on your skin is a good example. Keeping your awareness ‘looking’ for sensory information let the sounds come AND GO. Don’t start thinking about the perception, what it means, what it reminds you of, just say ‘Hello sound’ and then off it goes again. You could try naming it “that is a bird, that is a plane” etc but it is tempting to then start thinking what kind of bird? how close is it? and so on, so beware.

What is the third bit ??

I am not going to tell you! Maybe there is only thinking and perceptions but I have felt from my practice that there is something else.

It doesn’t matter what you call it. It could be an emptiness, just like the space between breaths, not an in breath or an out breath but not a conscious pause either. It certainly is the hardest thing to be aware of and just like the space between breaths it takes a while before you notice it at all.

If you do spot something you can have the honour of naming it for yourself. 

marie kondo

Tidying up book

This is the book we were chatting about at tea. It really is an excellent method for looking at our possessions and starting to bring some mindfulness to the things we own and hold on to (or even horde, mention no names 🙂

the life changing magic of tidying up

A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever

Buy it from here and we get a tiny weany donation


How we look at ourselves

Play Video

The Model

This film (it’s a bit long at 30 minutes, sorry) explains the first part of the technique and ideas we are learning for our sitting meditation.

It is helpful as a recap or an introduction.

This might seem a lot to it at the beginning but with regular practice it will become very familiar. 

Remember just like swimming we are not gong to dive in and do lengths on day one. There is much kicking and paddling to do first.

The Body

Breathing in – Breathing Out

Breathing Deeper – Breathing Slower

Aware of the Body – Calm the Body

Feelings

Aware of Feelings – Calm Feelings

Alive – Joy

Mind

Perceptions – ? – Thinking

Aware of Mind – Calm Mind

Meditating – Happy

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The Empty Meadow

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Thank you

This framework is based on 

‘The Full Awareness of Breathing’

breathe!

you are alive

is a very easy to follow explanation of the sutra.

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