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amaya
Posts: 731
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:23 pm

Mindfulness

Postby amaya » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:05 pm

A thread for discussion, support and idea sharing over mindfulness meditation.

Introduction from Jon Kabat-Zinn:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nwwKbM_vJc&t=652s

amaya
Posts: 731
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:23 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby amaya » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:16 pm

I started this thread because from time to time I have thoughts or questions about trying to develop my mindfulness practice.. and also I go through significant patches where it is hard to keep the daily practice going for one reason or another. I thought it might be nice if we encouraged each other with this.

So I will start with what I noticed today whilst practicing. The sheer number, speed and frequency of thoughts that come to me. How easily they take me away from the moment I am in. Sometimes I do not even complete one full in or out breath before something else has entered my mind. Sometimes there is a whole series of thoughts before I realise what has happened and return to my breath. I also found myself wondering if I had ADHD before I remembered to focus on my breath and did my best to accept the constant speculative state of my mind without judging it XD

I wonder if I have abnormally high numbers of thoughts, or if that is everyone's experience with meditating. Other times I am overcome with emotion, but not this morning.

For those new to meditating, I will say that it is not wrong to have thoughts in this way.. or anyway for that matter.. the idea is to be aware of them, and without judging, simply return your focus to your breath which grounds you in your body and the present moment. So thoughts that bring you away from your breath are not wrong in meditation, but returning to you breath in this accepting and compassionate way is the tool that helps you develop your awareness, your awakeness to everything.

But I am curious to know whether my frequency of thoughts is abnormally high. I am never not thinking about something. Sometimes you ask someone what they are thinking and they say nothing. I don't get that.

and welcome to the mindfulness thread :)

Isap
Posts: 1561
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:13 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby Isap » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:33 pm

A guy on another site has posted an extensive link to free audio mindfulness threads I'll add to this later

Isap xx

depressedtodeath
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 9:09 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby depressedtodeath » Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:00 pm

This mindfullness doesn't seem to be working too well for you, sounds like the latest new age fad to me.

amaya
Posts: 731
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:23 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby amaya » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:34 pm

It is working actually. And it is thousands of years old. This thread is aimed at people who want to use Mindfulness to improve their mental health, to be constructive and supportive of each other.

Thanks Isap, I look forward to seeing the links.

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1256
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby andthistoomustpass » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:14 am

Hi Amaya

Great idea for a thread!

I don't think it is unusual to have so many thoughts. The leader of the Mindfulness course I took said that it is normal too. What we perceive as the mind has one job, to think. As we reduce the distractions by minimising the attention we give to normal sensory input, it is natural that more internal thoughts will rise to fill the gap, hence focusing on the breath and the body to give us something real and emotionally neutral to focus on and return to each time we are pulled away.

In the spirit of mutual support I am going to commit to at least three meditation sessions in the coming week. I find them so beneficial yet make time for them so rarely.

Isap
Posts: 1561
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:13 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby Isap » Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:58 am

This site wouldn't let me paste a copy so I've had to disclose the link

http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/showthread.php?t=168689

The guy who put it up is, well, I have good reasons not to ask his permission first

All the ones I downloaded are very good. If you are new to this, I would say don't bother with anything longer than 20 minutes. There are some very good 10 and even 5 minute ones which you can do in the midst of a crisis

Everyone is different but you need to do a practice every day and eventually it will all make sense and you'll be able to observe your thoughts objectively as you go through your day. This is living in the moment.

amaya
Posts: 731
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:23 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby amaya » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:31 pm

Thanks ATTMP,

Although I did think it was about putting more attention on sensory input, even though you choose to narrow the field of awareness to a particular thing, such as the breath in the nostrils. I find that I am more aware of sensory input and not less for the most of my meditation time.

Actually I am more aware of everything including thoughts and emotions because I am paying attention to my whole experience in a way that I don't always do in the rest of my day.

Also not sure if I experience my body as emotionally neutral. Paying attention to certain parts of it can lead to a hyper awareness of particular emotions. My breathing is very tied to my emotional state and certain parts of my body are held tight or seem to carry emotions in some way.

It is interesting how everyone experiences so many different things just from stopping to pay attention to breathing.

I think it is really awesome that you are going to meditate too :) Please add anything that you want to this thread whenever you want because it is so great to hear from someone else's experiences.

Wow Isap, that guy had a lot of links to look up. It will take some time before I will check them all.. there is so much online and not all of it is reliable. I plan to look them up one by one when I have time :)

One source for mindfulness that I have found to be reliable everytime is anything written by Jon Kabat-Zinn or any material from one of the official MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) programs. If anyone is reading this and is uncertain where to start that is my advice. The program was developed for people with complex health needs and is Mindfulness designed for westerners without the religious component of buddhism, but shows a healthy respect for it's origins. 100% safe and no nonsense.

Do you really find that you can do mindfulness in a crisis Isap? I am curious about your experience of this, because I cannot. I find that if I practice mindfulness regularly in life I am way less likely to come to the point of a crisis, but that in a crisis it is not the right tool to help me. At least not at the stage I am now.

The every day part is important because you are retraining the way your brain works and of course that is more effective every day. But I think if we miss a day the trick is not to beat ourselves up but to accept that that will of course happen and to be ready to enjoy starting again on another day. I find being too strict about this in my mind just leads to feeling like I cannot do it at all. I guess that is also part of being compassionate towards yourself, which is something mindfulness teaches.

Thanks so much for joining in with my thread guys.. I think this is also good for the forum. And I already feel more enthusiastic about doing it because we are doing it together now :)

Isap
Posts: 1561
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:13 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby Isap » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:01 pm

Hi Amaya

You're right I never feel like doing a guided meditation in the midst of a crisis I have tried the short ones but can't recall a successful outcome. As you said being mindful all day will hopefully prevent you getting into crisis in the first place.

I'm also working at accepting all the crap which comes my way, without getting scared of it. Not easy but I'm better at it now than a year ago.

Good thread, hopefully will encourage us all to get more into it. I did a 20 minute session this morning first time in ages


Isap xx

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1256
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby andthistoomustpass » Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:08 pm

This is fast becoming my favourite thread. I'd like to second Amaya's comments on taking official MBSR courses. I did mine through Breathworks. Worth every penny. If you can't afford a private course MIND and other local charities sometimes offer free courses. Self Help Services or MIND are good options in the Greater Manchester area. Breathworks also have a base in Manchester. There are also official courses specifically designed for chronic pain and mental health, can't remember if this is different to MCBT or not.

Isap
Thanks for the links, and if I haven't mentioned it before, thanks for introducing me to ACT. One of your posts was the first I heard of it.

Amaya
I think we are partly separated by a common language here. By minimising attention given to normal sensory inputs I was referring to choosing not to notice the external beyond what you are focussing on. ie. One meditation skill I would like to develop is to not label sounds. I can notice traffic and birdsong and draw my attention back to the body but that labeling still creates a spike in my thoughts. I want to be able to notice the sound without taking the next step of identification, creating a much flatter distraction. Tough but doable. As for the emotions tied to particular parts of the body, I don't have this but respect that you do. I certainly have thoughts tied to specify body parts (especially the ones in my cellar) and I try to either let these thoughts pass or accept them if they are persistent.

It is interesting to hear how your experience differs from mine. I wonder if anyone else wants to share? For beginners who don't know yet, there is no right way to meditate mindfully, no goal to achieve, just your own experience.


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