Introductory mindfulness class

In class 1, we ate 3 raisins, one at a time.  We really observed them, noticed them, with all our senses.  And we observed our own process of eating them.  We also did a ten minute mindfulness of the breath meditation.  You can find a similar recording here: https://soundcloud.com/jennie-sara/mindfulness-of-breath-10min.

The hand-out for class 1 gave some foundational ideas of mindfulness.  Here it is:

1. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition of mindfulness:

‘Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally’

 

2. Eight attitudinal foundations: (From Libby Robinson)

Non-striving – Not trying to get anywhere other than where you are.
Not grabbing onto thoughts, feelings or sensations; not pushing them away.

Acceptance – Cultivating being okay with what is.
Even if there’s resistance or grabbing, being okay with that.

Curiosity – Bringing a quality of impartial investigation to immediate experience.
What does this fear feel like? What kind of thoughts come up?

Patience – Giving oneself time to cultivate mindfulness.
Allowing time for insights and new ways of seeing things to unfold.

Beginner’s mind – Openness.
Seeing things as if for the first time: fresh, new, with curiosity.

Trust – Trusting that the process of practicing mindfulness will foster insights.
Trusting yourself and your own deepest knowledge and insights.

Non-judging – Cultivating impartial observation.
Not labeling sensations, thoughts, feelings as good or bad, right or wrong, fair or unfair. Simply noting them.
Even when we notice judgment, just noticing it without judging it.

Letting go – Letting experience just be.
Cultivating the ability to let thoughts, sensations, feelings simply be without pushing them away or holding onto them.

 

3. Week’s practices

  1. Notice noticing. Make a mental note when you find yourself noticing what you’re doing in the same way you noticed eating the raisin.
  2. Find a breath meditation you like and try to practice for 10 minutes each day.
  3. Note when your attitudinal foundation arises on its own. And maybe cultivate it throughout the week.
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