Time to start meditating
After months of procrastination I got to the stage of wanting to actually try meditation. There was a fear that those who saw or knew would scoff. Perhaps there was part of me that would scoff too.
My journey seems to be about procrastination, I instinctively feel this is an area that mindfulness will help me with……….you will find your own fears to face.
I wanted to understand the science before I started, so I did a lot of reading. This is what I do, I procrastinate. It takes me a while to get going. So having liked what I read I followed up some leads, Mark Williams, the author of Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world, is also a Professor at Oxford University, being one of them. I found at http://www.oxfordmindfulness.org/ lots of practical resources that both fed my curiosity and got me started doing real meditations but just 2-3 minutes.
I began to listen to YouTube clips and then I discovered the Headspace app. This offered 10 free sessions. So that is where I started, with an app on my iPad.
Mindfulness Meditation for Novices- ‘Doing it’
‘Doing it’ involves actually doing it!
- I got myself a cushion, having used one in a Buddhist meditation class I knew it was a position I could sit in for a while.
- I decided to meditate once the house was empty in the morning before my work, for 10 minutes.
- Initially I found this traditional position extremely comfortable, once I had discovered how to stop the pins and needles in my feet
The position; not all that is seems
- I initially felt a ‘numpty’ (a word frequently used by my children)
- I do know from fitness training I have done that this open hand posture, and arm positioning is actually ergonomic, -it is following the natural alignment of bones and muscles and stops tension in the arms or shoulders so it is really comfortable.
- I have since read how the positioning of the hands can influence the meditation experience. In fact the whole positioning of the body (mudras) especially the hands and feet is associated with embodied energy as made use of in yoga.
- This whole experience was definitely changing from a curiosity to a desire to ‘be’, to live and experience my world differently. Even my body position influenced my experience.
- ………the position does not always work, the cats pester me.
After 2 weeks I had used the free sessions on my app. What do I do now?
Even after a short time I could tell the difference, only subtle. My head was clearer.
I was now hooked, I wanted this for myself, my intention was changing, but I also believed in its benefits for those with busy cluttered heads. Possibly for you?
If you want to try Mindfulness meditation there are many useful resources a few are listed.
I would also love to hear of your experiences.
Part 3 will follow.
- Wherever you go there you are by Jon Kabat-Zin (2004)
- Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world By Mark Williams and Danny Penman (2011)
For anyone interested in the science behind mindfulness-
- The practical neuroscience of Buddha’s Brain, happiness, love and wisdom. By Rick Hanson with Richard Mendius (2009)
- Mindfulness for Mental Wellbeing http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/mindfulness.aspx
- Be Mindful https://www.bemindfulonline.com/the-course/
- Oxford Mindfulness Centre http://www.oxfordmindfulness.org/train/
- Headspace https://www.headspace.com
- Rick Hanson resources https://www.rickhanson.net/