mindfulness course - PRACTICES
Welcome to homework week! Where the proverbial rubber meets the road. What really counts: practice!
Each day this week, we'll practice mindfulness in daily life, and a period of formal practice - "just sitting there and being aware". Each day's mindfulness practices will focus on a certain area of awareness, and, on the last day, we'll put it all together and just be aware of whatever comes up, moment-to-moment: really living in mindfulness!
Coming back to this moment
after being lost in thought
On day 1, we'll practice coming back to awareness when we realize we've been lost in thought. A practice to sharpen our ability to recognize when our minds have been wandering, and to come back to present-moment awareness, over and over again.
This can sometimes turn into a mental battle between thoughts and awareness of the moment; a judgment: "lost in thought, bad; aware of this moment, good". But let's not go there! When we become aware that we've been lost in thought, that's awareness in itself! So we just do the practice, without judgment, and, in that way, we grow our ability to come back and be aware!
Coming back to this moment of whatever we're doing
As we go about our day today, we'll focus our awareness on whatever we're doing. When we notice we've been lost in thought, we'll bring our awareness back to whatever we're doing.
With this practice, we begin to strengthen our ability to notice when we're lost in thought more often, and to come back to the present moment more often, and more quickly.
We also begin to see the difference between doing things while on autopilot, lost in thought, and doing them while fully present - how we do things better, and appreciate things more.
Sitting with breath awareness
as an anchor
For our formal practice today, we'll take 20-30 minutes to sit, and gently be aware of our natural breathing, where it's most prominent in our body .
As in our daily-life practice, when we notice that our mind has been lost in thought, we simply return our awareness to the breath, without judgment.
We'll also take a few moments to practice awareness of breathing when we have little pauses through the day, and whenever we think of it...