What It Does...
- Mindfulness brings the mind into the here and now. By bringing direct attention to what's happening in this very moment, all problems related to judging, ruminating, worrying subside. We start to taste peace.
- Mindfulness of the body practices such as the Body Scan help us to acknowledge our physical reality and establish a greater awareness of how our mind and body are intimately connected. With practice we can start to appreciate how our emotions or the suppression of them show up as bodily sensations.
- Mindfulness develops the capacity to let go of our thought patterns and storylines. This is particularly useful when we have a tendency to get caught in self critical or anxiety based narratives.
- The practice of mindfulness meditation can help to establish an underlying current of wellbeing, a greater sense of peace and spaciousness that can permeate our daily life outside of sitting sessions.
- Mindfulness however is not a miracle cure and panacea for all of our problems and anxieties and when it's sold in that way it does the practice an injustice. We can get benefit from doing sessions now and again but to reap its true benefits requires commitment and practice.
- Our modern way of life massively favours 'doing' over 'being', so learning to restore a few minutes of 'simply being' during the day can bring huge benefits to our lives. In fact with the overload of the constant demands that technology in the information age has now given us, exercises in some form of mindfulness are becoming increasingly important in helping people manage their mental space.
I teach people the conventional basis of mindfulness meditation that I have learned directly from the source of the Buddhist traditions from which secular mindfulness arose.
These methods have been proven for milennia to gradually awaken us from the slumber of our automatic, habitual and destructive ways of being, as long as we are commited in some degree to practising them.
To that I add some work on bringing awareness to the use of technology and how we relate to our devices since this is such a major aspect of our modern lives.
Mindfulness is a skill that is not simply limited to the realm of personal development. It can also be used to bring great improvements to our interpersonal life, enabling greater empathy and connection. Mindfulness of Listening pairwork gives people the gift of allowing another person to be fully acknowledged and heard and sharpens our own interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence.
On top of that a major aspect of the mindfulness training I give derives from a confluence of Eastern meditative practices and Western psychological tools. The profound methods of Big Mind and Voice Dialogue are modalities that enable us to connect very directly and rapidly with innate states of calm and acceptance.
The way I teach these methods help mindfulness practitioners to understand how all of their states of mind are potentially useful but that it's the getting stuck in specific states of mind that causes problems to arise. In sessions we purposefully 'speak from' different perspectives so as to have an embodied feeling of them, understand what those states of mind have to offer and how to separate from them when it's necessary.
In this way mindfulness, when practiced in conjunction with an understanding of the different parts or perspectives within us, opens the door to living life in a fluid and relaxed way that embraces the totality of who we are. The goal of the practice is not to become attached to peace and calm, hiding away from the vitality and movement of life, but to find the balance that knows how to embrace and make appropriate use of the whole spectrum of the variety of aspects of our being.
Here are some upcoming opportunities in London to attend courses and day retreats which are consistently proving to stimulate insights and help participants find greater relaxation and ease with their minds.