Day of Mindfulness – what to expect

This retreat day will be offering you greater insight into the impermanence of our mind- and body states. It is a great opportunity to take your experience and use of the MBSR/MBCT and mindfulness skills beyond the formal mindfulness-based programs.

This retreat day intends to assist you with establishing mindfulness and fostering mindfulness skills across all sorts of situations in your live. During the day we will be cultivating a sense of being and non-doing from moment to moment.

And the practice of mindfulness meditation invites you to be open to any experience, no matter whether pleasant or unpleasant or neutral.

Each practice is an opportunity to cultivate aspects of equanimity. And that doesn’t mean that you have to be a super meditator or that you have to try very hard. It is just a matter of keeping some principles in mind as you connect with your experience in the moment and these attitudes can help support a sense of equanimity.

Why should I attend?

 This intensive day is a great opportunity to look after yourself, to explore what the non-doing is like. It is just time for being with the ever changing experience and its qualities. The day of mindfulness is a rare day, a day for exploring what it is like not to fill our time with distractions, noticing what comes up and quality of contact with this experience as it changes (moving toward/away/ against or meeting it). We get to be with this changing landscape of our mind through the day, non-judgmentally.

How is this day structured?

The day of mindfulness is guiding you through different mindfulness meditation practices: sitting meditation, walking meditation and mindful movement. Some of the meditations will have some introductory instructions and then be practiced in silence.

Why silence?

 You may have noticed this day of mindfulness is often referred to as ‘silent retreat day’. Why silence? Being silent means that you are encouraged to not socialise or initiate contact with other participants during the day. Treat the experience of silence as a gift and a generosity for  yourself  and  others. Using less eye contact will help you tuning insight and will reduce the amount of interferences.

The practicing community

 This day of mindfulness is offered to people who are practicing mindfulness, who want to reconnect with or refresh their mindfulness skills, and/or who want to spend a day in the space of guided and unguided silent meditations.

What do I need to bring?

  •  Water
  • A Mug for tea/coffee
  • Lunch: please note there is no lunch catering, no fridge; please bring vegetarian meal
  • Bring mats, cushions, blankets, or any other items to help in your practice. There are chairs too in case you prefer to sit on a
  • Sun cream, umbrella (or rain coat just in case), sun glasses (will do walking meditation outdoors).
  • Comfortable clothes, wear loose fitting clothes, perhaps bring socks as temperatures may

What if I struggle?

 There will be a message board where you can leave a note for the mindfulness teacher. Lunch time can be used for check-in with the teacher.

May you enjoy this day with kindness and compassion.

On Walking

Who would have thought that WALKING can be quite meditative? Yes, it is actually true – because everything we do can be used as meditation if we bring awareness and attention to it. Really tuning into what is happening in the moment without any distraction helps to be fully present.

Walking meditation comes with some ease, we do it anyhow, we don’t have to add anything at all. We walk and breathe. In the context of mindfulness, we do it in a particular way. And the good thing is we can meditate so very often without any additional or extra time. Every walk can be an opportunity to meditate.

Most of the time, we walk from A to be, there is place we want to get to and we just walk with there without any noticing, well most of the time. We walk on autopilot whilst our mind is very often occupied with thoughts and worries.

Walking meditation invites us to pay attention in a particular way, in the now and by noticing the act of walking itself. When focusing on the experience of walking, the embodiment of walking we are no longer lost in automaticity, ruminating about the past or worrying about the future.

Walking meditation offers us to turn attention inwards, connecting with our body when things are getting frantic. Bringing attention inside leads to inner calm and clarity which leads to greater quality of this very moment.

It can be quite liberating, letting go of past and future, whilst simply focusing on every step we take – and it is the walk itself, not the finish line we are aware of. Don’t have to get anywhere, we are already here. Every step taken with intention helps quietening the mind. Inner peace, clarity and stability can be experienced when we deliberately pay attention to this one step, the next step and the next step.

Mindfulness, walking and breathing in awareness and if possible a smile on your face. That is it. How do we do a walking meditation?

Mindfulness is the key for being aware of walking, breathing and smiling. Mindfulness offers awareness in this very moment with an attitude of non-judgment and a beginner’s mind.

Participants find below suggestions very helpful when they at the start of their practice:

  • Take a few steps at home – that may help feeling a bit safer and might be easier to focus; once your attention can stay for longer go for a walk in nature and later focus on walking wherever you are; start slowly
  • Start with a few steps – no marathon needed
  • Pace doesn’t matter – start slowly, but not too slow that you fall over
  • Morning practice is always recommended – a nice way to start the day – it helps setting an intention for the day
  • Take your shoes off and connect with earth – feel the support and groundedness
  • Walk like a king (that’s what Thich Nhat Hanh said) – with dignity and uprightness
  • Walking meditation can be done everywhere, between meetings, from the car park to the office, from the garage to the house, when shopping etc

Be aware of the breath when walking. Maybe bring some playfulness to the experience of walking and count the steps with every inbreath and outbreath. Experiment and tune in with the rhythm of breathing and walking.

And here is a guided standing and walking practice.

https://soundcloud.com/mindfulness2go/mindful-standing-and-walking

 

Three Minute Breathing Space (3MBS)

The Three Minute Breathing is a very useful coping strategy. It helps us pausing intentionally to simply checking in with this moment. A moment that may feel unpleasant and challenging, or a moment that feels quite nice and pleasant. If the experience is more about struggle and difficulty the 3MBS offers us four different ways of dealing with it. It is recommended to practice this technique not only for coping, but also on a regular basis. It helps us checking in with whatever is showing up. There is an intention that helps to pause, to see more clearly and to investigate with curiosity. It can help calming the mind and body and helps us in proceeding in a much more calmer way. By seeing more clearly we can also choose a more skillful action to respond. The 3MBS also helps being more aware of and expanding on pleasant experiences. With the same openness and curiosity we are noticing moments that feel nice and that we might have missed if we wouldn’t stop with intention.

Step 1  Opening Awareness – checking in with thoughts, emotions and sensations. Simply noticing what is present in this very moment. This might be something pleasant, unpleasant or kind of neutral. Use three guiding questions: what are my thoughts; what are the emotions associated with the thoughts; and how does it feel in the body? Located sensation in the body.

Step 2 Grounding – shifting the focus of attention to the awareness of breathing. Noticing breathing sensations and movements in the body. Making space for the incoming breath, and letting go of the outgoing breath.

Step 3 Proceeding – expanding awareness to the entire body, environment, soundscape.

Heart Qualities

©️ReginaG

Loving-kindness practice is one of the most important practices taught by Buddha. It is opening the heart, liberating the mind from fog and wrong views. It is not only loving-kindness, but also compassion, joy and equanimity leading to the same results.

As we know the practice of meditation is about turning attention inwards and to develop attitudes of non-judgment, patience, non-striving and so forth. But how do we bring the four qualities (loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity) from the inside to the outside? You may wonder why don’t we bring them inside? Because they are already existing qualities within. Because of our wrong views and thinking and egocentric attitudes we often don’t notice these inner qualities of Meta.

Practicing meditation helps seeing more clearly and helps developing a different way of relating. Layer by layer we remove the fog and wrong views as well as reconnect with the origins within. This doesn’t happen by doing or by any action, this simply happens through clear seeing and being with the non-doing.

As soon as we connect with the origins of loving-kindness within we are free of expectations, free of ‘I’ and ‘me’ and ‘mine’, free of attachment or aversion. Then we are the love – the love that simply is.

Our thinking, our speech, our actions will be guided by this unconditional love. Aversion and Hate won’t have any grip anymore. Loving-kindness can be seen as the treatment of toxic mental content.  It creates a deep connection to the other qualities like compassion, joy and equanimity.

Greed is resolved as soon as all the layers have fallen. And joy starts to spark without any comparison and judgment.  It doesn’t know any envy or jealousy. We simply rest in peace, are free from proud and egoism. The awareness of these four qualities is the result and essence of our meditation practice.

And this is how we bring loving-kindness to the outer world. 

MBCT Online

Hello everyone,

This is Regina and I am so excited about teaching the MBCT course online.

What a great opportunity to meet you all in this digital space for learning, relating and forming a sangha (community) for support and encouragement. I am very passionate about people’s general and mental health and their wellbeing and therefore, I am inviting you to become part of this program if you are experiencing difficulty with depression and anxiety.

I have taught many Mindfulness-Based Programs like MBCT and MBSR, either face-to-face or online. What is quite unique about this program is that it will be delivered face-to-face online every week. All teachings will take place in this space, and it will also offer you an opportunity to meet other individuals with similar experiences.

I strongly believe offering this online course is for all who might be living in remote or regional areas as well as for those who prefer to learn in their familiar home environments.

Please consider this program as a direct contribution to your wellbeing and general health, and seeing your participation as an act of self-care and love.

No matter where you are located, far away or close by, may you gain a sense of connection and community by taking part in this online program.

Warmly,

Regina