The session started with a few hot drinks and a short introduction to the plan for the meeting, a session focused on the Breathe.
I think I got a bit carried away with how well week two went and should have rehersed that part a bit more as I was a bit of a wittering fool. I think I got the jist of what we were doing across and welcomed everyone…just about.
I was pleased to see some returning faces and a another new one.
Three Minute Breathing Space Meditation
I led by reading out a’Three Minute Breathing Space’ Meditation, taken from Mindfulness for Women.
This rapid mindfulness technique invited the group to move all of their focus onto the breathe. The first steps were focusing in on the breathe in the body and then it gradually encourages one to open your consciousness out to the whole body, then the room and any external noises. The last sentence of the meditation read; ‘imagine the whole world breathing’.
Personally, I found that final sentence a tad out of keeping with the rest of the meditation which had gradually built up a very physical awareness of one’s environment.
The others seemed to receive this meditation well and were looking forward to trying to use it this week.
Nine Cycle Breathing reathing Meditation
We went straight into the ‘Nine Cycle Breathing’ exercise, next. We all chose to lie down whilst listening to the male voice.
This meditation started with a brief body scan before introducing the nine cycle breathing exercise. The Nine Cycle Breathing method was very easy to follow and I am certain I will use it again, when needed
During this meditation it dawned on me that I had forgotten to get everyone to introduce themselves! A rookie error I needed to rectify, quickly.
Members were invited to return to their seats (slowly!), grab a hot drink and introduce themselves and their experiences of Mindfulness.
This, by far, is turning out to be the most valuable part of the session. This is the group’s chance to bond and share real life experiences of using mindfulness.
I was absolutely delighted to welcome another new member and to hear that a returning member had tried last week’s walking meditation on a trip to the shops and found it to be a valuable tool. It is these stories of the utility of the exercises that really feed my soul. I am running the group to hold myself more accountable, but the true joy comes from making a difference to others.
I read a poem by Portia Nelson from Mindfulness for Women, ‘an Autobiography in Five Short chapters’. The poem suggests mindfulness should become a part of your life and not just used as a tool.
We went on and discussed last week’s homework challenges, using 7/11 breathing and Mindful Cooking. I confessed that I had tried and failed to use the 7/11 breathing as it didn’t quite suit me.
I also explained that my attempts to mindfully cook without distraction were thwarted early on as my three year old wanted to help me. Instead of getting annoyed, I went with it and we made a lovely dinner together – which I claimed as a mindfulness triumph.
One member reported that mindful cooking really doesn’t appeal to her as cooking is more of a chore than a pleasure for her. This was good to hear as the aim of the group is to introduce lots of different types of mindfulness exercises so that we can work out what works best for each individual.
The final meditation was a 15 minute guided ‘compassionate breathing anchor meditation’ from:
Optional Homework Challenges :
The original plan was ask members to think about what a child would do when faced with a decision, however on the night, I decided it made far more sense to ask them to try and use the ‘nine cycle breathing ‘ technique in real life situations.
The second homework challenge was to list all of the things that bring them joy and try and make time to one of those things each day this week.
Overall, the session was very calm and positive. There were less people present than I had expected/hoped for, however I have decided the number of attendees is not the measure of success of this enterprise.
I am looking forward to next week’s class and exploring three more meditations and mindfulness exercises.