This week’s focus – Reflection on the use of Senses

This session will look at the different ways we have used our senses during the previous sessions and attempt to engage our senses in three different ways.

Rapid Mindfulness:

Mindful Listening

The group will be asked to listen to a short piece of music for three minutes. The aim of this exercise is to really tune into the music, really listen to it. If thoughts wander, members will be encouraged to acknowledge this and return their attention back to the music as soon as they realise this has happened.

This idea was inspired by the following website:

http://www.spring.org.uk/2014/04/mindfulness-meditation-8-quick-exercises-that-easily-fit-into-your-day.php

Short Exercise:

Eating meditation

Each member of the group will be given the choice between a Malteser or a raisin to use for this meditation. This was the very first meditation we shared together in week one.

Holding

First, take a raisin and hold it in the palm of your hand or between your finger and thumb. Focusing on it, imagine that you’ve just dropped in from Mars and have never seen an object like this before in your life.

Seeing

Take time to really see it; gaze at the raisin with care and full attention. Let your eyes explore every part of it, examining the highlights where the light shines, the darker hollows, the folds and ridges, and any asymmetries or unique features.

Touching

Turn the raisin over between your fingers, exploring its texture, maybe with your eyes closed if that enhances your sense of touch. Smelling Holding the raisin beneath your nose, with each inhalation drink in any smell, aroma, or fragrance that may arise, noticing as you do this anything interesting that may be happening in your mouth or stomach. Placing Now slowly bring the raisin up to your lips, noticing how your hand and arm know exactly how and where to position it. Gently place the object in the mouth, without chewing, noticing how it gets into the mouth in the first place. Spend a few moments exploring the sensations of having it in your mouth, exploring it with your tongue.

Tasting

When you are ready, prepare to chew the raisin, noticing how and where it needs to be for chewing. Then, very consciously, take one or two bites into it and notice what happens in the aftermath, experiencing any waves of taste that emanate from it as you continue chewing. Without swallowing yet, notice the bare sensations of taste and texture in the mouth and how these may change over time, moment by moment, as well as any changes in the object itself.

Swallowing

When you feel ready to swallow the raisin, see if you can first detect the intention to swallow as it comes up, so that even this is experienced consciously before you actually swallow the raisin.

Following

Finally, see if you can feel what is left of the raisin moving down into your stomach, and sense how the body as a whole is feeling after completing this exercise in mindful eating.

This was taken from:

http://hfhc.ext.wvu.edu/r/download/114469  

Discussion:

What works for you?

Feature Meditation:

Guided Meditation – The Body Scan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cstdBKVZ6B4

Optional Homework Challenges:

  • Small Challenge:

Select one meal this week to eat mindfully, using some of the techniques used in the Eating Meditation above.

  • Big Challenge

Try and find 30 minutes, three times this week to try out three different guided meditations using only free resources. Youtube is a great place to start. Share a link to any guided meditations that you found useful via the BS4 Mindfulness  Facebook Page.

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