This week’s focus – Observational Mindfulness / Back to Basics

Rapid Mindfulness:

The Breath

Begin by gently moving your attention onto the process of breathing. Notice the sensations of each breath as it happens, whether you focus on the rise and fall of your chest or abdomen, or on the feeling of the breath at the nostrils. Really feel what it is like to breath, just observing it as it happens. 

As you engage in this exercise you may find that your mind wanders, caught by thoughts or by noises in the room, or bodily sensations. When you notice that this happens, know that this is okay, and simply notice the distraction but gently bring your attention back to the breath.

Taken from:

 http://www.freemindfulness.org/breath

Short Exercise:

Mindfulness of Taste

The group will be asked to pick from a selection of herbal teas, make a cup and take it back to their seat.

Members will be asked to take a few moments, whilst sitting in a ‘positive’ upright posture, to explore their senses when holding, watching, smelling, listening to the digestive processes and tasting the tea.

Homework Challenges Discussion:

Small Challenge – Observing something natural.

Big Challenge – Sampling other Guided Imagery meditations and feeding back.

Reflection:

Feature Meditation :

Try It: Slow-Hands Moving Meditation

    1. Sit comfortably and shake out your hands, as if you were flinging water off your fingertips. Deepen your breath slightly. When your hands feel energized, place them on your thighs, palms facing up. Take a few moments to focus on the sensations in your hands. Feel, if you can, the pulse in your fingertips.
    2. As your breath deepens, see if you can activate your belly, diaphragm, rib cage, and upper chest. Breathe deep into your belly. Fill your upper chest with air at the top of the inhalation, then see how much you can relax with each exhalation.
    3. Imagine a light at the core of your being. As you breathe in, let the light pulse a little brighter. When you exhale, let it pulse a little dimmer. You can even give it a temperature or assign a color to the sensations in your belly.
    4. With each breath, imagine this energy filling your chest and shoulders. Feel it flow down your arms and into your palms. Notice light and warmth filling your chest cavity, your rib cage, your arms, your hands.
    5. Rest your awareness in and around your hands. Feel the air touching your palms, fingers, and thumbs. Feel the outline of your hands and the space between your fingers.  When you’re ready, gently lift your hands off your body just enough to release them into the air, then let them be perfectly still. Relax your shoulders, arms, and palms.
    6. Then lift your hands as slowly as possible, almost imperceptibly. Feel the smallest movement in your awareness as you continue to lift your hands. See how much you can slow down. Imagine the molecules of air rolling between your fingers. See if you can slow the motion down so much that your hands feel as if they’re moving by themselves.
    7. When it feels right, turn your palms toward each other. As your hands come together, pulse them ever so slowly. Imagine, if you can, the edges of the energy field between your hands. You may feel as if you’re holding a ball of pulsing energy, or as if your hands were opposite poles of a magnet. Your mind is relaxed but also aware, witnessing the flow of sensation into your hands.
    8. For the next few minutes, let your hands move naturally and your mind observe the smallest details of sensation. At some point, bring your hands to a place on your body that needs healing or attention.
    9. In your own time, let your hands come to rest in your lap and sit for a few more minutes in silence.

Taken from: 
http://www.yogajournal.com/article/meditation/slow-hands/

Optional Homework Challenge:

Challenge: Try and demonstrate ‘Loving Kindness’ to others. This might be to a loved one, a friend, a stranger, or even someone you are struggling to get along with. Notice how the act of being kind, even in the face of adversity makes you feel.

 

Big Challenge:

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