I have been interested in mindfulness for some time now and decided that if I am going to pursue developing it along with art and prayer then I should do a proper course in it. Until now I have gleaned what I can along the way from various websites.
I have bought a copy of the book that it recommended by the NHS and others. Copies are widely available – new and used. The CD of guided meditations is also available on-line via the website.
I read the introductory chapters and the chapter for the first week before starting. The first week is simply practicing being mindful whilst doing a daily activity such as brushing your teach plus twice a day doing a mindful meditation for 8 minutes. The meditation is a simple one where you become aware of your body and then focus breathing.
I have found this easy as it is something that I have practised on and off for years. Not necessarily timing myself, but I have often done it whilst on retreat as a way of settling into silent prayer.
I used the guided meditation for the first few times and then set a timer on my phone and did it myself for the rest of the week.
The really interesting aspect of this is that sometimes the 8 minutes seems to last a long time and then other times it goes quickly. On Friday I combined the breathing with a mantra “Be still” and occasionally, “be still and know that I am God. I found that it helped me to stay focussed on the breath and keep thoughts away.
Straight after the 8 minutes of meditation I did my usual morning prayer.
I will update you again next week when I have completed the second week of the course.