Mindful Movement and Breath

Venue and time this week:   Sunday June 26, 2016, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. Half hour drop-in meditations on Tuesday June 28, 8 – 8:30 pm.

Schedule:   Sunday drop-in Meditation 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm (which will consist of mindful movement and breath components).  Break for chat and tea 7:30 – 7:45 pm roughly; 7:45 – 9:00 pm; Discussion on the topic:  Mindful Movement and Breath.   All are welcome to either or both of these events.

Two extreme approaches to difficulties are aversion and brute force action.  Both lessen creativity and flexibility, and also can have long term ill-effects.  Mindfulness meditation opens us to a more creative flexible middle way.  This week we explore enhancing mindfulness through mindful movement and breath meditations.

Mindfulness is an inborn quality, that is weakened for many of us due to our tendency to live in our heads, and neglect our bodies.  Bringing attention to our body through exploration by the Body Scan Meditation was the focus of the previous week’s meditation.   We continue this exploration of the body this week through Mindful Movement.  Mindful movement means consciously being attentive to movement of our body, while not striving excessively (forcing or doing mode) or too little (aversion).  It can occur for any movement.  It differs from relaxation meditation (the traditional tighten and release meditations) and goal-oriented athletic performance (focusing on jumping longer, higher etc).    By being attentive to simple movements and the related sensations, we reacquaint ourselves with our body, and its wonderful array of senses which express deep truths about our state of being.

Suggested preparation:  We suggest listening to the Mindful Movement Meditation and the 3 minute Breath Space Meditation at the link below:

http://bit.ly/rodalemindfulness

The 3 minute Breathing is a wonderful Meditation to flexibly use in stressful situations during the day.  The Breath and Body Meditation at the link above is also recommended.  You might enjoy the Flux Dance Festival July 1-3, at http://fluxdance.ca and its many related activities.

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts.  Our meditations are designed to be accessible to those who drop in occasionally.  Those wanting to know more about integrating mindfulness into daily life, can benefit from our Sunday Discussions.  These topics are presented in a self-contained way and will be posted on our website (usually by the previous Wednesday):

http://londonmindfulnesscommunity.org  (and its associated FB page, search London Mindfulness Community on FB).

Keeping the Body in Mind

Venue and time this week:   Sunday June 19, 2016, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. Half hour drop-in meditations on Tuesday June 21, 8 – 8:30 pm.

Schedule:  Sunday Meditation 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm (which will be a body scan meditation).  Break for chat and tea 7:30 – 7:45 pm roughly; 7:45 – 9:00 pm; Discussion on the topic:  Keeping the Body in Mind.   All are welcome to either or both of these events.

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts.  Our meditations are designed to be accessible to those who drop in occasionally.  Those wanting to know more about integrating mindfulness into daily life, can benefit from our Sunday Discussions.  These topics are presented in a self-contained way and will be posted on our website (usually by the previous Wednesday):

http://londonmindfulnesscommunity.org  (and its associated FB page, search London Mindfulness Community on FB).

The body is acutely sensitive to even the tiniest flickerings of emotion that move constantly across the mind.  The body is often a more reliable sensor than our minds.  Meditation enables us to sharpen and widen our sensing of the present moment.   We explore this complex and powerful interplay in our discussion.

Suggested preparation:

See the attached file Mindfulness Material file MIndfulnessMaterial3 for background.  You might try listening to the body scan meditation by Mark Williams given at

Free meditations from Mindfulness

From last week:  The interesting video by Tara Brach on Addictive Doing (thanks Heather!)  is given at:

Waking up to the life you have: Doing Mode versus Being Mode

Venue and time this week:   Sunday June 12, 2016, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. Half hour drop-in meditations on Tuesday June 14, 8 – 8:30 pm.

Schedule:  Sunday Meditation 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm.  Break for chat and tea 7:30 – 7:45 pm roughly; 7:45 – 9:00 pm; Discussion on the topic:  Waking up to the Life you have: Doing Mode versus Being Mode.   All are welcome to either or both of these events.

The London Mindfulness Community (LMC) is a community of mindfulness enthusiasts.  Our meditations are designed to be accessible to those who drop in occasionally.  Those wanting to know more about integrating mindfulness into daily life, can benefit from our Sunday Discussions.  These topics are presented in a self-contained way and will be posted on our website (usually by the previous Wednesday):

http://londonmindfulnesscommunity.org  (and its associated FB page, search London Mindfulness Community on FB).

This week’s discussion focuses on the method that we usually use to address problems (the Doing Mode) and the suffering it causes us.   We discuss how Mindfulness gives an alternative approach (the Being Mode) for approaching such difficulties.

The doing mode analyzes, recalls, plans and compares.  This is the mode that many of us, are very skilled in.  It’s good for solving problems such as scheduling, designing, building, etc.  We spend lots of time in our heads, in doing mode, without noticing what is going on around us.   In doing mode we typically identify some thing that is wrong, and the place we want to get to.  We measure our progress by decreasing the distance between we are, and where we want to arrive.   However doing mode, is ill-adapted for many, say relationship and emotional problems.   When faced with such a problem, we typically think that we’re unhappy, and as we try harder with doing mode,  progressively more and more negative thoughts and feelings intervene.  Our minds are susceptible to these cascading patterns of negative emotions.  Just trying to control these emotions, is usually counterproductive.   This introduces additional layers of guilt and self-criticism reinforcing the negative spiral.  Our modern mind,  is adept at constructing artificial realities through abstract thinking.  This thinking is in turn interpreted in the more primitive part of our mind, as resulting from actual events, keeping us in a stressed flight and avoidance mode.

Part of the discussion will center around how we can recognize we are in doing mode.  This is the first important step in avoiding toxic thought spirals.    For example, when begin to ruminate, and indulge in self-judgement, or are on auto-pilot.

Mindfulness offers a truly different way of knowing the world, that avoids the problems of doing mode.  To be mindful means to be back in touch with our senses, so you become curious with the world as it is.  This yields the Being Mode of meditation, and a direct intuitive sense of what is going on in your inner and outer worlds.  In enables us to wake up to the amazing life we have.

Suggested exercise for the evening

Try to notice when you fall into doing mode, such as when  judgmental  or self-critical thinking arises.  When this happens, observe what happens when you try to willfully suppress such feelings.  In contrast try a brief breath meditation, turning your attention to your breath, and gently and non-judgmentally bring it back to the breath, if it goes away.   Take note of the different affects of these approaches.

Intro to Mindfulness and Mindful Eating

Venue and time this week:   Sunday June 5, 2016, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Moksha Yoga, London Ontario, Canada. Half hour drop-in meditations on Tuesday June 7, 8 – 8:30 pm.

Schedule: meditation 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm (will involve a mini mindfulness of eating component as a taster for the later event).  Break for chat and tea 7:30 – 7:45 pm roughly; 7:45 – 9:00 pm: Discussion on the topic Intro to Mindfulness & Mindful Eating.  This will also include a meditation of about 12 minutes on mindful eating.  All are welcome to either or both of these events.

Mindful Eating will be used to illustrate mindfulness, in a light, fun and tasty way.  Mindfulness is not about denial, but about exploring what is actually already here.  It can lead us to profound enjoyment of everyday activities, such as eating and sharing food.  Where we approach eating not as a robotic activity, but as an exploration.  We use it this Sunday as a light way to introduce mindfulness to a wide audience.  And Yes!  You will get to eat!   Mark Williams is a leader in the science of mindfulness and making mindfulness accessible to a wide audience.  We will show the last 25 min of the youtube video of his delightful public introduction to mindfulness as a warm up for Summer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY08aXxor20

Deep Mindfulness LMC Group:    This group is for those interested in an even deeper exploration of mindfulness.  Its meetings will run outside Moksha Yoga, 7:30 – 8:30pm, on Mondays, and are designed for those wishing to practise leading meditations, and be more involved in other activities.  Please send email to Greg   info@londonmindfulnesscommunity.org  for more information.

Suggested exercise to prepare for the evening.  Pick a food, preferably one that you’re not familiar with.  And find a time where you can meditate in whatever way you choose, perhaps bringing attention to your breath or body.  Then bring attention to your chosen food.  Explore its wrapping or appearance.  Bring to mind the people who helped bring this food to you; the rain and sunshine that made it possible.  And notice its appearance.  Smell it, take in its colors. Then languidly take small bites, joyfully exploring its tastes and sensations.  Notice any tendency to grasp or gulp down the food quickly.  Then return to gently cradling it in your mouth, tasting it a little piece at a time.  Knowing that this activity can be repeated endlessly.  We will provide food for the mindfulness explorations. However if you have food sensitivities or allergies, but still want to participate, feel free to bring your own small items of food.

You might want to watch, say the first 25 min, of Mark William’s wonderful introduction to mindfulness:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY08aXxor20