Week 1 (July 9 Meeting)

Introduction and transition to exploration of deep mindfulness

Welcome from the facilitators, Daniel, Greg and Kristen.  We’re excited about the program and look forward to meeting you.

Jon-Kabat Zinn defines mindfulness as: “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”.  Mindfulness is a natural quality we are born with, but weakens.  As a formal practice it has been known for 1000’s of years, and there are many recent scientific developments, showing its benefits for healthy living.  You are welcome to ask Daniel (a young researcher about these developments).

In this introductory meeting, we transition from mindfulness as a passive activity, towards exploratory activity that engages curiosity.   The purpose is to help participants gain the tools to explore the deep structure of such meditations by practice so that they can begin to make their own choices and explorations.  This week we have a mindful activity to deepen awareness, and help you make the transition from your earlier experiences of mindfulness.

We will also break for tea and chat, and split into 3 smaller groups, each with its facilitator.  In this way you can benefit from discussion with other participants and facilitators.

Looking forward to Week 2:

Week 1 concentrated on meditations with FAR structure, where the Focus is given at the outset and form a strong platform for Week 2.  In Week 2, instead of the Focus being given at the outset, a major new feature is through exploration to recognize ( R ) a focus for your meditation. Then allow ( A ) that focus to be just be as it is, resting in compassionate awareness, as you would in a FAR meditation. After having it rest lightly in awareness you can then naturally investigate ( I ) it deeply. Finally you nurture ( N ) this focus lightly in awareness.  Such RAIN meditations, are a powerful tool for addressing issues arising in everyday life.  As preparation for the Sunday you might wish to look at the video by Tarra Brach:

 

Suggested Exercises for Week 1:

We suggest that throughout DeepMoM17 you try to meditate for about 30 min a day, 4 times a week. Don’t berate yourself, if you can’t manage this, since it is long term determination that matters. Also a shorter time each day is better, than cramming in one long session (e.g. 15 min a day for 4 days, is better than 60 min crammed into one day).

Day 1: The emphasize the importance of stabilizing meditations based on body and breath, in this exercise you will listen to such meditations from the first 3 weeks of our January MoM17 program.  Carefully note the FAR structure of these meditations. Click on the MoM17 link

http://www.londonmindfulnesscommunity.org/mom17/  and navigate to the various weeks and select such meditations.

Day 2:  Create a very short 3 – 5 min FAR meditation, that you can integrate flexibly in your day, say brushing your teeth. Create your own FAR meditation of 5 min length. Also you are asked to find and listen to meditations based on breath and body (say of maximum length 30 min), by searching through the resources listed at our DeepMoM17 References page http://www.londonmindfulnesscommunity.org/deepmom17/meditation-links-background/

Day 3:  Listen and meditate to the FAR Thoughts meditations (Meditation 5 at http://rodalebooks.s3.amazonaws.com/mindfulness/index.html ). If this is too challenging then reduce the time you spend on that meditation, and fill in the extra time by meditating to on body or breath meditations found in Day 2’s exploration.

Day 4:  Do your own exploration to find and listen to a FAR Thoughts meditation (say of maximum length 30 min) using the DeepMoM17 References page.

Habit Releaser:  Each week we will suggest some habit releaser, that is designed to help you approach your week differently.  In the spirit of mindfulness, these are incremental, apparently small.  Pick one of the following: eating mindfully; taking a mindful walk; sewing; or another activity if you choose.  Bring the FAR approach to this activity, that is bring your full attention to it; allowing it to be just as it is; and when you’re distracted celebrating that, and returning with gentle intent to your focus on the activity.