The idea of mindful movement is expanding our present moment awareness towards our body in motion. We have spent the last two weeks exploring the foundations of mindfulness meditation practice. The previous chapters enhance our ability to directly sense reality through our senses, and not by thoughts or other abstractions. We observed breath and regions of the body, as a way of re-integrating body and breath into our being, emphasizing that we are more than our thoughts. You may have begun to notice changes and some initial effects of meditation.
Note these changes, and we encourage you to continue to have an open mind to the experience of meditation through movement.
This allows us to see more clearly our physical and mental limits, and our response when we approach them, assisting the reintegration of the mind with the body. We learn to detect onset of feelings when we become too goal focused. It helps us to see when we are angry, or tense, or other emotional states. It’s an early warning system that allows us to head off problems before they gain unstoppable momentum.
We have been working to stabilize the mind and train your ability to focus. By waking up and becoming aware of routine activities in your life, your mind begins to expand and lay the groundwork for everyday mindfulness. You are being conscious of the world as it is, in the present moment. This week we will also explore the soothing impact of mindful movement.
Exploring mindful movement can have a profound and in the moving body. It is an extended playground to explore your mind in all its intricacies while it is in motion.
Mindful movement involves stretching exercises, these realign your body’s muscles and joints, and release stress built up in your daily life. These are done most effectively with the audio directions being played in the background.
It is natural to feel uncomfortable when moving so slowly, this is part of the process of exploring physical sensations. Be gentle with yourself, the intention is not to feel pain or push your body beyond its limits. Instead use this time to look after yourself, letting your body dictate what is appropriate for you, how far to stretch and how long to maintain the stretch.
Reading: Background suggested Reading Chapter 7 of W&P (Williams & Penman).
Practice for participants for Week 3
- 3 minute breathing space meditation: once a day, or when you feel the need, track 8 at
Mindful Movement Meditation followed by Breath and Body Meditation: twice a day for 4 days out of 7 .For each day we suggest track 3 (8 min Mindful Movement) by Mark Williams at the link above.
- Followed, by the Williams Breath and Body Meditation (Track 4, 8 min at the above link). Note that the meditations at the links above can be downloaded to your computer or phone for convenient access.
- After the first day you may wish to swap William’s breath and body meditation with
Tara Brach’s breath and body meditation:
- Mindful awareness of a routine daily activity: Pick a different activity to the one that you chose last week — see the “Routine activities we normally miss” in Chap 5).
- Habit releaser: Each week (and Chapter) of the program there will be suggested habit releaser. See Chap 7 by W&P for this week’s habit releaser, which involves mindfully watching TV (you probably will replace TV with some kind of media, as TV is a bit dated now).