Mindfulness practice, inherited from the Buddhist tradition, is increasingly being employed in Western psychology to alleviate a variety of mental and physical conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety and in the prevention of relapse in depression and drug addiction.
Scientific research into mindfulness generally falls under the umbrella of positive psychology. The study of mindfulness operates on the idea that by intentionally recognizing the potential of each small moment in a day, one can pursue a richer life experience that includes more novelty and less stress.
Mindfulness is not like traditional meditation, it’s active. It takes place whilst you walk or are sitting observing what’s going on around you and internally. It’s a fantastic way of reducing anxiety and so practical.
Much of the mindful techniques I use are inspired from the teachings of scientist Jon Kabat-Zinn. Once learnt they can be utilised whenever necessary. Especially good for those with Social phobias, Fear of flying and other anxiety driven problems.
An example of mindfulness could be something as simple as washing up the dishes. We often let our minds wander quite a bit and if we start thinking about negative things we are experiencing in our every day life, then we become down very quickly. If we practice mindful washing up then you pay attention to what you’re doing in the here and now. So fill up the bowl with hot water. Note how the water feels – too hot for your hands? Try rubber gloves. Feel how the water feels whilst wearing rubber gloves, warm. Pick up the sponge, how does that feel? The glass, not the light that falls through the glass when you hold it up to the window. The sound of the sponge as you clean around its rim.
The noise of the clinks of glass and china on themselves as you stack them to dry. The feel of the tea towel when you dry them. It’s all a sensual experience and you need to stay focused on the sensations. If you find your mind wandering quite a bit, that’s normal, just bring your attention back to what you’re doing.
From time to time I provide workshops on meditation, either mindfulness or meditation traditions from around the world. These workshops aim to both educate and to experience some of the different traditions in meditation. From Native Indigenous American paths, through Indian and Chinese traditions. From Hindu to Western Kabbalah. Each type is different and foucses on different outcomes.
These workshops are held at The Cricklade House Hotel in the wonderful surroundings of the Cotswold Spa hotel or at the Complimentary Healthcare Center Abingdon.
Please email to be placed on the waiting list, so I can let you know when the next course is. Courses may be run as 5 hour courses over successive weeks or as a 5 hour course on a Saturday, with lunch at the hotel.