Bringing attention to the breath is one of the easiest ways to come in touch with the present moment. You are always breathing Now, and this never changes. Your breath is your companion, it is always supporting you in life. In mindful breathing we simply attend to the breath, letting it be as it is: shallow or deep, long or short, slow or fast, smooth or rough, coarse or refined, constricted or loose. When we get distracted by thoughts or emotions, we simply return to the physical sensations of the breath, this is our anchor and in our acceptance of breath as it is, we sink into an acceptance of ourselves, as we are. By resting in breath, the mind, heart, and body to become settled and unified on one thing, at one place, at one time and we can experience a more holistic view of ourselves. Practising breath mindfulness is highly effective in allowing you to let go of your identification with thought and any tensions that freeze the mind and heart. It is pure relaxation and yet at the same time develops the minds ability for expanded awareness and concentration.
Trust in the body
When we suppress or ignore aspects of our lives, we tend to lose touch with the body, from the physical results of our experience and the messages our body gives us. Losing our 'gut instinct' is an example of this. We can often habitually seek or resist change in order to cling to pleasant experiences and avoid unpleasant ones. Our desires, aversions, preferences, and judgments tend to be largely automatic and conditioned by our past experiences. Occasionally, we can distance ourselves so much from our physical experience of each moment, that we then lose touch with emotions and thoughts, becoming numb and not living life in it's fullest vitality and sensation.
With guided exercises you will cultivate a mindful awareness of the subtle response of the body in each moment. By witnessing, you will become friendly with the body's subtle messages and develop non-reactivity and the ability to be present to what is arising, without turning away. Simply 'allowing' enables the mind to process built up reactions and calm to autonomous nervous system. Usually, we often habitually seek out or resist change to either cling to pleasant experiences and avoid unpleasant ones. By becoming more aware of what is actually happening, we gain a deeper, more conscious and inclusive understanding, which then gives us more freedom to choose our response in each moment rather than act from your unconscious conditioning.
Emotions are very much connected to mind, and often work in a circular fashion. You have a thought, you have a feeling about it, if the feeling is strong it triggers further thinking, which triggers deeper emotions, and on it goes. We all have experienced this and you only need to remember your first heartbreak and an emotion may immediately follow. Here we learn to drop any fixed ideas we have about an emotion and look at it with fresh eyes. This is not analysis, but more a sensory awareness exercise of 'feeling' our way into the present moment experience of the emotions. You will be guided to to investigate the bodily sensations of an emotion, letting the body be the container for the emotion rather than mind being the narrator. If an emotion surfaces that has a lot of 'charge', we simply redirect the attention to breath, enabling you to feel more grounded and more able to remain simply the witness. By becoming more present when emotion arises we can begin to break this circular nature of mind-emotion, building a stronger emotional resilience to issues in life as they arise. In practicing mindfulness, you will gain a deeper compassion towards yourself.
It is also very supportive to explore mindfulness techniques that support the full expression of emotional 'charge'. Emotions are healthy and the suppression of can cause us to lose touch with our life-energy and also affect our relating. If you are experiencing strong emotions, I would highly recommend OSHO Active Mediations.
Mindfulness is not thinking about things, nor does it mean that we stop thinking and attain a state of 'no-mind', though this may happen occasionally. It simply means we observe thoughts without judgement and reactivity, which in time, lessens our preoccupation with thought and obsessive thinking patterns. So, here we practice watching without engaging in the content of your thoughts, simply recognising you are at times, thinking. When your preoccupation with thought is stronger than your ability to easily let them pass easily, then we direct your mindfulness to being clearly aware that thinking is occurring. This helps us to step out of identification and thinking will calm once again to a manageable stream. When we have mastered mind we become more balanced and our physical, emotional and cognitive aspects all work together as a whole. You will no longer be at the mercy of the thoughts in your head, they can be there, but you can choose when to engage in thinking and disengage. In essence, we find the 'off-switch' and our sleeping and waking hours become more relaxed, less reactive and we can more consciously direct our thinking with more focus and clarity.
Living with Ease
Mindfulness meditation enables you to build skills that help you to navigate life a little easier. It is not that events will no longer disturb your world, but rather that you will see them more clearly, understand their impact on your well-being, respond with greater equanimity and prevent the build up of stress. In this workshop we practice mindfulness for daily life. Rather than entering a meditation, we practice these skills in our interaction with others. Learning to maintain connection to ourselves as we communicate with others. In doing so you will experience a shift in how you relate to others that honours the present moment, the other and yourself in each moment. Mindfulness can be brought into each daily activity and with it all of the benefits that mindfulness brings. This workshop will have a structure of guided exercises to explore our internal awareness as we connect with the group. It is enjoyable, non-serious and experimental. You will reconnect to the joy of relating and living and be able to bring these techniques and their benefits with you into your home, work and life.