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MBSR-week 2

Week 2-

Summary The first activity of the evening was a 35 minute body scan meditation. (see week 1 post for a link to further explanation of this meditation). The group commented about their experience during the meditation. Many people noted feeling tired, falling asleep briefly or just simply falling asleep. A myriad of emotions and distractions like itchiness was also discussed. When participating during meditation the goal is to stay present with all of these things that arise in the mind. Often beginning a meditation practice one believes the goal is a completely clear mind. The goal is simply to stay present and acknowledge what arises. The mind is going to wander and the practice is to notice the wandering and then bring it back to the scan. Most notably for me during this meditation during class was a twitch in my leg and the overwhelming urge to go to sleep. I noticed emotions of frustration and brief thoughts about things that I need to do the following day.

Perception and stress was the topic of the lecture part of class. One definition of stress in early psychology is “the perceived threat and perceived inability to cope”. A tool for understanding more about mindfulness and stress is noting perception and the influence on your thoughts and emotions. I think about this in my daily life and how shifting my perception can lessen feelings of stress. The space between the event and the perception (thoughts). The teacher stated that during the following classes the goal is how to “de-couple the event and perception”. When I hear the word perception I think about judging and labels and if I simply notice something without the label (without my perception) the emotions associated with stress don't arise. Easier said than done.....that's why this is called practice.

There are 7 elements or “attitudes” of mindfulness. This list is found in many variations from different authors . This particular list and definition is compiled by Kimberly Carson

Non-judging-impartial witness-not as we would like to be but aw we actually are Patience-things must unfold in their own time, notice impatience Beginner's Mind-free of expectations-No moment is the same, unique possibilities Trust-learn to trust yourself and your feelings-better to trust in your intuition and knowledge even if you make some “mistakes” along the way Non-striving-striving is counter-productive-no goal other than to be with yourself-practice being Acceptance-seeing things as they actually are in the present Letting Go-or letting be-practice not clinging to ideas

Specific tools

Body scan meditation

sitting meditation breath awareness

Homework Formal meditation-practicing both body scan meditation and 12 minute breath awareness meditation at least 5 days out of the week Pleasant Events calendar- this is an exercise to take time to notice and be aware of pleasant events during the day. The challenge for the week for me is to be mindful of routine and activities and to see if slowing down during activities enhances mindfulness. Simply slowing down can be difficult and the feeling of guilt sometimes arises because I think that I need to be doing something, that it is not okay to just sit still. I realize from this past week I found it difficult to carve out time for the sitting meditation. When I was paying attention, I consciously turned off the television and meditated instead. I notice myself looking at the time I have during the day and shifting priorities. My commitment to yoga and meditation shifts through the weeks and years and I would like to see the care of my mind become as much part of my daily routine as brushing my teeth. The days that I participate in formal practice I often have the ability to regulate emotions and thoughts, which improves my day. Improving the quality of life by increasing presence and awareness.

Week 2- Summary The first activity of the evening was a 35 minute body scan meditation. (see week 1 post for a link to further explanation of this meditation). The group commented about their experience during the meditation. Many people noted feeling tired, falling asleep briefly or just simply falling asleep. A myriad of emotions and distractions like itchiness was also discussed. When participating during meditation the goal is to stay present with all of these things that arise in the mind. Often beginning a meditation practice one believes the goal is a completely clear mind. The goal is simply to stay present and acknowledge what arises. The mind is going to wander and the practice is to notice the wandering and then bring it back to the scan. Perception and stress was the topic of the lecture part of class. One definition of stress in early psychology is “the perceived threat and perceived inability to cope”. A tool for understanding more about mindfulness and stress is noting perception and the influence on your thoughts and emotions. I think about this in my daily life and how shifting my perception can lessen feelings of stress. The space between the event and the perception (thoughts). The teacher stated that during the following classes the goal is how to “de-couple the event and perception”. When I hear the word perception I think about judging and labels and if I simply notice something without the label (without my perception) the emotions associated with stress don't arise. Easier said than done.....that's why this is called practice.

There are 7 elements or “attitudes” of mindfulness. This list is found in many variations from different authors . This particular list and definition is compiled by Kimberly Carson

Non-judging-impartial witness-not as we would like to be but aw we actually are Patience-things must unfold in their own time, notice impatience Beginner's Mind-free of expectations-No moment is the same, unique possibilities Trust-learn to trust yourself and your feelings-better to trust in your intuition and knowledge even if you make some “mistakes” along the way Non-striving-striving is counter-productive-no goal other than to be with yourself-practice being Acceptance-seeing things as they actually are in the present Letting Go-or letting be-practice not clinging to ideas Specific tools

Body scan meditation

sitting meditation breath awareness

Homework Formal meditation-practicing both body scan meditation and 12 minute breath awareness meditation at least 5 days out of the week Pleasant Events calendar- this is an exercise to take time to notice and be aware of pleasant events during the day.

Challenge for the week: to be mindful of routine activities along with formal practice.  Slow down during activities and notice feelings and thoughts.  Examples such as practicing mindfulness as you wash dishes, brush your teeth, or sweep the floor.  Increasing awareness and presence throughout the day to build on quality.