12 Dec 8 Weeks Mindfulness Practice
I am keeping a journal as I embark on the Mindfulness Practice detailed in the book: Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman
I try to practice as frequently as I can but I do not practice twice a day as instructed by the book. Every 16 sessions make 1 ‘week’
Practices for ‘week 1’:
- Raisin meditation
- Mindful awareness of a routine daily activity. I chose the brushing of teeth as the activity.
- Mindfulness of the body and breathe meditation twice a day
- Habit releaser: changing chairs
As I started the body and breathe meditation, my mind was not able to focus on the instructions. My mind was preoccupied with remembering my experience so I can write in this journal. Suddenly I felt a slight panic that I was not catching up with the instructions. I tried to focus. This was not my first time doing this meditation and I knew how it feels like to do it ‘better’. I reminded myself to just be aware. There was no right or wrong way to meditate. As we entered the breath meditation, I felt calmer and focused. The mind then wandered off to think of how to write this journal and how to phrase the experience. I gently brought the mind back to the breath.
At night I found it easier to focus but I found myself dozing off on a few occasions.
Next session was pretty normal with periods of mind wandering. I gently brought the mind back to the breath.
I performed my meditation on a car ride. The voice coming from the radio became a background sound but I was able to see my mind in two layers. The first layer focused on the breath while the second layer was aware but not really listening to the voice coming from the radio.
Tried to meditate but my mind refused to settle. My pelvic pain was pretty intense too and made it almost impossible to focus on anything. I gave up after 3 mins.
I used a spotlight to focus during the body scan part. This helped greatly to get grounded and made it easier for the breath meditation.
This session was really tough. My medical condition had worsened these two days and I’ve been emotionally drained. I wasn’t able to focus well and in the middle of the session, my mind drifted. When I was aware that my mind had drifted it must have been a few minutes and the session is almost over.
While waiting in a queue sitting down I took 8 mins to finish a session. The session went well except a few moments of interruptions by surrounding noises and people movements.
This session was done sitting straight as I felt better after my third surgery. I was not able to focus as well though.
I wasn’t able to focus my mind throughout the session. I only realized my mind drifted away towards the end of the session.
Wasn’t able to focus at all. It’s been busy recently and that might have affected my ability to stay focused during the session.
The last session for the ‘week’ went surprisingly well. It took a while for the mind to settle but it maintained its focus well for the most part of the session.
Practices for ‘week’ 2:
- Body scan practice
- Mindful awareness of a routine daily activity. I chose wearing shoes as the activity.
- Habit releaser: go for a walk for at least 15 mins at least once this week.
I totally fell asleep lying on the mat after 2 mins!
During this next session, I lasted for a while longer before falling asleep. I was not feeling tired when I began the meditation. It was unclear why I kept falling asleep for this new body scan meditation.
I finally stayed awake through the last 4 sessions. I was able to focus and my mind felt relaxed after the sessions.
I drifted away from focus very often and eventually fell asleep on the next session.
Having a headache but the session went well with good focus and mind felt relaxed now.
The mind would drift off frequently during this session. I would suddenly worry about work, career, money etc and these thoughts would generate a “squeeze” in my heart and cause some anxiety. The stress was creeping into the body with every such quick random thought. I isolated the thoughts and brought the mind back to focus. As I focused the mind, it almost felt like the stress was dissolving along with the bursting of each bubble of “worried thoughts”.
I totally fell asleep during this session!
The next six sessions felt relaxing but my mind drifted a lot. Thoughts about work kept pulling my mind away. It needed a significant effort to focus my mind every time it was pulled away strongly.
Practices for ‘week’ 3:
- Eight minutes of Mindful Movement meditation followed by an eight-minute Breath and Body meditation
- A three-minute breathing space meditation, to be practiced twice a day
- Habit releaser: Valuing the Ipad.
The sensations arising from the body stretches made Mindful Movement session more intense and it felt different. This was followed by the Breath and Body meditation which produced familiar sensations as I focused. Meditating in the cooling, sunny outdoors with a mountain view made the session especially refreshing and nourishing for the mind.
Next seven sessions went smooth and normal. Mind was relatively calm. It drifted now and then. I brought it back gently with no much difficulties.
(I stopped practicing mindfulness this way. I meditate on God’s words and His goodness now.)