Our brain is a wonderful thing. It enables us to handle complex tasks and situations by creating habits of thinking and behaving and decision-making. It holds the stories that guide our life. Unfortunately not all of these habits and stories are positive ones. Some limit our ability to be successful in our life and others come with strong memories and powerful emotions that unseat us and leave us unable to act. We can waste our energy reliving bad episodes from our past and projecting negative thinking into the future, all of which stop us taking the right steps now. We suffer.
The practices of mindfulness were created to interrupt and relieve our suffering. Through mindfulness we gain profound insight into the patterns of mind that create suffering and we retrain the brain not to respond automatically to these patterns. Mindfulness creates a pause between thought and action, between emotion and reaction. This pause empowers us to choose a more positive course of action. This pause roots us in the present time where our thoughts and actions create change. This pause enables us to create better habits and more supportive stories that will lead to greater success in every aspect of our life and work.
There are three forms of mindfulness practice.
1. Meditation where the objective is to train the mind to focus and not be distracted. The focal point can be watching the breath, repeating a mantra, listening to bird song, gazing at a candle etc.
2. Meditation where the objective is become more aware of the thoughts and feelings that pass through our busy mind, in the present moment. The focal point is our internal world. We becoming the observer and through making the unconscious conscious we regain the ability to make better choices.
3. Visualisation where the objective is use positive images and stories to create a more tranquil and more resourceful state of mind. We gain confidence and inspiration and we learn how to change our mind. All three forms require your attention to be relaxed and self-affirming.
All three forms will calm the mind and body.
There are three types of mindfulness practice
In Informal Mindfulness we create the habit of regularly tuning in to our mind by registering our thoughts and feelings and other sensations in the present moment. This practice can be carried out at any time and in any place for short periods. This is the practical side of mindfulness where we tune in, become aware and make better choices in our everyday life.
In Formal Mindfulness we use a longer period of concentration exercises and awareness to build our ability to focus. Long practice of formal meditation has been proved to change our brains to make informal meditation easier and more effective. It grows a deepening sense of calmness and confidence.
In Mindfulness Retreat we extend our practice over hours and days to reconnect with our inspiration and the meaning of our life.