Who brought Indian beliefs to the West?

In the 70’s, many young people went to India

The  Beatles

 

The Beatles became interested in Eastern religion and music when they had already become famous for their new style of songwriting. They went

to India to stay in an ashram and learn from influential musicians and

experts in Indian philosophy.

George Harrison worked with the renowned sitar player, Ravi Shankar. In turn,

what George learned was reflected in many of their later songs.

They returned when John Lennon had a disagreement with the ashram leader.

 

Jon Kabat-Zinn was a young medic at the time who was drawn to India

out of curiosity. Many college-aged men and woman wanted to find

out for themselves the supposed mysteries of enlightenment in the land of Buddha. What Kabat-Zinn learned, he brought back to Massachusetts and applied

to his patients. And so was the birth of non-secular Mindfulness as a

prescription for pain and modern life.

Tracy

 

 

Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How often do you hear this?

There is Balm in Giliad called Kindness

 

“Thank you for showing me loving kindness and gratitude.”

It means you are more than just pleased. If you feel gratitude, it is something you appreciate fully. I imagine people are more often grateful for things.

Have you tried making the gratitude collection at tinygratitude.com? Each day you type in no more than 3 words to do with something for which you feel gratitude.

My collection is getting enormous! And I enjoy poring over all the words that mean something special to me. This little exercise has me pondering ahead of time by noticing many possible choices throughout the day. And I can never run out because the object is new every time It attracts my attention.

Things I am grateful for

I want us to think about people now. You may love, desire, imitate, dislike, agree with or like individuals, but who are you grateful for?

Gratitude plays a role within Mindfulness. Gratitude makes us notice the good other people do for us in life.

Let’s face it. No one can be happy and successful in his or her life without someone to look up to. For me it was, and still is, my mother. I know I could not live with her, don’t get me wrong. But she is my mentor, weather vane, my starting place. Of course, you have someone or some people, too.

so today, we are going to mention them by name. The first or last person to name is yourself. Oh no, You hear you say. I have nothing to be grateful to myself for. Start small and It will get easier, you will begin to believe your own words. This can be treated as a formal or informal Mindfulness practice:

May I be safe and free from suffering.

May I be happy and healthy as can be…

May I have ease of being.

 

May I be safe and free from suffering.

May I be happy and healthy as can be.

May I have ease of being.

 

May I be safe and free from suffering.

May I be happy and healthy as can be.

May I have ease of being.

 

Next, it is time to choose someone you truly love:

 

May __________ be safe and free from suffering.

May __________ be happy and healthy as can be.

May ___________have ease of being.  3x

 

Next, choose someone you recognize but you may not know:

Say the words of gratitude 3x as before.

Next, choose someone who has supported or mentored you to achieve your goals:

Say the words of gratitude 3x as before.

Next, choose someone with whom you don’t see eye to eye:

Say the words of gratitude 3x as before.

Next, choose everyone living on the whole planet:

Say the words of gratitude 3x as before.

 

You will be surprised at who you think of. I had the hardest time showing gratitude to people I generally don’t get along with.

How do you feel after this practice, I think closing your eyes helps you to concentrate.

 

 

 

Tracy


A Formal Mindfulness Practice

The second type of Mindfulness Practice

I haven’t pushed this aspect of Mindfulness mainly because I don’t want to scare off people who would benefit from learning this practice. These are the ones who are leaning towards trying the practice but are still suspicious of the stereotypes of the hippy or the ninja mentioned in the Science or WooWoo page mentioned earlier.

The most formal postures for meditating require sitting on the floor or support and resting your palms together. I have never done that.

Meditator

But if you are comfortable this way, that is fine. I have not sat with others doing this perhaps because I am getting on and we might not be able to get up!

CHAIR – Formal Mindfulness practice is usually done sitting on a chair. Curiously I haven’t been able to find a good photo (still looking) of the typical Mindfulness meditator. Think about it as I explain:

An upright chair is best with or without a back. When you sit, your bottom wants to be halfway forward on the seat of the chair. Your position is dignified but not tight. Feel as though you are being gently pulled upwards by a cord on your head but don’t stretch.

What you want to achieve is a posture of attention to this moment.

Having said that, when I was new to meditating I could not sit long before I would get a shooting pain down the right side of my back. That did not do much to encourage me to carry on. More advanced meditation can banish the pain.

What novices can do is mindfully shift position to feel the discomfort less. The second method and I often resorted to this in the early days, is to get a cushion behind your back for support.

Wonderfully, you can eventually train your back, perhaps with the help of some stretching exercise. But the pain will go away anyway with time.

HANDS – These may lie on your knees or be cupped one inside the other in your lap.

FEET – These should be flat on the floor. This is difficult for a shortie like me. Sometimes another piece of furniture works for me – not a puffed up sofa! I often use a small table.

Your hips should be a little bit higher than your knees, ideally.

EYES – These can be open and gazing unfocused on the floor in front of you. Otherwise, close them. Personally, I prefer closed because I am less apt to be distracted by things around me.

REMEMBER – You are wanting to be in the moment, not wanting to change anything, neither concerning thoughts of the past or future without judging yourself.

This is the first moment of this time sitting even if you have done it millions of times before. The sense of newness is palpable. But if you do not feel a thing, don’t give yourself a hard time. It’s fine. Every time you remember that your mind has wandered, that is your opportunity to practice escorting the mind back to the breath or body.

That is Mindfulness, the returning.

That’s already starting to strengthen that ‘muscle’ that you are trying to exercise and develop. Fantastic. This is good enough to practice for ages.

You can also do this waiting in line for the bus or at the supermarket or be waiting for the lights to change, anywhere you might otherwise feel frustrated or grouchy.

When you are done after 10 minutes or whenever the queue starts to move, ask yourself how that felt.

And please tell me too.

Tracy

 

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Dread of getting in the Shower can be eased with Mindfulness meditation exercise

Fear or Dread of the shower can be eased with Mindfulness

Hello fellow bloggers and Mindfulness peeps,

This situation is driving me bonkers. The revered Smithsonian Magazine keeps sending me renewal forms when I have already paid. As it is we were getting two copies monthly after the balls-up they made the last time I dealt with them. I fear they will send three copies at a time. The local doctors’ and dentists’ offices will be flooded with them. Does this happen to you?

However,

the reason I am telling this because I went on the Smithsonian site and I saw articles flashing past. One was entitled, “Why Mind Wandering Can Be So Miserable, According to Happiness Experts” by one of their staffers, Libby Copeland. She is gloomy and anxious at the prospect of a shower. It sounds silly but maybe you can think of something you are irrationally afraid of. Libby is ripe for some Mindfulness training.
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-mind-wandering-can-be-so-miserable-according-happiness-experts-180962265/

Mindfulness helps to help a woman afraid of the shower

shower

 

The article, written by a skeptic, concerns the times in our daily lives when we realize that the mind is trying, usually ineffectually, to deal with matters beyond our control. Some of your multitasking is easy (remember to post that birthday card for your sister) other problems seem to have no solution (if your mother needs a care package). Or a past thought might be,” I know she doesn’t like me because…”This is Unmindfulness. You cannot do anything about these things at the moment.

If you are driving your car, you will not remember any scenery or landmarks because you are never aware of your ‘present.’ You skipped past the buzzard hanging in the sky, the yellow gorse flowers persisting even in the coldest weather, the sign for the plowing contest next week and so on… This attention in the moment is Mindfulness.

 

 

Mindfulness helps us to notice things in the moment. Gorse flowers smell like coconut

Gorse flowers smell like coconut.

 

The scientists say that we spend 47% of our waking hours mind-wandering. Nearly half! I know my mind drifts off even when I am watching a movie thriller. I also know I used to be much worse when I was working a primary school teacher. I hardly ever got jobs done to my satisfaction. Then the tendency is to beat yourself up about it and say what a loser you are.

 

You will be interested to know that we pay most attention (I.e., showing Mindfulness) during sex. We spend the most time – 67% – in grooming behaviors.

 

WANDERING IS WHAT MINDS DO. (Take this to heart)

So what about poor Libby? She knew that when she got in the shower, all her worst fears and worries would boil up. It had become a habit and so she hated showering. I think that is too bad because of showers, except for baths, are the most calming, Mindfulness expressing things we can do for ourselves. Sometime I will have to try out my disco spinning lights gadget my daughter gave me for Christmas. Promise you won’t put tea lights around your bath!

 

Well, with anxious apprehension, Libby stepped into the shower. She kept her attention on her breathing and felt different.

“As she says,  the trick is in recognizing the illusion—

“‘ah yes, there’s that ridiculous clown car of anxiety coming down the road again.

The saving grace, when I can manage to focus, is the present moment. ”

Tracy

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