Mindfulness & Meditation
‘The purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful. If our mind is peaceful we shall be free from worries and mental discomfort, so we shall experience true happiness. But if our mind is not peaceful, we shall find it very difficult to be happy, even if we are living in the best conditions.’ Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Tibetan Meditation Master
Mindfulness meditation is becoming increasingly popular across the West.
What is it? Mindfulness simply means being aware and present in each moment. It is being intimate with our own experience, with ourselves, moment by moment. We can learn to be on our own side, to be mindful of our emotions, our reactions to external stimuli, our fears and our dreams. We begin to understand ourselves better. We can learn to have a loving attitude to ourselves at all times, being mindful of what it means to be you, what that is really like. Often the negative experiences of our lives can create an internal numbness, a blocking off from life, causing confusion, hatred and attachment. If we are living moment by moment with the experience of being human, on this planet at this time, it helps us to view our lives as something more than a series of tasks and responsibilities. We start to view our lives with tenderness, and curiosity, as we learn to become more peaceful within. Each of us has a vast and expansive well of inner peace waiting to be noticed and used. When we become aware of this inner power, we realise that we can create a heaven for ourselves right here on earth. We can then use this peace to help others, by radiating it out to everyone whose lives are connected to ours. And that is everyone we meet, every day. How powerful is that?
Mindfulness meditation helps us to develop a calmer way of interacting with the world. It helps us to understand how we are intimately connected to everything around us. It helps slow us down, and create space in our minds so that we can more easily set aside disturbing, negative thoughts and replace them with more positive, joyful ones. Mindfulness techniques are ones that we can use in our everyday lives, not just in our yoga or meditation classes. We can become more empowered, confident and happier. We begin by focusing on an object, this could be a candle, a flower, the sky, the stars – anything that steadies our mind. Most usefully, something that we can have in our awareness all day and night is our breath. By simply focusing on the in and out breath, and bringing our awareness back to it every time, we harness a simple yet effective meditative practice for ourselves which can ground and keep us centred in every moment.
MINDFULNESS IS FOR EVERYONE
Mindfulness meditation is an important part of Eastern religions such as Buddhism, and Hinduism, and there is evidence from the Gnostic gospels that the first Christians held meditation as central to their rituals. We do not need to be religious to meditate, anyone can do it – almost anywhere – so it something we can all enjoy and benefit from. As one young mum said at the end of her first class ‘I don’t think I understood before what it was all about. I think all mums should do these classes!’
Better physical health too
Recent research has shown that mindfulness techniques can help people suffering from serious diseases, such as cancer. It is excellent for stress release, and studies have shown that patients can reduce the anxiety associated with their condition. A feeling of well-being can be carried into everyday life. Mindfulness has been shown to improve mood, concentration, creating higher energy levels, reducing depression, and boosting the immune system. There is also evidence of meditation helping lower patients’ blood pressure. If you can’t get to a class, there are lots of ideas on this website to help you – relax and enjoy.
1. Yoga & Mindfulness
Sudbourne Village Hall, Snape Road, Sudbourne IP12 2AT All welcome.
Mondays at 7 – 8.30 pm beginning on April 24 2017, for nine weeks and Thursdays at 10 am in Snape Village Hall, beginning again on April 20 for ten weeks. All welcome, but please check with us regarding spaces for these classes.
2. Mindfulness and Meditation
COME AND LEARN HOW TO POWER UP YOUR OWN HAPPINESS – Mindfulness, Meditation, Guided Visualisation
Mondays at the Meeting Room, Woodbridge Library, New Street, Woodbridge IP12 1DT beginning again on Monday April 24 2017. Drop-in. All welcome! No need to book, but check events calendar for dates (these classes run in eight week blocks)
11.15-12.45 – £10.00