“When you wash your hands when you make a cup of coffee when you’re waiting for the elevator – instead of indulging in thinking, these are all opportunities for being there as a still, alert presence”-Eckhart Tolle
Can you tell me more about Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Mindfulness is something that everyone can develop, and it’s something that everyone can try. Practiced for thousands of years, and proven to have health benefits by scientific research over the last 40 years. People can increase their mindfulness in everyday life, through meditation and yoga, or even by simply paying more attention to regular activities like walking, driving or something that is part of daily routine like brushing your teeth.
Spending time focusing on breathing will deepen your mindfulness practice. This can be done for a few moments upon waking up in the morning before you eat or drive a car and before you go to sleep. Bring your full attention to the moment and become aware of your breathing, notice how you breathe, be present with it. Once you have made the connection and are practicing with ease see if you can breathe deeper or slower. Remember the practice is always gentle, do not force or put pressure on yourself, just allow the moment to unfold.
In a mindfulness session, I will teach you how to develop awareness. Like anything, it takes practice yet once you connect with this state it becomes easier to access.
What is the difference between Meditation and Mindfulness?
Meditation is the practice of finding stillness between thoughts leading to higher states of consciousness. There are many techniques to reach this state of being involving breathing, guided visualisations, chanting, or focusing on love, compassion, patience, joy. Meditation can be achieved through a variety of ways whereas mindfulness is focusing on the present moment allowing the mind to become peaceful and still. Mindfulness is a form of meditation.
When I sit to meditate I fall asleep, why?
This is a common challenge for beginners. Because the only time you close your eyes for a extended period of time is to sleep. Therefore the mind drops into delta brainwave state to sleep. Through practice you build a state of awareness that moves from beta consciousness to alpha and theta, a deeper state of meditation without the mind and body ‘falling asleep’.
My mind is very active, I find it hard to switch off
Your mind is a powerful focusing tool, always wanting to focus. You can build a dream or destroy it all with your mind. If you give your attention to stressful thoughts and allow them to continually run through your mind the body will activate the stress response. Once the hormones of stress are running through the body it is difficult to switch off. Start with focusing on your breathing , then intentionally breath deeply for 5 breaths. As the body relaxes the mind can follow.
What is meant by the mind/body connection?
Everything is thought first and emotions follow. Up until the age of 7 we are operating from our unconscious mind. At around 7 years old we build the cognitive process of rational conscious mind. Once we have a rational mind we accept or reject information in relation to what is stored in the already formed unconscious. The mind and body work in tandem. We can chose our thoughts yet we have already stored ‘stories and beliefs’ in the unconscious. Through meditation you become aware of the thoughts of the mind and body. Being the observer, the awareness, and moving beyond mind to change.
How do you treat depression
Depression is a feeling state that many people have experienced and recovered from, including me. The state of depression may have started from something that happened in your life and continually replaying it in the mind, or a learned behaviour from a feeling of no control over external circumstances. However it came about, meditation is a powerful tool for change. Only you can train your own mind and care about how you feel at any given moment. A dedicated daily practice of meditation or mindfulness will guarantee results.
John Kabat-Zinn is a professor of medicine and a founding member of Cambridge Zen Center. His practice and studies with Buddhist teachers led him to integrate their teachings with those of science. He teaches mindfulness, which he says can help people cope with stress, anxiety, pain, and illness. The stress reduction program created by Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness-based stress reduction, is offered by medical centers, hospitals, and health maintenance organisations around the world.
Joe Dispenza is an international lecturer, researcher, corporate consultant, author, and educator who has been invited to speak in more than 32 countries on five continents. As a lecturer and educator, he is driven by the conviction that each of us has the potential for greatness and unlimited abilities. In his easy-to-understand, encouraging, and compassionate style, he has educated thousands of people, detailing how they can rewire their brains and recondition their bodies to make lasting changes.
Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual teacher and author who was born in Germany and educated at the Universities of London and Cambridge. At the age of 29, a profound inner transformation radically changed the course of his life. The next few years were devoted to understanding, integrating, and deepening that transformation, which marked the beginning of an intense inward journey.
Milton Erickson was a psychiatrist widely known for his contribution to the field of clinical hypnosis. He had an uncanny ability to heal his patients using trance to connect with their unconscious mind. Erickson has inspired many generations of therapists to train in Ericksonian hypnosis.