This week’s class started with a discussion of last week’s practice and sharing how we got on. I’ve struggled with it a bit, to be honest, getting halfway through the body-scan and not being able to concentrate properly.
Paul suggested a guided meditation (ie an audio recording) to help me learn, then slowly build up to doing it on my own. He also said focussing on one part – such as hands or face – might help, instead of the whole body, and that seems to work.
Then we moved on to mindfulness of feelings (or emotions) – paying attention to our feelings, especially the physical sensations and where we could feel them, without getting caught up in the actual emotion.
Paul explained that research has shown if we try to ignore or avoid our feelings not only don’t they go away but we end up feeling less pleasure and happiness because we suppress them all. The point of the practice is to “make friends” with our feelings instead of being scared of them.
We did a short meditation to practice what we had learned. First, we paid attention to how we were feeling right then, noting the physical sensations and where they were located. Paul then asked us to recall different situations and notice what we felt. How does it feel to be kept waiting? What does it feel like on the first day of a holiday?
This is going to be a challenging – yet interesting – practice for me, but I am looking forward to the increased awareness it will bring.
Tiff Franks is a local blogger, living with anxiety and depression. We asked Tiff to write about her experiences on the course.
Read the previous part or the next part of Tiff’s story.