I am learning about mindfulness…

Posted Thursday, July 21st, 2016. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

Mindfulness is an interesting practice. Many, including myself, thought mindfulness is the ability to be present and in the moment to the point where you can train your mind to not wander.

I have been attending yin yoga with teacher Karen Kofman. She is wonderful. I love this yoga as it is more about the stretching for me than strengthening. My body is tight with my work outs (and older age!) and I really need to stretch.

Karen has been studying Mindfulness for years and she has spoken to me about it on and off. It is not until these last few months that I have really begun to pay more attention and have a great understanding. I know Karen well and seeing how she has incorporated mindfulness into all aspects of her life has been inspiring. She has had so much to deal with yet she has learned to live in the moment more than anyone I know.

What really has inspired and changed me is understanding what truly mindfulness is. She shared a story recently that when she was in Thailand her guru, Jess Koffman, did an activity with the group – they had dried beans and a cup in front of them and the instructions were that every time your mind wandered you were to bring it back to the present for this you were to put a dried bean into the cup. At the end of the silent mediation you were to count the number of dried beans in your cup. Some of the “newbies” were proud of themselves as they only had a few beans in a cup. The more seasoned had many more.

What Jess explained is that mindfulness is not a static state, we are human and our minds wander – we begin to think about our day, the kids, bills, etc. – the important thing is to recognize that our mind is wandering, consciously acknowledge this and then bring your mind back to the moment. The ability to do this is conscious and you are in the present. Therefore, the more beans you had in your cup the more you were acknowledging your thoughts.

When we did the silent mediation I recall my mind wandering – did I turn off the oven (I was up at a cottage for a girls’ spiritual day and made cookies that morning)? I brought my mind back. Then I began to think about the woman in the room with me doing the silent mediation and how I haven’t seen them in years. I sent them love and brought my mind back to the room. I was patting the dog and I am a believer that animals can be instrumental in healing. While patting the dog I felt her do a big yawn – an energy release. I brought my mind back to the room. After 30 minutes the meditation was over.

I was worried that I was going to fall asleep as I had been really tired. Instead I didn’t. I felt refreshed.

I am grateful to understand this practice. I have a very active mind. I use this practice a lot now. It has been helping me be in the moment and to not chastise myself for letting my mind wander.

I wanted to share this for I hope that you have learned something as well and can learn to incorporate this into your daily practice.

It is a practice and a practice takes time and needs to be done over and over again.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful weekend.

Be present. If your mind wanders, acknowledge and bring it back!

All my love,

Sandra

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