Practising mindfulness, particularly in the structured approach that MBSR takes, helps us train ourselves into an open curiosity and awareness of the full range of our experiences, and as we learn this our ability to pay attention becomes more flexible. We can begin to learn to see the experience as it is – not conditioned, or coloured by our perceptions of the experience.
Theme – Our Patterns of Reaction to Stress
This week we study how stress arises, and how humans respond to it. We use our emerging ‘noticing’ skills to begin to recognise our automatic, habitual reactions to life events and the negative effects those automatic reactions can have. Noticing these is the first step to choosing different responses – moving us on from reacting automatically to responding helpfully.
Informal practice this week
During this week find occasions to become aware of automatic habitual stress reactions and behaviours. Simply notice them – without trying to change them
Also become aware of times when you are feeling stuck, blocking, numbing, and shutting off to the moment when it happens this week.
Find 5 minutes each day to use your informal practice record to make brief notes about your experience.
Review information about stress in the handouts
Formal practice this week
This week formal practice continues with the body scan and mindful movement.
Alternate the body scan practice with mindful movement (e.g. Yoga) for 6 days this week
In addition practice sitting meditation with the new guided audio for 20 minutes per day. This new audio recording extends the object of attention from just breathing to include, in turn, other physical sensations, and awareness of the whole body.
As last week, complete the formal practice log to record your experience.