At the halfway point in this course, you should now be familiar with the foundations of mindfulness – of focusing your attention and awareness on the present moment – and exploring how you can apply this to specific challenges and stressors in your life.
Theme – Moving from Reacting to Responding
This week we review the importance of bringing awareness of being stuck in one’s life, and of noticing when the conditioned patterns of escape from difficulty arise.
We look at how we can use mindfulness to bring our awareness to bear when we become stuck, and are reacting habitually and unhelpfully and with the arising of reactive physical sensations, emotions, thoughts and behaviours. This is the critical moment (the moment of conscious contact) when we can use our mindfulness to create a small space to to respond rather than to react to stressful situations.
Informal practice this week
Informal practice this week involves bring awareness to moments of reacting and explore options for responding with greater mindfulness, spaciousness, and creativity informal meditation practice and in everyday life.
Remember that the breath is an anchor, a way to heighten awareness of reactive tendencies, to slow down and make more conscious choices.
Take 5 minutes each day to use your informal practice record to keep a track of your moments.
In preparation for next week, fill out Difficult Communications sheet.
Formal practice this week
Formal practice this week should take place. as usual, over 6 days of the 7. Alternate all of the practices we have learned as you choose during the week
Sitting Meditation, Movement, Body Scan, etc.
Use you formal practice record to note down your experiences.
Going further …
Turning Toward Difficulty – Vidyamala Burch
The Soften, Soothe, Allow guided meditation
The Strange Case of Chronic Back Pain – Ron Siegel