The mindfulness meditations I demonstrate for clients to try are short, simple investigations into watching your mind and feeling your body. This usually has a generally calming effect.
Practising short meditations may help to produce insights into your own situation, you may find things that you were previously not aware of. You may get more in touch with your feelings. This may help you to make new decisions and find your own way forward.
‘Our suffering arises from fear-based stories that are often outside our awareness.’ Tara Brach
It may be a great relief to become aware of new feelings or new meanings in your life, like discovering the illusory nature of a dream. Or it may feel difficult or painful to accommodate what you find, like when something familiar has been taken away, even if that familiar thing was unhelpful to you.
Not all mindfulness meditations are suitable for everyone, but there are many techniques available and they are simple to try. You can keep them at a level to produce some relaxation, or sit with your awareness of what you already know to experience it, and understand it in different ways.
When you practise even for 3-5 minutes you can learn a lot about yourself, if you know how to look.
The meditations I demonstrate are broadly based on simple breathing, in awareness of the present moment and the body you inhabit.
Learning a mindfulness mediation technique may take around 10 minutes of a standard 50 minute session, once or twice or until you are confident enough to practice it alone. You can also discuss your experiences in the therapy session, the insights may deliver most benefit in counselling.
All the techniques I offer are non-religious and don’t involve sitting cross legged, saying mantras or taking on any ideas. There is no need to have any interest in spirituality, nor does mindfulness meditation go against the beliefs of any religion.
I learned from the thousand year history of expertise in meditation and mindfulness from the rich traditions of Buddhism which have been passed down by successive lifelong meditators. I don’t teach Buddhism, or instruct or advise its practice (which would be unethical in therapy).
The original meditations are used as a practice of altruism and development of compassion. Here they are adapted to gain understanding of yourself – which is a compassionate act towards to yourself – even though it is occasionally uncomfortable to discover feelings we hadn’t been aware of before:
‘It can take a tremendous amount of practice, kindness, and an unwavering love of the truth to explore the various strategies we employ to take ourselves out of feelings we do not want to feel.’ Matt Litaca
As counselling is a kindness to yourself but sometimes painful to go through, so mindfulness meditation can also help the process of personal growth, self knowledge, self empowerment, self respect, and self love.
These ancient experts in the nature of mind developed the meditations which have been selected and adapted by all manner of Western mindfulness courses, and taught all over the world today in business and self development.
I teach mindfulness in conjunction with counselling, as a tool for learning, healing and changing, for helping the unbearable to become bearable, to try to learn to manage huge emotions:
‘You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.’ Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness and meditation can help to gradually locate, manage and transform the problems that have been causing your distress.
‘Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless… that wants our love.’ Rainer Maria Rilke
I use gentle, safe and effective methods with clients, distilled from the myriad techniques at my disposal from my years of study and practice learned directly from many of the most eminent meditation masters alive today.
Don’t take anyones word for it – learn to trust yourself:
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” Rumi