MBSR: Week 2

by mandy lipka

This week we completed a full body scan together. A recommended that as we continue our home practice, we experiment with different times, postures. Many students discussed sleepiness, a want for it to end and difficulty fitting the practice into their schedule, while others felt successful for having made the time. Another felt it was a lot like house cleaning.

Regardless of the reaction, A reminded us that a major part of mindfulness is the willingness to come back to the scan. All reactions are part of the process, whether they be feelings of agitation, racing thoughts or uncomfortable moments. John Kabat-Zinn often says, “You don’t have to like it, but you have to do it.”

This whole process A says is a way we come to understand our own wisdom. We need to trust ourselves to experiment whether the experience is pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Visiting practitioner E mentioned we’re trying to find the balance between laziness or sleepiness to too much tension.

The mind thinks like the eyes see and the ears hear.

And we may believe them, says A. It’s what the mind does. The key is noticing the thoughts and bringing our attention back to the meditation, scan or our breathing. Meditation, as A describes, is a visualization, a prayer, or repeating a word or phrase. Many religions and cultures practice various forms of meditation. At the center, practitioners are focused on mindfulness meditation which generally means bringing awareness to life events. While we do this, we are strengthening our “inner muscle” of awareness to meet what we need to do. As I mentioned in the first post, there will always be things beyond our control. Mindfulness helps us make those things feel less overwhelming.

During the session, I got a chance to speak with another student about our experiences. She often mentions a specific audiobook that drew her to the class. I asked her to share it and thought I’d share it with you– it’s called The Art of Mindful Living by Thich Nhat Hanh. I look forward to checking this out. You can purchase your own audiobook here.

This week’s homework:

  • 6 more body scans
  • 10-15 minute daily meditations
  • Identifying and examining one pleasant event every day
  • One mindful meal
  • Mindfulness in daily life – bringing attention to daily activities (i.e. brushing teeth, washing dishes, taking shower)

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