Buddhism and Meditation

Meditation & Mindfulness


The MK Meditation Association met up this week (13/3/12) to practice some Metta Bhavana Buddhist meditation and to explore bringing mindfulness into our daily lives. We had an Introduction to Maitreyabandhu’s  book based course:

Life with Full Attention

Here are the notes from the class:

 

Life With Full Attention – Introduction Week

 

Introduction

 

An eight week course in cultivating full attention – mindfulness – present moment awareness – doing our present activity whole heartedly.

 

Being present to the moment does not mean we are not allowed to plan for the future – planning is an important skill for life, if we want to achieve our objectives. However, we want to be able to experience that future when we get there.

 

What is Mindfulness?

 

  • Awareness (here and now) of our body, feelings, senses thoughts and surroundings.
  • Recollection (such as coming back to what we are doing or remembering our purpose).

 

The actual experience of mindfulness tells us much more than this.

 

Cultivating the Right Spirit

 

  • Don’t try too hard – not too goal orientated
  • Avoid letting yourself off too easily
  • A spirit of exploration – it’s OK to get lost at times.
  • We will need humour and a lightness of touch.

 

Find Your Own Way

 

  • This course has lots of suggestions and exercises
  • You may not always have time to experiment with them all, but don’t get disheartened
  • Whatever you do manage to try out will be of benefit

 

Meditation

 

  • We will be practicing meditation weekly during the class
  • In week 3 we will introduce some meditation into our home life
  • We will build up very gradually and will keep personal records of how often we have managed to meditate – but this is not a competition – sorry, no prizes!

 

A Mindfulness Buddy

 

  • A buddy system
  • This will help us engage with the material by sharing our experiences, talking about our difficulties and giving each other some mutual encouragement.

 

The Journal

 

Buy a small, portable journal to keep throughout the course. We will be using these to make notes as we go. Get yourself something nice – something you will enjoy using.


Aims, Obstacles & Supports

 

Aims

 

  • Identify 3 things that you would like to achieve through the course.
  • Keep them practical and down to earth.
  • Record them at the front of you Journal so you can evaluate them at the end of the course.

 

Obstacles

 

  • What things might get in the way of you achieving your aims.
  • Try to identify them and how they affect you e.g. “I often stay up late so, I’m unlikely to meditate in the morning”.

 

Supports

 

Try to think of supports and strategies that will help you overcome your obstacles. Just thinking what the possible obstacles might be will give us ideas and make us more aware.  If you have trouble meditating in the morning, what other times might be available? What places might we use to meditate in – the train, our parked car, a local church in our lunch hour?

 

Mindfulness makes life more vivid, we think more clearly, feel more deeply and act more fully. But we need to start at the foundations, with the basics.

 

Full awareness will help us to relish our lives, but this is difficult if we have problems with simple things like missing the bus or forgetting appointments. The basics do not seem very spiritual, but they will make a big contribution to our lives. Next week we will explore: Day to Day Mindfulness – The Mindfulness of Small Things.

 

During This Week:

 

1/ Buy a nice Journal and start keeping it with you

2/ Reflect on:

  • 3 Practical Aims for the course
  • Potential obstacles
  • Supports & Strategies
  • Write these up in your new journal before the next meeting.

 

3/ Get in Contact with your Mindfulness Buddy – check in how you are doing with the Journal and reflections.