I love mindfulness meditation, and agree it is a retreat from the real world of work, relationships, and life.But I have a confession: as soon as I hear the word Namaste, I become a creator of the mind.
In ten minutes that it takes to relax, let go and visualise.. I have very often redecorated a room in the house, whilst remembering what I forgot on last weeks shopping list, the conversations I should have had with someone but didn’t. It is something of a dementia for me, in that I struggle with the present moment and what I should be doing, and regress and remember very vividly all those things I should have done, said and been in the past.
So, let me take you through the process.
It all begins really well, I do breathe – and that comes very naturally, I hitch at the bottom as my breath goes out of my body and the transition is not as smooth as I would like, but I’m working on that.
I can listen to someone’s voice and feel relaxed – but not everyone’s.
And, then we start with the grounding... ‘yes’ I can tick that box to. I do feel the ground beneath my feet and the chair that I am sitting in – but, oh wait... I’m not sure now. Does my back sit far enough back in the chair? Should my hands be facing up or facing down?
All thoughts that are a millisecond but break the relaxation pose and before I know it we are up at the jaw starting to swallow and relax this even more, so I swallow and wonder what happened to the bit in between!
I question am I relaxed enough? I start to probe with my mind those places that I am not sure of; my jaw, in and around my eyes, and of course my thoughts, and oh boy once those thoughts start, I then start to self-doubt.
Oh no, I’ve done it again, got lost in my other thoughts - who am I kidding? How useful is this really for me? There's no way I can admit this is not working for me when it works for other people. I could really do with a coffee when I’ve finished this, etc, etc, etc.
I’m also pretty good at the visualisation bit, just like Martin Luther King,’ I Have a Dream’, one where I can go and be at peace from this ratty world when I need to. It is supposed to be calming, and sometimes I can visualise this in a heartbeat, other times not so easily, and being a guided meditation it takes time to construct this world that we are asked to visualise and for some reason, I am just not quick enough, and that is the point where I lose a bit of myself to redecorating, or shopping lists or my failures as I see them.
Then before I know it we are back to the business of everyday, feeling the chair beneath us, feeling the ground underneath my feet, and bringing myself back into the room, and supposedly feeling less tense and stressed.
So, I try to convince myself that this is doing me good, and that by committing to a mindfulness practice every day I will become tranquil and peaceful like the Buddha. Now I understand why he had to sit for so long and not doing anything else, because I suspect like me at one point - he was only human.
And in this un-artful way of mindful meditation practice of mine it also proved a good time for me to think about this blog – so please don’t feel you are not good at mindfulness meditation as I think I have failed the class!
If any of the above resonates with you and you are searching for peace of mind, we have a lovely associate who provides us with Mindfulness Meditations and gentle online Yoga classes for all abilities, her name is Rosie Haysom of Lime Yoga Studios.