In this weeks meditation session we explored the sitting practice, followed by a short story this week instead of a poem. Do you remember the last time you were read a story? If it’s something you’d like to try again you can find some lovely ones on the Calm website here. They’re specifically sleep stories, if you know of anyone else who reads out short stories that you could recommend get in touch.
Within this weeks session we briefly touched on home practice. If you want to see the changes that can arrive in your life from mindfulness training, you need to practice regularly, ideally daily. The evidence points to 20-40 minutes everyday, but 10 minutes is going to be enough to bring about new neural pathways in the brain. These new pathways give you the opportunity to respond differently when under stress.
One thing that can help is using online guided practices or timers. Calm is an online meditation space that I have enjoyed, though more recently I have been using Insight Timer and Petit Bambou as I have been focusing on building my French vocabulary and they have the option of French language.
You also have access to the mindful compassion based meditations that I teach here, password Wellbeing2020 (this gets updated regularly so if it doesn’t work please email).
Another way to get you to practice is setting up an inviting space. Above is a little window into where I practice. There are no designated rooms in my house, but I’ve found a nook. When I lived in with my family in a small flat in London I didn’t have the luxury of a nook so I simply set up a mat, my meditation stool, my favourite blanket over my shoulders and would light a candle (scented tealights were a favourite). If I had time I’d journal afterwards with a cup of tea, though more often than not that wasn’t available to me. Working with what you have is important, give a sense of ritual and ceremony to the experience. You deserve this space.
Some other useful tips are to have a regular time of day, building up this habit, overtime it becomes like brushing your teeth, if you don’t do it you just don’t feel right.
Build up the time, one minute at a time could be enough. Begin with a 1 minute meditation each morning, the following week build it to 2 minutes, then gradually increase the time. You may find yourself practicing for longer, but setting a realistic goal that you can attain consistently will increase your success and the likelihood that you’ll maintain a regular meditation practice that’s not daunting.
So you’ve got one minute set aside. The invitation is to simply follow the breath in and out, finding a point most vivid for you in this practice. One minute, breathing in and breathing out, noting the sensations that you find.
Note where it was and then throughout the day in moments of stress you have an anchor to ground yourself in the present moment.
Home practice plan:
- Create a physical space to practice, be creative, make it inviting
- Allocate a regular time slot
- Set aside one minute a day to be there for to begin with
- Breath in
- Breath out
- Find a point within the breath where the sensations stand out
- Continue to follow the breath
- Repeat for one minute
Let me know how you get on, or do get in contact with any questions firstname.lastname@example.org.