Last night I had the chance to attend a mindful session run by The Mindfulness Project. It was an hour long introduction into the basics of meditation and how I can implement it in my daily life. Because unlike what most people think of when asked to meditate (sitting cross legged on a beach in a kaftan) mindfulness is all about paying attention to what is happening here and now. There is no need for special equipment or a specific location (though a beach holiday would be nice), you just need to pay attention to the here and now. And this included your sensations, thoughts and emotions. But what made me actually go home with the belief and knowledge that I can do this, was the fact that the practice is completely non-judgemental. If your thoughts drift when you are meditating it is ok, you just call them back. Don’t chastise yourself, don’t criticise yourself and don’t think of yourself as a failure.
The session started with a minute of just counting your normal rhythm of breaths and with that number I now can meditate for a minute without having a timer. Just count my breaths and focus on my breathing. This was such an accessible way of learning how to mediate. It is just a minute of concentrating on my breathing – I can do that.
We then moved onto mindful eating where we actually had to savour a piece of chocolate. We studied it, smelt it, held it against our lips, held it on our tongue and then finally chewed it. The whole exercise took 10 minutes. I have never savoured a piece of chocolate as much as I did then. I loved the feel of it on my lips as it started to melt and it took a lot of restraint not to smear the melted chocolate all over my face as I would have done as a child.
The last exercise was to close our eyes and concentrate on our breathing. Concentrate on the way the air felt going into the nose, the lungs expanding, the diaphragm expanding. It was hypnotic. And my thoughts did wonder but I just brought them back. When we finished ten minutes had passed and I had meditated for the whole time.
Amazing. It was a wonderful session. If you want more infroamtion then you should definitely look at their website (link is above). It’s a wonderful thing to do, a brilliant way to take you out of your stresses and worries and bring you back to the present moment.
I got to attend this session thanks to Be:Fit London and the #HHHChallenge. I can’t thank them enough for this opportunity or for The Mindfulness Project for teaching me that it is possible for me to meditate.