Tag Archives: MBCT

Getting Started: Wisdom for New Mindfulness Practitioners

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Recently, we started new drop-in mindfulness sessions at le Centre de santé that are open to anyone wishing to come by and practice with a group. It has been very exciting since we have a number of participants who are new to the practice and have bravely decided to see what mindfulness is all about.

I really enjoy having the opportunity and privilege to hear the observations and experiences of those brand new to practice. The comments they offer about their foray into formal practice ranges widely to reveal boredom, discomfort, relaxation, sleepiness, questioning, judging, frustration, ease, struggle, and so on. I remember my first time practicing, as part of a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) group, and sneaking furtive glances at my watch as the minutes seemed to endlessly stretch on. And I still have days when practice goes like that!

Today’s group got me thinking: if asked, what would I say is one of the most transformative aspects of mindfulness practice for me? What could I share from my own practice that could speak to how I experience mindfulness? What tidbit of my own experience could potentially help a newbie to persist through those moments in practice that are often filled with frustration (“My mind is wandering SO much”), confusion (“Am I even doing this right?”), and underwhelm (“is this IT?”)?

And this is what I came up with (although I am sure it is not an original thought): Mindfulness is not about staying but about coming back, again and again. 

There is much more I could share about what practice is like for me but I am curious to hear what you would say. If a stranger approached you on the street and asked what mindfulness is like for you, what would you say?

Mindful Weekend: Pleasant Experiences

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This weekend, practice catching pleasant events in action

Your weekly mindful weekend challenge is as follows:

Try to catch a pleasant experience as it is happening. Focus your attention on the details of the experience by answering the following questions (maybe write them down as you go to maximize the impact of this exercise):

What is the experience?

How does your body feel, in detail, during this experience?

What moods and feelings accompany this event?

What thoughts are going through your mind?

The rationale for engaging your awareness in this manner is to help you to be better able to simply experience and appreciate the pleasant moment as it is, without adding additional thinking to the mix.  Good luck!

This exercise is adapted with permission from Williams, Teasdale, Segal, and Kabat-Zinn (2007).