This week the group will be introduced to a 20-minute Sound Meditation. It also introduces them to the Mindfulness Association way of doing a 20-minute Mindfulness Meditation. The Meditation is broken down into
- Settling the Mind (from Week 1)
- Grounding ( similar to Body Scan in Week 2)
- Resting the Mind
- Introducing a Mindfulness Support – this week Sound
When we come to the stage of our Resting our Minds, we realise that very quickly our untrained minds wander off. It might wander off into fretting about an event happening later that day, daydreaming or analysing. This is why we introduce a Mindfulness support either sound or breath. It is an anchor to come back to when we notice that our minds have drifted away from the present moment.
In Week 3, we start with Sound as our Mindfulness support and in Week 4 we introduce Breath as our support.
Why Sound as a Mindfulness Support?
- We can’t control sound – we do not know the next sound arising (similar pattern to our thoughts)
- We are normally surrounded by sound
- We assume we have to meditate in a quiet space
Feedback from a group participant. 20-Minute Sound Meditation:
Geraldine introduced Sound Meditation and the use of everyday noise as a focal point to use for Mindfulness Meditations. Being aware of sounds around me and allowing them to be part of my meditation session is a good way to let sounds that can be disturbing become less frustrating. It was very enlightening to hear Geraldine tell us that meditations do not always require a quiet space. The noises around me can actually be a good thing. Sound can help keep bringing me back to the present moment when my mind would wander off.
3-minute Breathing Space
The 3-minute Breathing Space was developed by Mark Williams, Zindel Segal and John Teasdale on their MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) program at Oxford University. https://mbctapp.oxfordmindfulness.org/.
A 3-minute Breathing Space can be carried out throughout the day especially at work when you are beginning to feel anxious or overwhelmed. It is allowing us to pause for 3 minutes, to check in on how we are feeling and then bringing our attention to our breath.
Feedback from a group participant. 3-minute Breathing Space:
Geraldine’s 3-minute breathing space Meditation is absolutely fantastic. It is a functional and very practical exercise to do when I am feeling overwhelmed by my ‘to -do list’. I find it ideal to fit into my day when I do not have the luxury of being able to do a full de-stress meditation. Having those few minutes where I can slow down and focus on my breathing really does help me when I am feeling anxious and stressed. It allows me space where I can focus on my breathing and enjoy a few minutes of brief relaxation. This is especially helpful in my workplace when I need a few minutes to pause in the midst of a frantic day.
Seated Body Scan – 15 minutes
Feedback from previous participants in the group enjoyed the benefits of the Body Scan. They asked if I could create a shorter, seated version that they could do during their lunch break. You can also use sound around you at work to bring your attention back to a task. This is especially helpful if you keep getting distracted. The 3-minute Breathing Space is also beneficial throughout the working day.
Feedback from a group participant. 15minute Seated Body Scan
After learning about the seated Body Scan, I found it much more manageable to keep up with on a regular basis. Practising the Body Scan in this way allowed me to experience all the benefits of the Body Scan. Allowing myself to sit down for 15 minutes and put my focus on my body allowed me to move my attention away from my busy mind at work. By paying attention to the physical sensations in my body is a great way to bring myself into my body. It takes me ‘out of my head’ and away from getting caught up in my worries of the working day.