For research purposes I recorded a session at the buddhist centre. Once I had recorded the session, I had the laborious task of writing down all the things that were said during the session, which you can read in the section below;
Few of us can claim that our emotions are in a continuous state of harmony, or that we understand why we feel as we do. The key is in our everyday mind. Our everyday mind is the survival mechanism we develop through the ups and downs of daily life. It is built up of behaviour, habits and strategies we have learnt over the years in response to people, events and situations.
It is clever, informed cunning, but the everyday mind knows very little about our self. It’s not bad, but ignorant. Although it has enabled us to survive, it does not always work in our best interests. Behind the everyday mind lies our inner wisdom. This is the foundation of all living creatures. It is pure consciousness. Is the lynch pin of health.
Mindfulness in its totality has to do with the quality of awareness that a person brings to everyday living. Learning to control your mind, rather than letting it control you. Mindfulness as a practice directs your attention to only one thing, and that thing is the moment you are living in. When you recognise this moment, what it looks like, taste like, feels like sounds like, you are being mindful.
Further mindfulness is the process of observing, describing and participating in the reality in a non judgemental manor, in the moment and effectiveness. At the same time, mindfulness is the window to acceptance, freedom and wisdom.
A GUIDE FOR MEDITATION PRACTICE
Buddhist or not, the principals are the same…
Buddha recommended that the seven point posture as the best way to physically prepare the body for meditation.
Sit with a straight spine – stay relaxed. It is often said that the spine is as straight as an arrow. Or sit like a mountain, completely natural and at ease with oneself – legs crossed.
The spine has a natural curve, which should be relaxed, but upright. Usually a cushion is used directly under the spine. To enable this to happen, there is a slight tilt forward until a comfortable position is reached.
Shoulders open like wings – this enables the arms to be slightly away from the body and allows the breath to flow easier.
The chin is drawn in slightly. The head remains inline with the straight spine and balanced comfortably on the neck.
Hands in the mudra resting - The right hand is placed over the left, palms facing upwards thumbs touching and feeling no tension with the lower arms relaxed.
Eyes slightly open gazing downward along the tip of the nose to the floor. If you are disturbed by outside noise or anything when you begin to practice, it may be helpful to close your eyes for a while. Once you feel established in calm, gradually open your eyes and focus gazing down into space.
When assuming the seven point posture, you are imitating a Buddha. So begin to respect yourself as a potential Buddha. Feel the self esteem and aligning your own Buddha nature.
Be at ease; be as natural and spacious as possible. Think of your emotional thought ridden self as a block of ice melting in the sunlight of your meditation.
Begin from counting down from ten, one total breath being an inhalation and an exhalation keeping the breath as natural as possible. As you relax more, the exhalation may become longer. Each time when breathing out, let go relaxing and resting in the natural gap before inhaling again. No attempt should be made to control the breath.
When you are ready, stop counting and focus on the breath floating - entering and leaving the nostrils. When you are ready, turn your focus deeper inwards, and watch any thoughts that may arise. But not becoming involved in mental commentary, analysis or internal gossip. Let the thoughts come and go like waves on a calm ocean.
And with practise they will slow down.