An Introduction to Mindfulness & Meditation
The March topic for Carizon’s #WellnessWednesday series is Mindfulness and Meditation.
Mindfulness as a concept seems to be everywhere lately; the term is used in connection to lowering stress, anxiety, and finding a sense of calm in our increasingly hectic lives.
While it can seem strange or difficult, mindfulness at its core is just the practice of being in the present moment. And it is something that anyone can learn!
So often, our minds function on autopilot, guiding us through our days without actually experiencing the world around us. Instead of being in the present moment, our minds all too easily drift towards worries about long to-do lists, anxieties about life stresses, or repeating regrets from the past.
Mindfulness is a Buddhist method of teaching our minds to be open to what is happening around us without judgment. This lets our mind stop and rest, and hopefully, learn to release these worries and fears.
A simple way to try mindfulness is through taking 2-3 minutes to try a Listening Meditation. Try it as an experiment — what happens when we stop, be present to the moment, and just experience the sounds around us for a moment?
- Prepare yourself by finding a comfortable place to sit, stand, or lie down. Having good posture (but not too stiff!) is often helpful. Close your eyes or relax your gaze to spot in front of you.
- Take a moment to quiet your mind. Slowly take a deep breath in and out.
- Listen to the sounds you hear around you — maybe it is the sound of traffic, or a pet, or the regular noises of a home or office. Try not to focus on any one sound; just notice what is happening around you.
- See if there are any new sounds you may have missed before — the sound of your breath, the wind, the hum of lights. Again, try not to focus on any of these sounds, but rather just welcome these new sounds.
- If you notice that you have become distracted by your thoughts, gently return your focus to the sounds around you.
- After 2-3 minutes of listening, take a moment to reflect on your experience. What did you notice? What surprised you? Were you able to be present to the symphony of the moment?
- Take another deep, slow breath and thank yourself for taking a moment to be mindful.
Listening Meditation adapted from Sitting Together by Pollack, Pedulla, and Seigal (2014) https://sittingtogether.com/meditations.php
A FREE two-hour workshop called, Mindfulness and Meditation, will be available free of charge from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm on March 25th, at Carizon (400 Queen St S.). Please call 519-743-6333 to sign up!