Tag Archives: technique

Visualisation: Use What You Love

Standard

 

This week I thought I would talk about dealing with blocks when it comes to trying to do  a visualisation technique as this is something I have really struggled with in the past. The first time I was introduced to the idea of visualisation I felt a huge amount of resistance to it. I’m not really sure why I felt like this, maybe it was because it didn’t feel like visualisation was a hugely relevant object of focus for meditation, or maybe it was because the idea made me feel a bit stupid. If am honest I think it might have been a combination of both those factors.

Whatever the reason was, it knocked my first attempt at regular meditation practice completely off course to the point where I gave up for a while. Having had this experience I knew that when I came back the technique of visualisation I would have to find a way to get past that resistance that I had been feeling if I wanted to carry on with my practice.

When doing the visualisation technique I was being instructed to imagine a bright light either spreading from the centre of my body or gradually spreading upwards from my toes. In order to make this more accessible than it had been in the past, I turned to one of my favourite points of reference: Doctor Who. In particular, the regeneration scene because the regeneration energy is shown as a light spreading through the Doctor’s body as he changes. I may not be looking for the explosive effects shown in this clip but it has helped me get over the difficulties that I was having with visualisation.

I fully understand that Doctor Who might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the idea is simple if you are having difficulty with something, try and find something that you love to relate to and this  should make it a lot easier for you to persevere with it.

Mindfulness and Mobile Games

Standard

First of all, apologies if you thought this post was going to be about Pokemon Go, it’s not. It’s actually going to be about my first attempt to come up with my own mindfulness technique.

It’s based around the idea that an important part of mindfulness is about loosening our grip on things and trying not to take life quite so seriously.

I realised when I was playing a mobile game that I am quite addicted to that I was getting really frustrated for no reason, I was gripping my phone really strongly (I often put too much pressure in my grip anyway because of my CP) and there was lots of tension building up in my arms.  When I noticed this I decided to try and use it as my newest way of  bringing mindfulness into my every day life, in the hope that if I practice not getting too drawn in or frustrated by a game hopefully I will be able to apply it to other situations too.

So the next time you are playing your favourite mobile game, see if you can notice when you are getting too involved..

Notice the sensations that are there. Are you gripping tightly? Are there areas of your body that are full of tension? Notice whatever is there for you

Take a breath and bring yourself into wider awareness for a few moments.

If you want to you can spend a few moments focusing on relaxing the areas where you noticed tension or exploring any other sensations that you became aware of.

Repeat this technique  whenever you notice you are getting too involved or frustrated

Let me know what you think of this idea in the comments, did you find the technique helpful?

RAIN Technique for Stress or Anxiety

Standard

temporaryCartoon drawing of a little Buddha in orange robes. He stands on a grassy hill, the whole sky behind him is full of dark black and grey rain clouds. Rain falls on him and he wraps his arms around himself. The caption reads ‘Temporary’  Picture by Molly Hahn at Buddha Doodles

It has been another week in my life when things have happened in the outside world that have made me quite anxious and I have found that meditation has seriously helped me stay a lot calmer than I would have been a few months ago.  Political happenings this week mean that there is a lot of uncertainty ahead and it’s likely that will cause a lot of anxiety for people, especially people who might feel more vulnerable.

I thought I would share with you one of my favourite techniques that I go to whenever I am feeling stressed. Again this is something I learnt initially from the buddhify app. I am a lot calmer when I have done this meditation, so I hope that other people will find it helps them to feel better too.

This meditation  takes about 10 minutes and there are four short stages. Ensure you are sitting comfortably in your usual meditation position.

The first stage is recognise, recognise what is going on for you at the moment. Is it anxiety, sadness or anger? Whatever it  is recognise it.

The second stage is allowing, whatever you’re feeling try and allow it,  try not to resist it and add another layer of story to it. If it’s really difficult to allow it then move on. Don’t be upset if this happens, just acknowledge it.

The third stage is investigate, are there any sensations in your body related to how you are feeling at the moment tension, churning in your stomach anything like that, investigate and acknowledge it, but again try not to get caught up in attaching stories to those sensations.

The final stage is non-identifying or not me. In this stage take a moment to remember that your thoughts are not a tangible part of who you are. Moods pass through your mind and change like the weather does throughout the days, weeks and seasons.

To go over the stages one more time they are:

Recognise

Allow

Investigate

Non-Identify or Not Me

RAIN.

A version of this technique also appears in This is Happening by Rohan Gunatillake which I am hoping to post a review of soon.

Thanks for reading, have a good week

 

Be Kind

Standard

That is all I really wanted to say today, there is so much negative and horrific stuff happening in the world at the moment that I find it easy to sometimes be overwhelmed by it all. Mindfulness has helped me recognise when I’m feeling like this and try to do something about it. One of the ways I use  to try and turn my mood around is to do  something that doesn’t focus on me. Whether that is volunteering, donating something to a good cause or simply finding something positive to post online.

If you are feeling upset it is important to take the time to be kind to yourself. Take a nice bath, go for a walk, or call a friend.

I also find it useful to do a loving kindness meditation. Take about 15 -20 minutes (you can change the amount of time depending on how you are feeling)

Begin by focusing on yourself. If some resistant feelings come up acknowledge them and then move on. Just try and focus on yourself without judgement, then repeat the phrases: May I be well, may I be happy. (you can do this out loud or silently whatever you feel most comfortable with.) Don’t worry if this feels really odd at first, it did for me.

Next focus on a good friend and again allow any emotions that come up to pass, focus on your friend without judgement.   Then again repeat the phrases: may you be well, may you be happy.

(If you want you can end  the meditation here or you can continue and complete two more stages. Also, if you find it easier you can switch these two around so you focus on the friend or loved one first.)

Now focus on someone you don’t know very well, maybe someone who works somewhere you visit but that you don’t actually speak to much.  Picture them and then repeat the phrases may you be well may you be happy.

Finally, think about someone who you may be having a little bit of difficulty with. Here it might be helpful to think about what other factors might be causing the difficulty  but be careful not to get dragged into a whirlpool of thinking.

I was initially introduced to this meditation by the Buddhify app, there are many different ways of doing this meditation, as you can choose different focuses for your kindness. Here is an example of choosing a wider focus from youtube, so if you want you can explore different meditations and see what works for you.

Thanks for reading Take care of yourselves.