Thursday, 16 March 2017

Presence vs. Mindfulness

Years back now I completed an eight week mindfulness based stress reduction course.  I was doing a bit of work related research the other day and  found that a chap called Dave Potter was offering a free eight week course that is much the same as the one I did.  That's got to be useful for someone out there.

A mindful perspective has changed my life. It's got me through some of the difficult times.  Like the twenty four hours of uncertainty when doctors couldn't tell me if I was going to live or die and the three long nights that I spent with my sister at the hospice when she was wakeful and distressed.  It's powerful stuff.

But until I read  The Power of Now I didn't actually appreciate that I could do a lot more work on stilling my kooky little brain.  Eckhart Tolle prefers to use the word 'presence' rather than mindfulness as he thinks that the latter suggests a mind that is full.  In my old meditative moments I used to be quite accepting of losing focus and following a train of random thought for minutes at a time.  Now I'm far more aware of doing that and seem to be able to get back to focusing on 'The Now' a lot more quickly.  That's not just when I'm 'adopting the position' and formally meditate. It's rubbed off into the real world as well.

The effect this is having is quite astounding.  I'm busier than I ever have been at work and busy-ness used to equate to a frenzy of fretting.     Eckhart Tolle says that we have three choices in a situation.  We can walk away, accept or suffer.  I need to work to pay the bills and support the kid.  Peaceful acceptance seems a no brainer for the time-being.

 As I am a tightwad I park my car in a road a few minutes from the office rather than the adjacent car park.  It occurred to me yesterday that worrying about the day ahead had been a feature of this walk into town.  I'd go over the things  that I hadn't done and needed to do until I was in a right old state.  I barely noticed my surroundings as I walked.

This week has been different. The route takes me on a path by the banks of the River Erme.  Until this week I'd never been mesmerised before by the light bouncing off the water. But I've stopped with a sense of wonder for the last two days. Wow!  Yes, there's definitely been a change.

7 comments:

  1. I bookmarked the course. I read the intro and nodded when he said finding 30 minutes to practice might be the most difficult part. I can relate to your post for so many reasons.

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    1. Yes finding the time is difficult. In my course it was about 1 hour a day. But it was worth it. xx

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  2. Sitting reading your post while listening to calmative meditative soundtrack from https://insighttimer.com, an online 'community' that helps with mindfulness, wellbeing, spirituality. I have only just been given the link but do think I will benefit from it. I hear what you are saying in your post and will go and check out the link - thank you.

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    1. Thanks for thoughtful comment. Will check out the link you've shared too. xx

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  3. I could probably do with this, having just brought on a bout of stress related IBS worrying about a Govt form I have to complete but have NO IDEA what it all means. I hope to have help sorting it out tomorrow.

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    1. I used to have IBS myself. Horrid! Thankfully it plagues me no more. Maybe I am doing something right! xx

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  4. I shall try it, thank you for the link and I shall let you know if I stay awake for it...

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