What mindfulness meditation isn’t

Things that mindfulness and mindfulness meditation aren’t

  • Mindfulness isn’t religious
  • You won’t have to sit in any special way – we like to sit in comfort
  • We are not hippies though if you are, feel free to come along
  • We don’t try to levitate
  • You don’t need to learn to believe anything or not believe anything
  • It is not an intellectual learning experience, you can take what you want from the classes
  • We aren’t trying to contact our inner child
  • There is no chanting
  • There is no dancing
  • We don’t summon up invisible energies
  • Mindfulness meditation isn’t a trance-like state
  • Mindfulness takes time and patience though there are universal benefits for everyone
  • Mindfulness and meditation is not avoiding reality – we all go to work in the morning
  • There is no hypnosis or anything else scary or weird

If you would like to find out more about mindfulness pop along to one of our meetings.

About mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness is a state of mind that cannot really be explained. It has to be experienced. Fortunately, the technique used for learning mindfulness, called mindfulness meditation, is simple and accessible to anyone with patience and an open mind.
There are many, often unhelpful, definitions of mindfulness that can lead students to mistake a stage in their development for the achievement of a mindful state of mind. This happened to me on numerous occasions, so I am wary of trying to define mindfulness but I think that I have a responsibility for explaining it as well as I can so here goes. Remember that the words are not the thing itself. They are pointers to it like a finger pointing at the moon is not the moon.

Mindfulness
For me, the experiences that I had in the past that were closest to the state of mindfulness that I currently experience were what have been described by psychologists as ‘peak experiences‘.
Peak experiences are those rare moments where a combination of extraordinary peace of mind, calmness, a sense of connection and purpose transcend daily life to a level that is quite remarkable.
Whenever I experienced this, everything seemed  just right. Time slowed, colours appeared richer and more vibrant, momentarily, life seemed to be enhanced. These moments soon passed, leaving only a memory as I returned to my relatively mundane life.

Mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness meditation is a collection of simple practices that, over time, can lead to mindfulness as an accessible state of mind in our daily lives. This leads to an otherwise elusive calmness and peace of mind.
The basic practice consists of focusing attention on the breath and repeatedly returning that focus to the breath when the mind inevitably wanders. There are a number of other meditations that support this basic practice.

What Mindfulness meditation isn’t

 

  • Mindfulness meditation isn’t a trance-like state.
  • Mindfulness meditation isn’t religious, though everyone is welcome.
  • It is not difficult or uncomfortable.
  • You don’t have to learn the half lotus position.
  • It isn’t a way to levitate!
  • You don’t need to learn to believe anything.
  • You don’t need to chant or do strange breathing exercises.
  • We don’t need to summon up invisible energies.
  • Meditation doesn’t need to be done on the top of a mountain or in a cave.
  • It is not a quick fix though most people benefit in a few weeks.
  • It is not running away from reality – we all have to go to work in the morning.
  • It is not self-hypnosis or anything else scary and weird.

If you are curious about the benefits that mindfulness meditation can bring, come along to one of our sessions and you can see for yourself.

What is Mindfulness Meditation?

Mindfulness meditation is a 2,400 year old practice that has been adopted by healthcare services, individuals and businesses because of the positive effects it can bring.

Mindfulness itself is a state of mind that significantly enhances our lives whether we’re in the state of stress or in state of happiness.

The techniques we learn while meditating allow us to refocus our attention on the present moment. Our worries, problems and fears are seldom about what is happening now but what we think may happen in the future.

When we are happy and enjoying life, mindfulness enhances the quality of our experience. This is not an altered state but an enhanced quality to our present moment experience free of distracting thoughts, judgments and emotions.

Mindfulness meditation and the associated practices that we teach enable us to bring mindfulness into our daily lives.

Many scientific papers have been written over the last few years which outline the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. These benefits are so overwhelming that mindfulness has been adopted by the National Health Service as a major therapeutic practice for people with recurrent depression or suffering from significant stress.

Mindfulness is also one of the key ‘five ways to wellbeing’ that constitute the evidence based process to improve wellbeing. This report was commissioned by the UK Government from the New Economics foundation, it has been adopted by the NHS and is championed by Mind, the mental health charity.

Bromley Mindfulness has taught at a number of frontline organisations and forward thinking businesses since 2013 when we were founded.