One Day Forgiveness and Compassion Retreat May 2018

Letting Go and Moving on

A one day Retreat at The Mansion in Beckenham

_Robert_meditation-retreat_3_680x423

The Day Retreat

The day is an opportunity for healing and growth

Robert will guide and support you on a day of self-enquiry where you will learn to gently and cautiously discover, identify and question the beliefs, thoughts and fears that are the root cause of all of our suffering. It’s a way to understand what’s hurting you, to explore the cause and source of your suffering with clarity and focus.

Each topic will be supported with appropriate meditations that will enable you to strengthen your practices and assist you in your inner journey.

The process consists of acknowledging, accepting, releasing and moving on to a place of inner peace and happiness.

The day retreat at the beginning of August was wonderfully uplifting and my mind was almost still for 3 days after!
(The inner chatter of my mind subsided markably)”

Click here to book  
Robert
Robert set up Bromley Mindfulness in 2013. Since then he has developed the intensive Mindfulness-based Resilience course from which over three hundred students of mindfulness have graduated. Each week Robert teaches numerous students at a number of venues in Bromley and at a variety of organisations from local charities to global household names.

Mindfulness-Based Resilience offers a different way of being, a way of experiencing life from the perspective of the present moment rather than from the past, the future or an oppressive life-situation. Using the tools of Mindfulness-Based Resilience, we can learn to leave our pain out of our present moment and find the new perspective that really does lead to happiness.

Activities
The day will be a combination of activities and meditations designed to help retreatants to release the burden of memories and fears and doubts that we all carry courtesy of our complex artificial and unnatural lives.

The Venue

You can step out of your daily grind and into our beautiful training space to experience a serene and inspiring escape from your busy life.

The day-retreat will be run in the sedate 18th century Georgian Drawing Room of the Grade II listed Beckenham Place Mansion which has a panoramic view of 237 acres of carefully tended gardens, lawns and flowers and woodland.The Mansion is a decorate and graceful space that sits in natural stillness, offering an inspiring and ideal place to practice mindfulness and meditation without distraction. You will feel better, happier and more relaxed from visiting our pleasant retreat designed to bring calm, comfort and quiet.

Beckenham Place Park is being recovered for the wider community with £4.9M of Lottery funding. We are fortunate to have access to such a perfect location which enables a connection to the stillness and serenity of nature into our meditation experience in such a graceful way.We are surrounded by transport links with four stations less than twenty minutes walk away, many buses and free parking directly outside the building. See below for details.A light lunch is included. The Mansion also has a cafe which is the social centre of our community.

Click here to book

Agenda

Morning

Start at 11am
Compassion How can we practice it?
Self-Compassion Selfless Selfishness
Acceptance Can we really accept difficulties
Love How to love without being hurt
Lunch About 1 pm
Mindfulness The Foundation of Recovery

Afternoon

Gratitude How our modern perspective fails us
Inner Peace What is it and how do we find it?
Afternoon Tea
Forgiveness How we can release our baggage
The Truth How to discover our own personal truth
 Finish  16:30 pm


Day Retreat – Pricing and Payment

Cost for the Day
Day session including a light lunch and refreshments – £75


Day Retreat – Date and Times

Date and Times
Date: Sunday May 13.
Please arrive before 11am.
Lunch: 1 pm
Finish at 4:30 pm

Book your place now to avoid disappointment
Click here to book

One Day Mindfulness and Meditation Retreat Sunday June 24

Learn to meditate or learn to deepen your meditation practice.

By attending our meditation retreat, you will learn the skills that will help you to build a sustainable and helpful meditation practice. Our meditation training will help you to build your repertoire of meditations. You will learn how and why they work, which meditations will give you what you need. This will help you to bring mindfulness, calmness, relaxation and peace of mind to your day.

The focus of the retreat is meditation. Robert will take you on a journey from the basic practices of mindfulness meditation, through intermediate techniques that exercise our perception and through to advanced meditation in a variety of styles while also including his personally devised meditations such as The Presence Meditation, The Four Tens Meditation, The De-Stress Meditation and The Candle and the Breath meditation featured by Ruby Wax.

Join us for our first this year’s first One Day Meditation Retreat on Sunday, June 24, 11 am – 4.30 pm at The Mansion at Beckenham Place Park.

This day-long session will see you benefit from feeling more relaxed and less stressed and anxious, happier and empowered. You will also leave with tools and techniques you can practice and benefit from in your own time.

This intensive training session for the mind will leave you feeling refreshed, happier and more balanced.

The day retreat at the beginning of August was wonderfully uplifting and my mind was almost still for 3 days after!
(The inner chatter of my mind subsided markedly)”

What new meditation skills will you leave with?
By attending this meditation retreat, you will benefit from five hours of carefully selected mood-boosting, mindfulness relaxation and gratitude meditations accompanied by practical, expert guidance.

Location
The Meditation Day Retreat will be held at:
The Mansion, Beckenham Place Park, Beckenham BR3 1SY


Mindfulness Day Retreat – Pricing and Payment

Cost for the Day
Day session including a light lunch and refreshments – £85


Mindfulness Day Retreat – Date and Times

Date and Times
Date: Sunday June 24.
Please arrive before 11 am.
Lunch: 1pm
Finish at 4:30pm

Book your place now to avoid disappointment
Click here to book

One Day Meditation Retreat Sunday March 4 2018

Meditation session at the Connection Retreat in March 2018

 

Click here to book

 

Learn to meditate or learn to deepen your meditation practice.

By attending our meditation retreat, you will learn the skills that will help you to build a sustainable and helpful meditation practice. Our meditation training will help you to build your repertoire of meditations. You will learn how and why they work, which meditations will give you what you need. This will help you to bring mindfulness, calmness, relaxation and peace of mind to your day.

The focus of the retreat is meditation. Robert will take you on a journey from the basic practices of mindfulness meditation, through intermediate techniques that exercise our perception and through to advanced meditation in a variety of styles while also including his personally devised meditations such as The Presence Meditation, The 10×10 Meditation, De-Stress Meditation and The Candle and the Breath meditation featured by Ruby Wax.

Join us for our first this year’s first One Day Meditation Retreat on Sunday 4th March, 11.00am – 4.30pm at The Mansion at Beckenham Place Park

This day long session will see you benefiting from feeling more relaxed and less stressed and anxious, happier and empowered. You will also leave with tools and techniques you can practice and benefit from in your own time.

This intensive training session for the mind will leave you feeling refreshed, happier and more balanced.

The day retreat at the beginning of August was wonderfully uplifting and my mind was almost still for 3 days after!
(The inner chatter of my mind subsided markably)”

What new meditation skills will you leave with?
By attending this meditation retreat, you will benefit from five hours worth of carefully selected mood boosting, mindfulness relaxation and gratitude meditations with practical guidance.

Location
The Meditation Day Retreat will be held at:
The Mansion, Beckenham Place Park, Beckenham BR3 1SY


Mindfulness Day Retreat – Pricing and Payment

Cost for the Day
Day session including a light lunch and refreshments – £85


Mindfulness Day Retreat – Date and Times

Date and Times
Date: Sunday 4th March.
Please arrive before 11am.
Lunch: 1pm
Finish at 4:30pm

Book your place now to avoid disappointment
Click here to book

Mindfulness Training in January and February 2018

It’s time to rediscover that elusive Peace of Mind

Remember that peaceful sense of calmness where everything just seems right with the world, and nothing needs to be done to change it?

Come to our mindfulness training and reconnect with that feeling.

Mindfulness for Busy People Day Retreat

For some, regularly attending an evening mindfulness course over many weeks can seem like a mountain to climb.
If you are one of those ultra-busy people, we have developed an immersive training session just for you.
On Sunday February 4th we are running a One-Day Mindfulness Training Retreat

Step out of your daily grind and into our beautiful training space to experience a serene and inspiring escape from your busy life. Our day retreat is held in the sedate 18th century rooms of the Grade II listed Beckenham Place Mansion with a panoramic view of 237 acres of carefully tended gardens, lawns and flowers.

The Mansion is a calming and graceful space that sits in natural stillness, offering an inspiring space to learn without distraction. You will feel better, happier and more relaxed from visiting our pleasant retreat designed to bring calm, comfort and quiet.

 

Robert_teaching_in_the_Drawing_Room_1128x386

Find Out More

January 6-week Courses

Join our 6-week mindfulness courses to learn mindfulness in a small group with expert guidance in an ideal training location.
Robert at CMS2_680x510
Learn about our courses

Our gentlest introduction to mindfulness and meditation

Come along to one of our regular mindfulness meditation sessions run in and around Bromley and Beckenham each week.
Beckenham Place Park 1st session_680x510
Learn about our classes

Bromley Mindfulness Community Events and News October and November 2017

As our community grows, so do the news, events and happenings. We will start to send out reasonably regular newsletters with just community news which will be separate from our schedules of training.

November Social on Sunday the 5th of November


There is no meditation class at beckenham place park on Saturday the 4th of November so, on Sunday the 5th of November, we will meet at the cafe at Beckenham Place Park at 9:45 and walk around the park. Beckenham Place Park is 240 acres of forest and fields.
It is like being in the countryside so we intend to make the most of it. We think the trees will still be in late autumn leaf so that will be a real pleasure. We will get back for 11am then there will be meditation in the mansion and then we will walk up to Beckenham to meet for a coffee/tea/drink/chat and social.
Read More  

Bromley Mindfulness on YouTube

I have been using various videos to explain mindfulness, meditation and resilience so we now have a central place for all of these. We will also add videos from time to time with specific information.
Check us out on YouTube

Calling all Wellness Practitioners

Beckenham Place Park 1st session_680x510
On January the 28th, Bromley Mindfulness will be running a Wellness and Mindfulness Day at The Mansion in Beckenham Place Park.
We are looking for practitioners working in wellness, health and wellbeing.
We would like to invite ten wellness practitioners to attend. I will give priority to graduates and regular students.
Click here for a 3D tour of our presentation space  

We want a mix of practitioner skills so do drop us a line.
Find out More

Want to learn to teach mindfulness?

robert_at_the_meditation_retreat_1440x960
Are you a Bromley Mindfulness course graduate and want to learn how to teach mindfulness meditation?
We are just about to start (once we have enough enrolled applicants) a course to train meditation teachers. We will run training sessions on Monday or Thursday evenings once or twice per month.
Click below to contact us.
Contact Us

Helping out at Romney House

kitten_680x780
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could borrow a cat or a kitten to spend some quiet time with?

Well now you can if you are happy to volunteer to help Silvana and Sharon…
Sharon and Silvana work at Romney House Cat Rescue. SIlvana runs it and Sharon is a key staff member.
One of the many tasks they need done to assist at the cat rescue centre in Downe is called cat socialization. The cats and kittens are often found in a difficult way in the wild, or having experienced trauma.
They need human company for a while so that they become calm and happy enough around humans to be adopted.
To do this, you will need to dedicate some time to spend with the cats and/or kittens. At first they just need to get to know that humans mean them no harm then over time they will accept contact and eventually become integrated into our mutually beneficial human/cat world.

If you are interested in helping, with cat and kitten socialization or any other work around the rescue centre or at the shop in Petts Wood, please click the button below.
I want to help the kitties!

Mike’s walk to visit his father

Mike in the Pyrenees_680x510
Some of you know Mike Matania who is my Co-Founder at the Present Moment Project. Mike has been working hard setting up mindfulness for young people throughout the country with Mind the mental health charity and is currently walking from Charlton to Malaga in Southern Spain via Santiago de Compostela on a personal non-religious journey to meet his father.
His GoFundMe page has information on the what and why of his journey and he has also started a blog.
Over the last couple few days, Mike has descended from the foothills of the Pyrenees where the above photo was taken and is currently in the Pamplona area.
If you would like to learn more about Mike’s journey, click on the button below.
Mike’s GoFundMe Page

Midweek day retreat?

I have had a few requests for a midweek day retreat. It will probably be on a Monday or a Thursday. Please reply with an email and I shall add you to a list and run one once we have enough interest.
Midweek Day Retreat

Bromley Mindfulness Autumn Social in Beckenham on Sunday November 5th 2017

For our next social we will make it close to home by incorporating a ‘country walk’ and a mindful walk at Beckenham Place Park before our regular meditation session then we will walk up to Beckenham for lunch/coffee/drinks at one of the numerous hostelries there.

We plan to meet at the cafe at the mansion in Beckenham Place Park by 9:45. We will leave from there and walk around the park which takes about an hour. The plan is to do the final part of the walk as a mindful walk which is a great form or mediation.

We will meditate as usual from 11am to 12am then walk up to Beckenham.

If you would like to, you can check out our facebook event here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/137729443632203/

Please click the button below and drop us a line if you want to know more.

Contact Us

How to press the pause button and calm your mind in 90 seconds

How to calm your busy mind in 90 seconds – works for 80 percent of people

Have you ever tried to meditate and found that your mind is so busy that it is an exercise in frustration?

On those rare occasions when life isn’t quite so hectic and we get the chance to stop the hectic carousel of our lives we can sit down for a moment to notice the workings of our minds. When we do that, we discover that there is an awful lot going on.

For many people there is a constant inner dialogue. The inner dialogue is that voice in our heads that labels, criticises, compares and comments. For many, this can be a continuous process. Our become permanently occupied by going over our infinite lists of infinite tasks as they infinitely overflow. Or we can spend days, months or ever years, dredging up events from the past and replaying them or constructing future outcomes and repeatedly rehearsing for them.

Left to it’s own devices, the modern mind is constantly busy. Silent, still calmness seems as remote as anything could possibly be and our society craves for those calm wooded mountain streams or the rhythm of waves on a sea shore that seem to be the only times when we can find this deep well of calmness that we all know, intuitively, can be found within us.

The busy, working day can become a blur of activities, internal and external.

How do we switch it off?

Everyone is different but there are some techniques that work for more, or less people. The technique that I am describing in this article helps, in 90 seconds, to calm the minds of about 80 or 90 percent of the people I teach it to. It is a combination of other techniques that I have learned from various sources and it is very effective in bringing calm to an overactive mind. I call it character counting.

Character Counting

Character Counting

Character Counting

Close your eyes and count random numbers between 1 and 10 in your mind, using your inner voice.
Each time you count a number, imagine you are writing the number in the air on a dark night with a sparkler. You need to notice how it would feel to move your hand and also, if you are a visual person, imagine how the number is displayed in the air.

Do this exercise for at least 90 seconds.

The majority of people notice that their mind becomes calm and still. The inner voice is often silent.
This is the most effective way to calm a busy mind in a short period of time.

If this doesn’t work for you, don’t despair, check out some of our other training on this site or come along to one of our events where you can learn something that works for you.

Mindfulness Training in Autumn and Winter 2017

It’s time to rediscover that elusive Peace of Mind

Remember that peaceful sense of calmness where everything just seems right with the world, and nothing needs to be done to change it?

Come to our mindfulness training and reconnect with that feeling.

The Truth About You Day Retreat

For some, regularly attending an evening mindfulness course over many weeks can seem like a mountain to climb.
If you are one of those ultra-busy people, we have developed an immersive training session just for you.
On Sunday October 8th we are running a One-Day Training Retreat

Step out of your daily grind and into our beautiful training space to experience a serene and inspiring escape from your busy life. Our day retreat is held in the sedate 18th century rooms of the Grade II listed Beckenham Place Mansion with a panoramic view of 237 acres of carefully tended gardens, lawns and flowers.

The Mansion is a calming and graceful space that sits in natural stillness, offering an inspiring space to learn without distraction. You will feel better, happier and more relaxed from visiting our pleasant retreat designed to bring calm, comfort and quiet.

 

Robert_teaching_in_the_Drawing_Room_1128x386

Find Out More

November 6-week Courses

Join our 6-week mindfulness courses to learn mindfulness in a small group with expert guidance in an ideal training location.
Robert at CMS2_680x510
Learn about our courses

Our gentlest introduction to mindfulness and meditation

Come along to one of our regular mindfulness meditation sessions run in and around Bromley and Beckenham each week.
Beckenham Place Park 1st session_680x510
Learn about our classes

Mindfulness Training in August and September 2017

It’s time to rediscover that elusive Peace of Mind

Remember that peaceful sense of calmness where everything just seems right with the world, and nothing needs to be done to change it?

Come to our mindfulness training and reconnect with that feeling.

Mindfulness for Busy People Day Retreat

For some, regularly attending an evening mindfulness course over many weeks can seem like a mountain to climb.
If you are one of those ultra-busy people, we have developed an immersive training session just for you.
On Sunday August 20 we are running a One-Day Mindfulness Training Retreat for busy people
at The Mansion in Beckenham Place Park.

Step out of your daily grind and into our beautiful training space to experience a serene and inspiring escape from your busy life. Our day retreat is held in the sedate 18th century rooms of the Grade II listed Beckenham Place Mansion with a panoramic view of 237 acres of carefully tended gardens, lawns and flowers.

The Mansion is a calming and graceful space that sits in natural stillness, offering an inspiring space to learn without distraction. You will feel better, happier and more relaxed from visiting our pleasant retreat designed to bring calm, comfort and quiet.

Robert_teaching_in_the_Drawing_Room_1128x386

Get Peace of Mind on our day retreat

September 6-week Courses

Join our 6-week mindfulness courses to learn mindfulness in a small group with expert guidance in an ideal training location.
Robert at CMS2_680x510
Learn about our courses

Our gentlest introduction to mindfulness and meditation

Come along to one of our regular mindfulness meditation sessions run in and around Bromley and Beckenham each week.
Meditating in the Park_680x510
Learn about our classes

Mindfulness for Busy People One Day Intensive Workshop – Beckenham August 20th 2017

The focus is on practical experience backed up deeply with the information that gives you the why of mindfulness and not just the what.

The Venue

You can step out of your daily grind and into our beautiful training space to experience a serene and inspiring escape from your busy life.

The workshop will be run in the sedate 18th century Georgian Drawing Room of the Grade II listed Beckenham Place Mansion which has a panoramic view of 237 acres of carefully tended gardens, lawns and flowers and woodland.The Mansion is a decorate and graceful space that sits in natural stillness, offering an inspiring and ideal place to practice mindfulness and meditation without distraction. You will feel better, happier and more relaxed from visiting our pleasant retreat designed to bring calm, comfort and quiet.

Beckenham Place Park is being recovered for the wider community with £4.9M of Lottery funding. We are fortunate to have access to such a perfect location which enables a connection to the stillness and serenity of nature into our meditation experience in such a graceful way.The Mansion is aWe are surrounded by transport links with four stations less than twenty minutes walk away, many buses and free parking directly outside the building. See below for details.A light lunch is included. The Mansion also has a cafe which is the social centre of our community.

Pricing

Fees
£75
Click here to book

Content

The workshop introduces the most effective mindfulness techniques. The workshop is packed with with real life examples. There is personal guidance and support combined with the latest tools and techniques. The workshop will equip you with the tools and techniques you need to learn mindfulness and resilience.

You’ll leave the day with skills to:

  • Reduce negative thoughts and emotions
  • Increase your wellbeing and happiness
  • Reduce the impact of difficult experiences

What you will get from the workshop

  • Intensive in-person multi-channel training
  • Key meditation practices
  • Supporting handouts for the day
  • Online video clips
  • Guided online meditation MP3s
  • Supported homework for a month after the workshop
  • E-book recommendations, scientific papers, news articles, literature and references
  • A springboard for your personal development or further study
  • Membership of the Bromley Mindfulness student community with regular meditation classes, retreats, workshops and social events
  • One month’s telephone, text or email support
Click here to book

Agenda – Sunday 20th August 2017

Arrive at any point before 11 as the cafe is open downstairs. We will be in the Drawing Room from 11am.

Time Activity
11:00 Introduction
11:10 Emotional Intelligence
12:00 Stress, Anxiety and Worry
12:30 Mindfulness
13:00 Lunch – a light lunch with vegetarian options is available
14:00 Peace of Mind and Relaxation
15:15 Tea
15:30 Integrating Mindfulness and Meditation into your busy life
16:30 Finish
Click here to book

About The Workshop

About Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a natural trait. Anyone can learn the state of mind that is mindfulness. You will learn to step into the present moment and get the very best from it. Our mindfulness training helps you to observe your thoughts, feelings and behaviour without being overwhelmed. You can unlearn unhelpful attachment and judgement.

The History of Mindfulness

Mindfulness training is an ancient collection of tools and techniques taught in a modern way. Thousands of scientific studies have produced evidence of reductions in stress and anxiety from meditation and mindfulness.

How Mindfulness is being used

Global organisations use mindfulness to advance themselves. Examples are: the NHS, Google, Intel, Bank of America, as well as sportsmen, athletes, the US military and many others.

What changes with Mindfulness?

We learn to step back from compulsive or repetitive thoughts and feelings. We learn to observe our surroundings with a sense of connection that brings fulfilment. These are simple yet powerful techniques. They can change how we think, feel and act in the face of the challenges of everyday life.

Who can benefit?

Our workshops are not just for stress reduction.
For high-achievers, our tools and techniques can accelerate your personal development. Everyone leaves with new skills and for some, the experience can be transformational.

About Resilence

Resilience is learning to cope with adversity in a way that helps us cope with future adversity. Resilience can be learned and there are a number of techniques that allow us to do so. We focus on these techniques during the workshop.

Dealing with stressful experiences

We teach tried and tested stress management techniques that you can use in the moment when you are expecting or experiencing stress. We teach techniques to deal with the aftermath and also how to return to a happy and balanced state of mind.

Finding calmness in the turmoil

By attending our mindfulness workshop, you will learn how to manage high stress situations. You will learn to recognise and manage the after-effects. You can find that deep well of calm that only seems to be available to a few.

Click here to book

 

Retreats

 

The view from our regular retreat centre at The Mansion in  Beckenham Place Park

Bromley Mindfulness runs regular retreats in and around Bromley, Kent and London. Our retreats are all themed on subjects associated with mindfulness and meditation. Check our retreat schedule by clicking the button below.

Visit our site regularly to discover the latest events or contact me for details or keep up with our events on our facebook events page.

OR
 
Contact us directly by clicking the button below for guidance, information or bookings

Contact Us

Regular Meditation Classes

Regular meditation classes

Step out of your daily grind and into our beautiful meditation space to experience a serene and inspiring escape from your busy life. Find the inner peace that comes from expertly guided group meditations. The meditation classes are held twice each week in the sedate 18th century Georgian Drawing Room of the Grade II listed Beckenham Place Mansion which has a panoramic view of 237 acres of carefully tended gardens, lawns and flowers.

The Mansion is a decorate and graceful space that sits in natural stillness, offering an inspiring and ideal place to practice mindfulness and meditation without distraction. You will feel better, happier and more relaxed from visiting our pleasant retreat designed to bring calm, comfort and quiet.

Click here for a 3D tour of our meditation space

 

Beckenham Place Park is being recovered for the wider community with £4.9M of Lottery funding. We are fortunate to have access to such a perfect location which enables a connection to the stillness and serenity of nature into our meditation experience in such a graceful way.

We are surrounded by transport links with four stations less than twenty minutes walk away, many buses and free parking directly outside the building. See below for details.

The Mansion has a cafe which is the centre of the growing community so we can easily continue our regular social meet ups that are such a key part of the Bromley Mindfulness meditation and mindfulness community.

The sessions are zero-commitment, no need to book, regular classes where you can just turn up as it suits you in what must be one of the best locations possible for a calming and relaxing meditation and mindfulness experience.

Page Sections

Schedule
Getting There
Prices

The Venue

The Mansion, originally the home of the Cator family, was built in 1760 and has been signifcantly remodelled over time. It is a Grade II listed building and is built in the Palladian style.

We are booked generally for the Drawing Room, also known as the East Room though in certain circumstances, we will locate in either the Dining Room or other rooms.

Gallery (swipe or click the arrows to view)

Facilities and Social

The Drawing Room and the Dining Room have disabled access. If you are disabled, please contact us before attending to ensure that we are using one of these rooms as from time to time we may be asked to use other rooms at the venue.
There is free parking just outside the mansion.
There is a cafe at the back of the mansion. It is open from 9am to 3pm weekdays and 9am to 4pm on weekends.

Community

The Mansion is the home of a thriving community of artists, craftsmen, designers and wellbeing practitioners. There is a yoga studio on site with a full programme of activities. See the links below for details.

Location

The Drawing Room in The Mansion,  Beckenham Place Park, off of Beckenham Hill Road, BR3 1SY.


Times and days

Note that sessions at both venues are subject to changes. Please contact us to confirm the days or visit our Facebook Events page. Details below.

Day Time
Saturdays 10am to 11am
Wednesdays 1pm to 2pm
Bromley Mindfulness Facebook Events
Click here to visit our Facebook events page which has details of the next classes.

Prices

Session Fee
Single Session £10
Pass – 4 sessions £34 (£8.50 per session)
Pass – 8 sessions £56 (£7 per session)
Concessions for the unwaged Pay whatever you can afford

Transport

There is free parking directly outside The Mansion.
The Mansion is situated between four stations:

  • Beckenham Hill (ten minute walk)
  • Beckenham Junction (fifteen minute walk)
  • Ravensbourne (twenty minutes walk, almost all of which is through the park)
  • New Beckenham (twenty minutes walk)

The 54 bus passes the Mansion and numerous bus routes pass nearby.
Tramlink trams stop at Beckenham Junction which is a fifteen minute walk.

Transport Links

Times from the origin station to the Mansion.

Location Route Time
Bromley South Beckenham Hill 20 minutes
Orpington Beckenham Junction 30 minutes
Lewisham Station Beckenham Hill Road Stop W 35 minutes
Brixton Beckenham Junction 30 minutes
East Croydon Beckenham Junction 35 minutes
Victoria Beckenham Junction 35 minutes
Blackfriars Beckenham Hill 35 minutes
Hayes New Beckenham 30 minutes
London Bridge Beckenham Junction 50 minutes
Click here for our information form

External Links offering information on Beckenham Place Park

The Mansion (click here)
Friends of Beckenham Place Park (click here)
Lewisham Council’s Masterplan for Beckenham Place Park (click here)

One Day Forgiveness and Compassion Retreat July 2017

Letting Go and Moving on

A one day Retreat at The Seeker’s Trust in Kent

_Robert_meditation-retreat_3_680x423

Click here to book

Agenda

Morning

Start at 11am
Forgiveness
Michelle The Butterfly Effect
Robert The Gaia Process
Lunch About 1pm
Mindful Walk In the Seeker’s Trust Grounds (weather permitting)

Afternoon

Compassion
Michelle The Phoenix Effect
Robert The kevlar vest for the 21st century
Afternoon Tea
Self-Compassion
Robert and Michelle Selfless Selfishness

The Day Retreat

The day is an opportunity for healing and growth

Michelle and Robert will guide and support you on a day of self-enquiry where you will learn to gently and cautiously discover, identify and question the beliefs, thoughts and fears that are the root cause of all of our suffering. It’s a way to understand what’s hurting you, to explore the the cause and source of your suffering with clarity and focus.

The process consists of acknowledging, accepting, releasing and moving on to a place of greater calmness and happiness.

The day retreat at the beginning of August was wonderfully uplifting and my mind was almost still for 3 days after!
(The inner chatter of my mind subsided markably)”

Click here to book

 

Michelle
Michelle has lived in or around London all of her life and knows first hand how stressful it can be. She has had careers in fashion, advertising and the media as well as running a shop, an interiors company and also has two kids – It’s exhausting just thinking about it.Michelle has experience of how our modern day life brings very high expectations, costs, time restraints and stress.

Michelle teaches meditation, relaxation and offers holistic healing to women and families in Hither Green. Her focus is on sharing practices, exercises, ideas and research that can assist YOU in increasing your own ‘zest for life’.

Robert
Robert set up Bromley Mindfulness in 2013. Since then he has developed the intensive Mindfulness-based Resilience course from which nearly three hundred students of mindfulness have graduated since 2014.

Each week Robert teaches numerous students at a number of venues in Bromley and at a variety of organisations from local charities to global household names.

Mindfulness-Based Resilience offers a different way of being, a way of experiencing life from the perspective of the present moment rather than from the past, the future or an oppressive life-situation. Using the tools of Mindfulness-Based Resilience, we can learn to leave our pain out of our present moment and find the new perspective that really does lead to happiness.

Activities
The day will be a combination of activities and meditations designed to help retreatants to release the burden of memories and fears and doubts that we all carry courtesy of our complex artificial and unnatural lives.

Location
The Meditation Day Retreat will be held at The Seekers Trust near West Malling in Kent.

The full address is:
The Conference Centre, The Close, Addington Park, West Malling, Kent, ME19 5BL.


Day Retreat – Pricing and Payment

Cost for the Day
Day session including a light lunch and refreshments – £75


Day Retreat – Date and Times

Date and Times
Date: Sunday the 16th July.
Please arrive before 11am.
Lunch: 1pm
Finish at 4:30pm

Book your place now to avoid disappointment
Click here to book

One Day Meditation Retreat May 2017

Meditation session at the Connection Retreat in March

 

Click here to book

 

Learn to meditate or learn to deepen your meditation practice.

By attending our meditation retreat, you will learn the skills that will help you to build a sustainable and helpful meditation practice. Our meditation training will help you to build your repertoire of meditations. You will learn how and why they work, which meditations will give you what you need. This will help you to bring mindfulness, calmness, relaxation and peace of mind to your day.

The focus of the retreat is meditation. Robert, Mike and Graham will take you on a journey from the basic practices of mindfulness meditation, through intermediate techniques that exercise our perception, activities like mindful walking and Qi and through to advanced meditation in a variety of styles while also including his personally devised meditations such as The Presence Meditation, The Candle and the Breath meditation that was recently featured on Ruby Wax’s site and the De-Stress Meditation.

There will also be an emailed handout of the practices so that you can review what you have learned.

Join us for our first One Day Meditation Retreat on Sunday 21st May, 11.00am – 4.30pm at The Seeker’s Trust, West Malling.

This day long session will see you benefiting from feeling more relaxed and less stressed and anxious, happier and empowered. You will also leave with tools and techniques you can practice and benefit from in your own time.

This intensive training session for the mind will leave you feeling refreshed, happier and more balanced.

The day retreat at the beginning of August was wonderfully uplifting and my mind was almost still for 3 days after!
(The inner chatter of my mind subsided markably)”

What new meditation skills will you leave with?
By attending this meditation retreat, you will benefit from five hours worth of carefully selected mood boosting, mindfulness relaxation and gratitude meditations with practical guidance.

Qigong
Graham Warren is a long-time and regular student at Bromley Mindfulness.
Graham has practiced Qigong for decades and has taught Qigong on a number of retreats run by Bromley Mindfulness which have proved very popular. Graham teaches Qigong in West Wickham every Wednesday at 7:30pm.
The venue is West Wickham New Church Hall, 142 High Street, West Wickham, BR4 0LZ.
There is a car park across the road in a rather hidden slip road by Carpet Right and there are many buses and trains to the area.
You can contact Graham on:
07711 733058
gwarren851@gmail.com

Meditative Walking
The day also incorporates ‘walking as a meditation’ within the The Seeker’s Trust’s  39 acres of grounds and gardens, a light lunch (menu available on request) and a range of non-alcoholic hot and cold drinks throughout the day.

To learn mindfulness in our lives, we need to transfer the experience from our meditation practices to our day-to-day experiences such as eating and walking. Mindful walking is a wonderful introduction to this. We can both do a mindful walk in the grounds and also visit the Seeker’s Trust’s famous healing tree.

Click here to book
 
Location
The Meditation Day Retreat will be held at The Seekers Trust near West Malling in Kent.

The full address is:
The Conference Centre, The Close, Addington Park, West Malling, Kent, ME19 5BL.


Mindfulness Day Retreat – Pricing and Payment

Cost for the Day
Day session including a light lunch and refreshments – £75


Mindfulness Day Retreat – Date and Times

Date and Times
Date: Sunday the 21st May.
Please arrive before 11am.
Lunch: 1pm
Finish at 4:30pm

Book your place now to avoid disappointment
Click here to book

Mindfulness v. Mind Wandering

I recently received an email from a student asking about mind-wandering and mindfulness. He pointed out that he is quite attached to mind wandering and whether mindfulness is better than mind wandering.

“Something that is puzzling me; why do we have a default (“wandering”) mind if that task-positive mind is better and happier to be in? Does it help in some situations, does it encourage imagination, open-mindedness, a wider solution space? I think historically I’ve been quite attached to that default mode, I’m feeling a bit of cognitive dissonance in letting go.”

I can put your mind at rest.

Excellent question. There is no need to let go of mind wandering. It would be impossible to in any case as it is, like task positive mode, an essential activity for the brain. Remember that by fostering mindfulness, we are only ever exercising the ‘choice’ of whether we allow our minds to wander or return our attention to the sensory present moment. We are not, and can not, ever banish mind wandering from our experience entirely. We can also, always choose to let the mind wander if we wish. Mind-wandering is a subset of default mode. Default mode has a purpose. It helps in decision making and in retrieving social information and in a number of other ways. Mind wandering only becomes a problem when it entirely squeezes mindfulness out of our experience or operates compulsively or at inappropriate times (see below).
If I am a judge, mind-wandering is part of my decision making process, I will imagine how I will feel giving various sentences for example: letting the accused off, giving them a light sentence or giving them a heavy sentence. The result is gut feel. It is incredibly useful and can often outperform cognitive assessment. Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink gives us an insight into that process. That useful intuition often arises in mind wandering.

Mind wandering is also a place for creativity and it can be a welcome experience. Positive mind-wandering is as enjoyable as actually doing something according to Gilbert and Killingworth, the Harvard guys who wrote the article ‘A wandering mind is an unhappy mind’ in the journal science after studying mind wandering through an app used by thousands of subjects.

What we are seeking to do with these mental processes is to become comfortable with them, understand them and regulate them for our benefit.
What our artificial lives have done is to overload what would be quiet moments of connection with often compulsive mind wandering and problem solving, when it is more beneficial to have a rest from it.

Examples of when mindfulness trumps default mode:

  • When someone else is speaking.
  • When we are trying to get to sleep and the mind is in overdrive.
  • When we are having a special experience, travelling, spending time with our family etc.
  • When we are eating.
  • When we are landing an airplane or doing our tax return.
  • When we are doing sport or exercising (think of a mind-wandering goalkeeper or the runner that doesn’t notice the rabbit hole).
  • Walking the dog or going for a stroll is most usefully a combination of mindfulness and mind-wandering which is exactly what will happen in any case for most of us.
  • When we are suffering from cognitive overload: Waking up with a head full of lists, suffering from anxiety or worrying about outcomes too much. Mindfulness is a refractory period for the mind.
  • When we are driving or crossing the road.
  • When the needle gets stuck and our thoughts become unhelpful, repetitive or affect our ability to sleep.

Examples of appropriate experiences for mind wandering:

  • Retrieving memories especially, social ones.
  • Social evaluations of the self and others.
  • As ‘part of’ the decision making process. A balanced decision making process consist of: rational choices (task-positive mode). Gut-feel – default mode and task positive mode collaborating. Loosely associated thoughts (creativity) are default mode or mind wandering. From this we are making use of three elements of decision making in a skilled way: How we feel, what our subconscious mind contributes and the outcome of our rational decision making processes.
  • Mind wandering is great when we require creative input. Drifting in and out of sleep (the hypnagogic state) is also immensely beneficial which sometimes results in us waking up with the answer in our heads which happens an awful lot to me now. Check this link out if you are interested in this: http://scienceline.org/2014/06/sleeping-on-and-dreaming-up-a-solution/
  • And most importantly, when we are just chilling and our monkey mind isn’t giving us any trouble.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any questions that arise.

Mindfulness and Intuition

Intuition is something that I often find myself speaking about with students. It is part of our common experience and isn’t confined to realisations that change our lives or provide unexpected insights. Intuition is action without thought, it is how we live most of our lives. Decisions we take when driving are an example. We don’t think aloud in our minds which queue to take or when to brake it just happens.

The Science of Intuition

Intuition has seens some serious research study recently. Most noticeably from Daniel Kahnaman and Amos Tversky who won a Nobel  prize for their work and resulted in a book by Kahneman called ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’. In the book, Kahneman describes how our  brains enable us to get through the day.

There are two quotes from the book worth repeating. The first explains how our brains create a mental model or world view.

“The main function of [your subconscious] is to maintain and update a model of your personal world. [This model is constructed by associations that]  [determines your interpretations of the present as well as your expectations of the future.”

The second excerpt explains how we actually navigate our days.

“Whenever you are conscious, and perhaps even when you are not, your brain is] asking [some key questions:

Is anything new going on?

Is there a threat?

Are things going well?

Should my attention be redirected?”

What he is saying here is that there is a constant feedback loop between our inner experience and our outer experience and it is largely unconscious.

Mindfulness makes this loop conscious.

How Intuition and Mindfulness work together

The way that mindfulness practices work is to continually return us to an awareness of these otherwise unconscious experiences. One of my favourite definitions of mindfulness is “Awareness of unawareness”. This process of bringing previously unconscious experiences into the light of our awareness works at many levels over time as our meditation practice deepens. Mindfulness is a toolkit with one tool. That tool is a magic lens that helps us see through the fog of thoughts and emotions that cloud our experience and that distance us from the richness of our experience in so many ways.

Mindfulness and Mind-wandering

There is much talk about how mindfulness changes the brain but far less about what that change actually is.

Two studies that are worth reading are:

Impact of meditation training on the default mode network during a restful state

  • Taylor et.al 2013

Meditation experience is associated with differences in default mode network activity and connectivity

  • Brewer et.al 2011

These studies show that mindfulness operates on what we call default mode which is the state the brain is in when our minds are wandering.

It seems that connections to and from default mode grow after mindfulness training. This is probably our brains strengthening neural pathways that help to bring us out of the mind-wandering default mode state to full awareness. This has implications for many activities and circumstances but also provides a direct link between the subconscious and our conscious awareness that grows over time with practice. We can then become more aware of our unawareness and step back to witness our minds operating.

The Mind as an Iceberg

A common description of the mind is that it is like an iceberg with only a small part visible and the vast majority of work occurring where it can’t be seen in the subconscious. The work of researchers like Kahneman provide insight into this. He refers to intuition as “Thoughts and preferences that come to mind quickly and without much reflection”. What seems to be happening here is that we are retrieving information that is as it were, hard-coded, into our brains. The contents of our association cortex.

 

We can see by observing this exactly how we have become programmed to think, act and feel.

 

Sometimes of course, this direct connection with our programming can be unhelpful. Most of us have some sort of behaviour that, given the option, we would change so that it aligns more clearly with a behaviour that benefits our self-interest. Mindfulness is not a very useful tool for managing addictions directly, but what it does is to help reduce stress. Reducing stress helps of course so mindfulness is useful as part of an addiction programme. Mindfulness is however, the only tool that I am aware of, for observing our inner processes operating. We become incrementally more aware of self-talk, the operation of the inner critic and our unconscious responses and actions. This is one place where intuition and mindfulness come into contact. We become more aware of our intuitive responses.

 

Intuitive Realisation

The other way that mindfulness and intuition operate is that during meditation or periods of mindfulness, what I call intuitive realisations arise. We learn about ourselves and the causal links between experiences, thoughts and behaviours. I always keep a notebook by me when I meditate so that I can capture these insights. Most of what I have learned about myself, I have learned this way.

 

 

 

Bromley Mindfulness Summer Walk 10 July at 11am

Bromley Mindfulness Summer Walk

Everyone is welcome to join us (members/non-members) our mindfulness walk at High Elms Country Park, Shire Lane, Farnborough, BR6 7JH on Sunday 10 July at 11am. We will be meeting at Green Roof Café near the main car park.

This is a relaxed, easy walk which will take approximately an hour, including mindfulness meditation There will be an opportunity to socialise afterwards over cuppa and a slice cake in the Green Cafe.

High Elms Country Park offers 250 acres of countryside to explore combined with a 150-acre golf course, which together form the High Elms Estate, originally the country home of the Lubbock family.
The estate is 15 miles from central London, located on the ridge of the North Downs on the rim of the Thames basin. Visitors to the estate can enjoy the woodlands, nature centre, ice well, formal gardens and wildflower meadows.

Cost
There is no cost for the walk or parking, but if you would like to contribute to a charity please donate to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Brom-mind-summer-walk-2016. This charity is the St Mark’s Hospital Foundation and has really supported on of our members. You will need to pay for any refreshments you would like.

By Car
There are two car parks, both off High Elms Road Main car park (Sat Nav coordinates: N51.35238 E0.07449;) Cuckoo Wood (N51.34316 E0.06611)

By Bus /Train
The nearest bus route to Elm Highs Country park is a R8 which is a 16 minute bus ride from Orpington Station. There is train service from Bromley South to Orpington alight the train and no. R8 bus stop H is at Tubbenden Lane Station Road.

High Elms Cuckoo Wood

High Elms Cuckoo Wood

Green Roof Cafe

Green Roof Cafe

Measuring Mindfulness with BIFI

For some time now I have been using a teaching tool that I call BIFI. I designed it to help my students measure their progress.

BIFI stands for boredom, impatience, frustration and irritation.

“So how does that measure mindfulness?” you might say…

The reality is that mindfulness isn’t a thing. It is the absence of a thing. The thing that mindfulness is the absence of, is those heavily conditioned responses that cloud our experience. Endless judgment, self-judgment, criticism and comparison robs us of the joy of life and connection to the present moment. Practicing mindfulness is a lifetime task of building an awareness of this jumble of unhelpful responses and responding to it by returning to the experience of the present moment.

BIFI is evidence that we are not mindfully aware. The more BIFI, the less mindfulness.

By noticing, noting, or even measuring BIFI by writing a BIFI journal, we can observe our negative responses diminishing and our mindfulness growing over time.

If you adopt BIFI as a measure, do drop us a line to tell us which direction your BIFI index is moving in and how fast.

Best of luck with your mindfulness journeys

Mindfulness in the Media

All media coverage of new things follows the same pattern.

The tech industry has a concept known as the media hype cycle which was originally created by Gartner the business analyst consultancy.

The hype cycle works like this:

The Trigger
There is a trigger when the media becomes aware of a new buzzword. In this case ‘Mindfulness’. Bear in mind that at this stage it is absolutely a buzzword because the media understandably knows nothing about it.

The Peak of Inflated Expectations
The trigger is followed by the media hyping up that buzzword and everything related to it in what is known as ‘the peak of inflated expectations’.

The Trough of Disillusionment
The spike of uninformed speculation is inevitably followed by the ‘trough of disillusionment’ as the hype fails to live up to the media’s initial expectations and they then zero in on anything that could possibly contradict the hype they created in the first place. sigh…

The Slope of Enlightenment
Then we have the ‘slope of enlightenment’. This occurs when the media can no longer hype or rubbish the buzzword any longer as it has all been said many times and the reality behind the concept emerges. This also means the readers and viewers want more than uninformed opinion and so instead of publishing meaningless soundbites, recycled news stories and rewording press releases from poorly supported studies; real journalistic work must be done. It also takes this long for some journalists to build a level of expertise in the subject that enables them to comment on it in an informed manner.

The Plateau of Productivity
This final stage is the point at which the concept has been assimilated as an accepted practice. This is where we see the real benefits. For mindfulness, in the UK, this will probably take another five to ten years. Mindfulness is a natural trait which massively reduces the burdens of our crazy artificial life and I fully expect it to become more integrated into study, work and daily life as time goes on.

Where we are right now
Right now, mindfulness media hype is somewhere between the ‘peak of inflated expectations’ and the ‘trough of disillusionment’. I read stories both hyping and rubbishing mindfulness. These are often contradictory and often from the same sources. This is the understandable confusion that comes from trying to comment on something that is out of our experience. In time, various news sources will take sides and mindfulness will probably develop a political bias. Only about one in every ten articles I read has any balance or a foundation in fact worth reporting. When I find balanced or informative articles, I post them on Twitter. We need to move away from extreme and unhelpful interpretations of what is a subtle and beneficial practice.

If you want to learn more about mindfulness keep an eye on this blog or my Twitter feed:

Bromley Mindfulness Twitter Feed

Two unforgettable and inexpensive mindfulness and happiness Christmas presents for children

By giving these gifts this Christmas you can make some young children happy throughout the year and help them learn mindfulness too!

A Mind Jar

Ingredients:

  • One large jar with a screw-on watertight lid.
  • A small amount of coloured dye. Blue works best.
  • Some silver and gold plastic confetti.

Instructions:
Fill the jar with water, add the blue dye until you get the shade and colour of a light sky.

Add the confetti. Screw on the lid until the jar is sealed tight. Turn it on its top and leave it overnight to test it is watertight.
Get a piece of paper. On one side, write “Happy Christmas, this is your mind jar. See the other side of this paper for instructions”. On the other side write these instructions: “Turn the jar over, watch the twinkling, star-like confetti spin and turn as it slowly drifts to the bottom. Notice how quiet your mind becomes. Turn the jar over again and repeat for as long as you want.
Happy Christmas from (add your name here)”.
Wrap it up and give for Christmas to a child.
Their mum will love you forever because it keeps them quiet for ages!

A Happy Jar

Ingredients:

  • One small notebook.
  • One large jar with a lid that the notebook will fit in.
  • A small pair of plastic scissors. (the type you give to children for craft projects)

Instructions:
Cut a hole in the top of the jar. The hole needs to be large enough to easily post a small piece of paper through it. About big enough to get a 50p coin in. Be careful when you cut the hole and make sure there are no sharp edges left.
Write these instructions in the front page of the notebook.
: “EVERY day, write down three NEW things (don’t write down the same thing twice) that either make you happy, that you appreciate, or that you feel grateful for. (If you’re not sure about what any of this means, ask mummy)
You can’t write down the same happy things twice, so you may need to find very small things that have happened in the last day”.
Cut each new thing you have written out into a paper strip using the plastic scissors and post it into the jar.
Notice how the happy jar soon fills up.
When you’re feeling sad or confused, go to the happy jar and take out as many paper strips as you need to help you to feel happy again. Read them, add another three and put them all back in the jar.
Happy Christmas from (add your name here)”.

This will make some young children very happy and you can have fun making it too.

Have a Great Christmas!

Courses and discounts, our winter social, mindful weekends and free online guided mindfulness meditations

Here is a quick news update with links to click on for those of you that want to know more.

January Courses
In January, we are running courses at the following times/days:

  • Tuesday evenings
  • Wednesday daytimes
  • Wednesday evenings
  • Weekends

Details are here: http://bromleymindfulness.org.uk/mindfulness-courses/

Earlybird discounts
To see our Earlybird discounts visit our mindfulness courses page:http://bromleymindfulness.org.uk/mindfulness-courses/

Winter Social

Everyone is welcome and ‘Everyone’ means you too!
We have just passed the 300 members mark for our Bromley Mindfulness meetup.com group which is how I communicate our drop-ins and social events.

There is also a Beckenham Mindfulness meetup.com group which I run in tandem which has 160 members so that makes 460 mindfulness folk in and around the Bromley area!

We are meeting this Sunday, November 22nd at 2pm for a social. Details are here:

Bromley Mindfulness meetup.com group:
http://www.meetup.com/Bromley-Mindfulness-Meditation-Meetup/events/226161800/

Beckenham Mindfulness meetup.com group:
http://www.meetup.com/Beckenham-Mindfulness-Meditation-Meetup-Group/events/226162172/

Free online guided mindfulness meditations
I have added some free basic mindfulness meditations you can download to Soundcloud here:
https://soundcloud.com/bromleymindfulness

Hope to see you at one of our courses or events!

Thanks,

Robert.

Mindfulness meditation stress and the military

Video


ABC US News | International News

Here’s a quote from Sgt. Nathan Hampton – US Marine Corps on the mindfulness meditation sessions that were included in his counter insurgency training prior to deployment in Afghanistan.

“A lot of people thought it would be a waste of time. Why are we sitting around a classroom doing weird meditative stuff? But over time, I felt more relaxed. I slept better. Physically, I noticed that I wasn’t tense all the time. It helps you think more clearly and decisively in stressful situations. There was a benefit.”

From Patrick Hruby – The Washington Times
Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Two quotes on presence (mindfulness) by Eckhart Tolle

Do not seek any other state than the one you are in now; otherwise you will set up inner resistance to what is the now. Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes peace. Anything you accept fully will lead you into peace, This is the miracle of surrender. When you accept what is, every moment is the best moment. That is enlightenment.Eckhart Tolle
If you go into a forest with your mind only, you’ll only notice the sounds and the mind will try to interpret them. You might think you’re present; but you’re not really, you’re simply judging what you hear. But if you become aware of the silent dimension underneath the sounds and in between the sounds, then you become present because the moment you become aware of the silence, you also have become silent.Eckhart Tolle

How to measure your progress in mindfulness

I often get asked “How do I know I am making progress with my mindfulness practices? My mind is just as busy now as it always was. I sit down to meditate and my mind is still busy and clouded with thoughts.”

If we look up ‘mindfulness progress’, we will find a few responses from the Buddhist/Spiritual contingent. The secular contingent seemingly has nothing much to say on the subject and what advice there is largely boils down to “If you feel you’re not making progress, meditate more and/or more regularly”. There is no clarification of exactly what progress is and how we can measure it.

Here is that clarification.

Firstly…

What progress is NOT

  1. Progress is NOT less thought when meditating
  2. Progress is NOT any experience you have when meditating
  3. Progress is NOT keeping to any schedule you have committed to or building up your time spent meditating
  4. Progress is NOT ANY goal related to meditation

Progress is nothing to do with meditation. Progress can only be measured in your day-to-day experience.

The reason for this is because the meditation is the TRAINING.

We know we are making progress not because of what happens in our training but by the skills that training gives us. Skills that become part of us and that we can call on without thought or preparation.

How to measure progress in mindfulness

Just after Christmas I was speaking with one of my students who told me about how her sister had invited her Dad unexpectedly to their Christmas meal. My student clearly had issues with her Dad in the past. She told me how this encounter would have invariably led to fireworks in the past but she kept her cool and the Christmas meal went off without incident.

She then told me that she was worried that she didn’t appear to be making any progress with her mindfulness.

The key to measuring our progress

We can measure progress in our practices by the amount of conflict in our lives, internal and external.

Internal conflict can be seen in experiences like: anxiety, resentment, anger, fear, stress, procrastination, impatience, boredom and the level of intrusive thought in your day. If you are unaware of your levels of these experiences and how they compare, start a journal so you can look back and see how far you have come.

External conflict is obvious. Look at your relationships and ask yourself whether they are improving or not.

If you stick with the practices and keep a journal you will see positive changes over every three to six months.

Namaste.

 

How mindfulness brings peace of mind in a crazy world

Mindfulness isn’t a thing, it’s the absence of a thing. The thing that mindfulness is an absence of is unconscious conditioned responses. This is where we respond to an experience the way that we have learned to, without conscious awareness or thought.

How we spend our live in unconscious consciousness
This might be just how we spend our time while traveling our it could be something deeper such as how we respond to a family member or a colleague.

These sort if responses aren’t bad, but one unconscious response can lead to another and we can find ourselves with a complex pattern of behaviour that just limits our happiness and peace of mind.

Unconscious responses in action
Let me give you an example. Let’s take commuting. Thinking back to when I was working in central London, the commute, especially the morning commute, was a significant source of stress for me.

I was one of those people that calculates where the doors of the train would be, then stands there hoping to get into the train first. The reason for that is that I could then get a seat and I wouldn’t be squashed up against the other commuters when the train was busy which would add to my already significant burden of stress. When the doors opened I would dash for any seats I could find, but sometimes, someone would beat me to it. When that happened I would purse my lips and then spend the journey standing and seething internally. My thoughts were invariably about what I was going to do at work, going round and round in my head for the entire journey.

This would then be one of the many negative experiences that would add up to my having a bad day. I had a lot of bad days. I know I wasn’t alone.

Developing presence
In time, as I developed my mindfulness practice, that same scenario would still play out but at some point I would become aware of how my response to that experience was making me feel. This means that I would feel the Internal sensation of my personal stress and it would dissolve or dissipate. This is what happens to negative emotions when we develop mindfulness. They subside and we regain a sense of proportion. Our responses are proportionate to the experience.

Now, if that happened to me I would become aware instantly of any negative emotional response, I focus my awareness on it and it subsides.

Whether I’m standing or sitting, I can meditate to calm my mind no matter how crowded the train gets.

I still like to get a seat on the train but it has stopped being a problem when I don’t.

I hope this helps to give you an idea of how mindfulness can help you. If you’d like to try mindfulness training, come to one off my drop-in classes, book a course or arrange for a free online mindfulness coaching session.

Robert teaches mindfulness courses at Bromley Mindfulness. Click here to find out more.

What is micromeditation?

We live in a crazy, busy, non-stop, plugged-in, online world.

We all know that we need to slow down and so we do things like meditation, yoga, exercise, music and so on, but that is all extra-curricular activity.

It is all in the bookends to our days, or our weeks, but it is in our day-to-day experience that we need to somehow, try to find the time to step out of the madness for just one moment and allow ourselves to recover.
This is what is known in physiology as refractory time.

Refractory time allows us to recover and continue with what we are doing without needing to take a time-out and without accumulating stress.

How can we do this?

This is what micromeditation is all about.

I shall be posting small snippets of advice, experiences and information on how you can find a bit of sanity in your day.

Post One, the next post, will be on mindfulness meditation.

Make sure you check it out.