Mindfulness of Umm…

I’m in the midst of co-teaching an 8-week mindful breathing class — it’s modeled on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) — and I love this work.

One aspect of MBSR that we are incorporating is the presentation of weekly themes. We discuss the qualities of mind that can support the intention to practice mindfulness, like: acceptance, patience, beginner’s mind, letting go, and non-judging (which is this week’s theme). As we go along, it’s clear that all these themes are about ways of being with what’s here now.

Like a verbal habit of saying “Umm…” a lot. Until we realize that we’re doing it, it’s difficult to change our patterns of speech. In the same way, it’s hard to let go unless we see what it is that we’re letting go of. Mindfulness practice — sitting in silence and being with the breath — allows space for our habits of mind, heart, and body to come into view. Sometimes our habits announce themselves loudly, and other times they sneak in around the edges. I’ve had entire sits fly by while planning the next days’ yoga class — yes, it’s still thinking and planning, even tho it’s about yoga!

Anyhow, this week is about the intention of non-judging. How to see clearly the ways in which we constantly assess our moment-to-moment experiences and react. Noticing whether there is a quick “good,” “bad,” or “neutral” feeling connected with a thought or feeling or sensation. And then, the practice — to release, without adding reactivity (or judging the judging). Simply to see what’s here.

 

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