Developing Your Mindfulness Practice – Part 3

offeringWelcome to part 3 of developing your mindfulness practice. So far we have learned a simple breathing exercise and body scan. This week we are going to add on to the first breathing exercise. This practice requires 2-5 minutes of your time. Spend about 2 minutes on Breathing Exercise 1 to centre yourself.

Mindfulness Exercise 3:

Breathing Exercise 2

  • Find a comfortable seat. Begin Breathing Exercise 1 and then stop saying “inhale/exhale.” Simply sit quietly and focus on the breath. Try to sit as still as possible.
  • When a thought arises label it “thought” and go back to breathing. If a body sensation arises such a cramp/tingle/pain/ache/itch, label it “cramp/tingle/pain/etc” and go back to breathing.
  • At the beginning your experience might be this: Breathing….”thought”, breathing, “thought” “thought thought thought, breathing thought thought thought…..”

It is completely normal to think, however, try not to attach any significance to this. It is what it is. Over time and with practice, you might begin to notice this: “breathing, breathing, breathing, thought, breathing, breathing, breathing, thought”. The space between thoughts that arise gets longer. With practice you can start to become aware of the thoughts that arise. Is it a different unrelated thought each time, or are the thoughts that arise the same or are they related to a theme? Try not think of “thinking” as something negative or unwanted and try not to attach any meaning to the thoughts that do come up. We want to break the habit of over analyzing our thoughts and just let them come and go. There is no destination, it is about the Process.

In your journal, make a note about how you felt during this practice. What did you witness?