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Welcome to the first day of our 28 days of Mindfulness.
We are starting by getting in the habit of ‘sitting’. Sitting practice requires us to dedicate daily space and time for our Mindfulness practice. The purpose of the following 28 days is to support your practice, whether you have an established practice already, are an intermittent practitioner, or whether you are new to mindfulness practice, we invite you to join us on a daily practice. Today the practice is to sit, just for a few minutes, and notice what arises for you when you do. Notice your impulses and responses to the act of sitting. Be with the experience, without judgement or agenda, be open to what arises in the present moment for you and enter into a space of gentle and kind acceptance of this moment.
You can listen to guided practices here and also enjoy The Mindful Pause and Join us every Monday for Mental Health Ireland’s Mindful Moment Guided Practice Live Stream at 1.30pm on Facebook
Today is day 8
of our 28 Days of Mindfulness and the practice is to return to the breath.
Make some time to sit and spend time in mindful awareness of your breath rising and falling. Use it as a tool to bring your attention back from things that aren’t part of the present moment. As well as your sitting practice of breath awareness, find opportunities as you go through the day to bring your awareness to your breath for 3 or more breaths at a time. If you find yourself waiting for something, this is a good time to practice some breath awareness. If you feel some frustration begin to rise for any reason, take it as a cue to attend to your breath until you feel more grounded again. You are invited to Mental Health Ireland Mindful Moments Guided Practice Live Stream at 1.30pm today. Like our page for updates.
You can listen to Guided Practices here including breath awareness practices
Welcome to day 6.
Today’s practice is to notice nature. Plants, animals, the weather, trees, the air around us all offer us insights.
Nature also has a calming effect on us, soothing us when we’re harried and helping to make us feel more grounded. You might find yourself in a building or built up area, and presume there is no nature around you, but if you take some time, you will find all sorts of life going on around you, maybe a small plant clinging to life through a crack in a wall or an insect making a home. Birds are always a joy to watch.
There is no set of rules for this practice. Simply take some time to notice the natural world around you and be open to what wisdom it has to share with you today. You might decide to do your sitting practice outdoors.
You can listen to Guided Practices here
and Grounding Tree Meditation here
Ten days into our 28 Days of Mindfulness
and today our practice is to listen mindfully.
Sometimes we listen so we can reply, waiting to get our say in at the next opportunity. Today the practice is to look for opportunities to listen without a need to reply. You can begin with a sitting practice, listening to your environment, what sounds are around you? You might be tempted to judge them as pleasant or unpleasant, maybe even annoying sometimes! Try to step back from the judgement and listen solely to observe the sounds. Following listening to what’s around you, bring your awareness to the sounds within you, your breath, your tummy, other sounds that you can perceive inside of you. As you go through the day, take the opportunity when someone speaks to you to practice being as present as possible, attending to the person and what they have to say. Notice their words and also the meaning behind them. Listening mindfully can serve to give you deeper insight into how another person might be feeling or communicating beyond the words they are saying. You don’t have to fix or change anything for the person. Just by listening mindfully, they will feel more heard.
You might also take some time to reflect on listening to yourself.
You can listen to Guided Practices here including Engage the Senses
It’s Day 9
and you are doing amazing!
How is your body today? You are invited to practice body awareness today. Our bodies are a constant source of insight and translate our feelings into sensations all the time for us. What messages does your body have for you today? Take some time to practice a body scan in sitting meditation. Then as you go through your day take opportunities to connect with your body, noticing your posture, noticing your feet on the ground, noticing the contact your body makes with the seat you’re on, Notice hunger and thirst as sensations. Notice the sensations of your breath. Notice your energy levels, what sensations signal vitality or fatigue? Just notice, without having to fix or change anything. Awareness is key. You might make more mindful choices for your body as a result but the practice is simply to notice your body today.
You can listen to Guided Practices here including The Body Scan
Today marks a full week of Mindfulness Practice.
Thank you for coming along on this journey with us. Todays practice is self compassion. Take some time to be grateful to yourself for the gift of making time to practice each day. Reflect on any changes you have noticed from practicing daily. Take some time to sit, and extend loving kindness to yourself. Extend kindness to your body, thanking it for serving you each day. Extend loving kindness to your mind for solving problems and giving you opportunities to choose where your thoughts go. Extend loving kindness to your emotional self, for helping you respond to your experiences and bring meaning to the world. Make a point of being kind to yourself today, especially in how you speak to yourself. You can listen to Guided Practices here including Self Compassion practices
You can listen to Guided Practices here and Self Compassion Practice here
Today is day five and our practice is to take notice of the speed we are moving.
Sometimes, especially if we are busy and become stressed, we begin to rush around and then we gather momentum and find it hard to actually slow down. Following a day of rushing, we might find that we eat our meals at the same pace and when we finally stop at the end of the day, we collapse into a heap, unable to move at all!
Today, as you sit, notice the sensations of stillness within you, align with some stillness and enter into the stillness as you practice.
Sitting in stillness can be a very soothing experience. It can also be a little unnerving if we have never done it before. It can feel alien and unnatural. Notice your own responses to the practice. Be gentle with yourself. As you go through the day, take moments to notice your movements and invite yourself to slow down a little, being mindful of how you are moving, what speed you are travelling at, notice your posture, notice your breath.
You can listen to guided practices here and also The Mindful Pause
Welcome to day four of our 28 days of Mindfulness.
Our senses are how we process what is occurring in our environment. Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste and Touch are the channels for receiving information and making sense of the world around us. Our intuition is another sense that we often overlook. In today’s practice, sit with each sense for a minute or so each. Listening to the sounds around you.
There is no need to judge or resent anything you hear, simply notice it and let it go. The same with what you can see. You can do this with your eyes open or closed or try both! Look at objects in your field of vision and notice their shape, colour, proximity etc. Then close your eyes and notice the images that form in your mind’s eye.
Notice what you can smell, just bringing your awareness to this sense even if there isn’t much on the air. And the same with your sense of taste, notice your mouth and sense of taste. You can being more present to the food you eat. Now bring your awareness to your sense of touch. Noticing the sensations in your skin, the contact your body is making with the seat and the floor, the feeling of your clothing against your skin, or a breeze, whatever you notice through your sense of touch. Take a moment to notice your intuition now, by allowing your sense of the moment to rise into your awareness, without judgement or agenda. Simply noticing and allowing it to be.
You can listen to Guided practices here including ‘Engaging the Senses’.
Welcome to day three.
The body is a great messenger. It responds to everything we experience whether we notice or not. The body scan is a mindfulness practice that allows us to connect with the sensations in the body without judgement. As you sit, take time to explore the sensations present in your body, starting with the sensations that breathing creates and then working your way down the front of your body all the way down to your feet, across the tops of your feet, over your toes, the soles of your feet and up the back of your legs and body. When you get all the way up to the top of your head, follow the sensations all the way down across your face, front of your neck and back to the sensation of breathing in your chest. Whenever you notice you have followed your thoughts, gently return your awareness kindly back to the last place you were attending to in your body. During the day, take moments to attend to the connection your body is making with your seat, or the soles of your feet connecting with the ground as you move.
You can listen to guided practices including body scan practices here
Welcome to day two.
Sitting with our breath is a simple practice, but don’t confuse simple with easy. Our thoughts seduce us to follow them, distracting us from what is. The breath is wonderful conduit for returning to the body, to the self, to the here and now. Mindfulness practice is called that precisely because you have to practice. Breath awareness helps us return to the moment, over and over again.
Take time to sit with your breath, simply returning to the breath whenever you notice yourself elsewhere. Be gentle and kind, remembering that each time you return your awareness to the breath, you are toning your focus muscle. Each breath is an invitation to be present to what is arising in this moment. Anytime you find yourself waiting today, use your breath to return home to yourself.
You can listen to guided practices including breath awareness practices here