(I am doing the 8-week course in this book which includes these free meditation audio files).
Had a few hours all to myself today - what a treat! Mr D took the boys out and I was finally able to get some space around myself. Caught up on some writing, did some housework (of course), watched some TV, and did my 3 daily meditations as per the instructions for this week (Breath & Body followed by Sounds & Thoughts followed by Exploring Difficulty).
The last one of these is really making me focus hard-out on how my body responds to unpleasant or uncomfortable thoughts. This is good for me because I have spent most of my life not paying any attention to my body and how it reacts to emotions. Probably no surprise that often when I'm doing this meditation I don't notice my body feeling anything.. but then other times (depending on what I'm thinking about) I can feel quite clear sensations.
I felt an ache in my heart one day. Literally an ache on the left side of my chest where my heart is. And I was thinking about something that is really sad and difficult. Amazing. Other times I notice a tightening in my chest or throat. Sometimes butterflies in my tummy. This is something I'm going to try and pay much more attention to from now on. When I'm stressed or whatever I'll try to remember to notice what my body is feeling.
Forcing my mind-body connection to grow stronger.
After I listened to the audios I sat and read through some of the book again, and I found this brilliant line: "The experienced meditator is not someone whose mind does not wander, but one who gets very used to beginning again."
So it's not about clearing the mind. It's about noticing your thoughts and breaking out of them to try to focus on the breath again momentarily. Not getting lost in the thinking, believing the thoughts like facts and not a crazy stream of unwanted thoughts and associations.
It's the 'noticing your thoughts' step which is the mindfulness. Or 'waking up' as Mark Williams sometimes calls it.
My copy of this book is from the library and I've ignored enough overdue emails so have to return it tomorrow - NO! Must find a copy fast. Tonight I'll have a read of what's ahead for Week 6 so I can keep going. It's really very good.
Love, Mrs D xxx