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(73 Posts)
holmessweetholmes Wed 12-Jun-13 09:55:37

Just wondering if anyone would be interested in an ongoing thread about Mindfulness? Either interested newbies or those, like me, hoping to stick to their practice a bit more regularly!
I've found it so helpful in getting rid of anxiety, but I want to really make it part of my everysay routine. Anyone else? smile

holmessweetholmes Mon 22-Jul-13 21:29:30

Ummm... goodness. I'm almost tempted to read it just for a laugh! grin Probably not though... Thanks for the warning!

CoteDAzur Mon 22-Jul-13 21:18:05

Oh it's truly singular.

You are a "compulsive thinker" suffering from "dreadful enslavement to incessant thinking" and PMS is your "pain-body in its cumulative aspect", acting on the cumulative suffering of all women through history.

Did you know that when you stop thinking and just "live in the present" (i.e. stare at flowers and clouds all day) your body will age at a much slower rate because its "molecular structure becomes less dense"? hmm grin (WTH does that even mean?!?)

Did you know that "even a stone has rudimentary consciousness or its atoms would disperse"? shock grin

Oh yes, those are actual quotes from this bestseller.

holmessweetholmes Mon 22-Jul-13 16:12:55

Wow - that sounds utterly ridiculous. Unlike Paul Gilbert, who wrote The Compassionate Mind, and seems like a brilliant scientist and a thoroughly nice bloke.

CoteDAzur Mon 22-Jul-13 14:26:29

The Power Of Now is written by a homeless bum who has spent two years on a park bench and "thought" about this stuff. That is the extent of his claim to authority on the subject of the mind, brain, and thought.

Much of what he says is not only spectacularly wrong but also hilarious. For example, did you know that period pain is our bodies' tuning into the collective suffering of women in all history? hmm grin

The whole book is one long drivel aiming to convince people that their analytical left brain should be stifled and not used unless you need to solve a math problem. I find it quite alarming that it was a Bestseller.

holmessweetholmes Sat 20-Jul-13 20:41:50

Well I wonder how much anyone really knows about what the Buddha actually said, but I can certainly relate to the concept of the monkey mind. Interesting what you say about the Power of Now - I haven't read it, but have seen it recommended by lots of people.

CoteDAzur Sat 20-Jul-13 17:26:28

Thank you, Holmes. I now read about it a bit and there seems to be doubt as to whether the Buddha actually said such a thing, since it is not in any scripture.

In the last year, I read two books on the subject of mindfulness which people on this thread might find interesting. One is Echart Tolle's The Power Of Now, which is rubbish written by a bum who knows nothing on the subject of thought and brain. The other is My Stroke Of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, who was a brain scientist in her 30s when she had a stroke. It is a brilliant insight into human consciousness and explains what "mindfullness" and "monkey mind" actually are in a fascinating way. I really recommend it to anyone who is interested in the subject.

holmessweetholmes Sat 20-Jul-13 08:18:02

Oh and about the 'woo', Clockwatchinglady - I feel similarly to you. I wouldn't say that mindfulness has made me feel any more tolerant of woo, but I'm aware that mindfulness itself, and certainly meditation, might seem a bit woo to many people. It was a relief to me to realise how un-woo meditation could be - effectively that it just meant 'paying attention'. It's interesting what you say about human thought though. This 'Compassionate Mind' book I've just read has certainly challenged me in that area.

holmessweetholmes Sat 20-Jul-13 08:12:43

Monkey mind is a concept from Buddhism. Buddha is supposed to have said that it is as though the human mind is full of chattering, shrieking monkeys, all jumping around and clamouring for attention. The 'monkeys' are our thoughts and worries and most of us have little control over them. They jump in and out of our heads so much that we have an almost constant internal dialogue, or mind chatter. This is why it is so hard to be mindful, or remain in the moment and be properly aware of the here and now.

ClockWatchingLady Fri 19-Jul-13 22:46:06

In my understanding "monkey mind" refers to the observation that, when you watch what your mind is doing, it resembles the chattering and leaping around of a monkey. Someone else will probably express it better.

CoteDAzur Fri 19-Jul-13 22:34:54

What are you people talking about re "monkey mind"?

I've never heard of that term before in my rather long life.

ClockWatchingLady Fri 19-Jul-13 22:30:19

I think the "woo" thing is quite interesting in relation to mindfulness.

I'd say that I've always tend to be relatively evidence-based and committed, at least in theory, to attempts at logical reasoning (in relation to most matters, anyway). I'm a scientist by training. I've also been pretty much a devout Dawkinsist ( wink ) when it comes to religious views (which I've tended to think of as mostly pretty "woo" tbh).

However... I think mindfulness practice has led me to be much more sceptical about the limits of mental reasoning in general. I'm not even sure about the whole idea of logical thought any more. Thoughts are just so... well, I don't even know what they are. None of this convinces me that my auntie Mabel is haunting my garden shed, or that there's a big bearded bloke in the sky telling us all what to do (I do apologise if any of these comments causes offence to anyone). However, I do increasingly get the sense that none of us has a clue what's really going on. And I suppose this makes me a lot less inclined to think that I'm right, that anyone else is wrong, or that talking or thinking about any of it is likely to clear up any of the issues.

Anyone else find that mindfulness practice has affected them this way?

misskatamari Thu 18-Jul-13 13:33:21

Thanks Holmes - I figured it meant as much! I'm a science teacher but am pretty open minded about things so probably abit "woo" as well smile

holmessweetholmes Thu 18-Jul-13 13:14:57

Hi Misskatamari! 'Woo' is a general and usually rather scathing term used on MN for anything mystical or supernatural, or new-agey. I must admit, I tend to side firmly with the sceptics in matters of 'woo'. One of the things which attracts me to Mindfulness and makes me respect Buddhism more than other paths of 'enlightenment'/self help is their relative lack of woo!

misskatamari Thu 18-Jul-13 12:40:35


Just joining the thread smile it's great to find one on mindfulness!

I've suffered with anxiety for a few years and along with acupuncture have found meditation one if the best things for helping it.

I started by going to a meditation course at my local Buddhist centre and we do middle way meditation - which basically involves focusing your mind at the centre of your body (sometimes by visualising a bright object there).

I've started looking into mindfulness and have been reading the power of now which is about focusing on the present and being mindful.

I do struggle with daily meditations and am hoping to start doing it more frequently. I'm 11 weeks pregnant and have had awful "morning" sickness so just haven't been up to meditating recently as I've felt too rubbish but now I'm starting to feel better I really want to try and do it daily, so this tread should be good motivation!

Just a quick questions - what is "woo"? I saw it mentioned up the thread and not too sure what it means (still new to mumsnet and the vast array of acronyms!)

holmessweetholmes Wed 17-Jul-13 16:24:41

Thanks Clockwatchinglady! Maybe everyone is too busy being mindful to post on the thread wink. I am still working my way through The Compassionate Mind. It's an absolute revelation to me, and a brilliant companion to Mindfulness. It really helps make sense of why our minds and thoughts tyrannise us in the way they do, and offers ways to get out of those frames of mind. Fascinating too.

ClockWatchingLady Wed 17-Jul-13 12:52:30

I'm doing some mindful sweating for my practice today.

ClockWatchingLady Wed 17-Jul-13 12:51:39

Hello. How's everyone doing?
I don't want Holmes' excellent thread to slide!

holmessweetholmes Fri 12-Jul-13 07:50:07

Thank you so much to whoever recommended The Compassionate Mind. It's amazing.

ClockWatchingLady Thu 04-Jul-13 10:26:28

Harriet - thanks for the Breathworks link. I've just followed it and discovered one of the course locations is about a mile from where I live. I'm going to negotiate the timings for childcare with DP and see if I can sign up to a course.

harrietspy Wed 03-Jul-13 22:06:51

clock the Mark Williams meditations are about 10 minutes each. I don't manage to do the JKZ 40 min one very often because I also freewrite for 20 mins in the morning before the dc are up and I can't fit in a 40 min meditation and a 20 min write just yet. smile Usually I do a 20 min JKZ or 2 Mark Williams ones back to back.

I say 'before the dc are up' but sometimes ds2 will come and lift up my arm and snuggle next to me during a body scan...

I also use cds that came with the excellent Breathworks mindfulness course I did . They run courses in several parts of the country and the founder, Vidalmaya Sona (sp?) is bringing out a book called Mindfulness for Health with Mark Williams soon. The course was amazing and I'm planning to take it again next year. (Apols if I already said this upthread but I can't stress how helpful it was).

holmes I completely agree about how useful it would be for mindfulness to be taught in schools.

I circled around mindfulness for several years and read a lot about it but I am so grateful that it's part of my daily life now. I did a very scary teaching event today and it was so helpful to focus on my breathing.

I definitely want to expand my practice. I feel like I'm at the very, very beginning of waking up. I reckon I'm 'awake' for about 2% of the day... grin

holmessweetholmes Wed 03-Jul-13 20:25:03

That sounds interesting. I'm keen to pass on some ideas about mindfulness to my children but am wary of putting them off! It's a shame that the 'relax kids' thing they did at school doesn't seem to be an ongoing thing. It would be so great if kids were taught this kind of thing early on - it would be such a help for exam stress etc when they get a bit older.

blue2 Wed 03-Jul-13 19:20:57

Clock - I'd be interested in hearing how she got on and the subsequent success rate - if she knew.

I have yet to listen to the CD, but might put it on tonight to hear what it says. I'm a terrible sleeper, so it may well send me off to the land of nod!

ClockWatchingLady Wed 03-Jul-13 11:52:27

Hello again.

Thanks for the list, Holmes. I attempt to do many of those things too (with wildly varying success). Also, like you, I find it very difficult to keep up the practice in the good times. When things are going well, it's so very easy to buy into and identify with all those lovely positive thoughts... then when things get worse and the thoughts turn anxious I'm screwed because I've got too embroiled in thinking again.

Going to try to keep going this time....

I use JKZ's body scan CD sometimes. It's 45 minutes long, though, so I often do his 20 minute lying down meditation, or silence with bells, instead. Are the Mark Williams CDs similar (for anyone who's used both)?

Blue2 - TMJD sounds tough for your son and you. Glad he got a referral. I agree it would be great to get into doing mindfulness as a teenager - it could set him up with a great outlook and "mental tools" for life. I too would have thought most of the resources would be fine for a 15 year old. I have a friend who works in the NHS and ran a mindfulness group for teenagers (for different reasons - mental health issues I think, although can't recall details) with quite a lot of success. I'll ask next time I see her.

holmessweetholmes Wed 03-Jul-13 07:45:20

Nice to see so many people interested! I've got some cd's too, but haven't really got into using them. I prefer to read the books, then do the meditations myself. I bet they are good for young people though.
Have any of you tried the body scan meditation (in Jon Kabat-Zinn's book, and maybe Mark Williams' too)? I find it a good thing to do if I feel like I'm not going to be able to settle well for a sitting one. Helpful for relaxing before sleep too.

MrsTwgtwf Tue 02-Jul-13 23:23:36

Even more shamelessly marking my place. smile

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