What is the difference between mindfulness and meditation?
In mindfulness training there is no ‘imagining’. Mindfulness is always about being with what is, and the starting point for that is the body.
I always tend to fall asleep, what does that mean and how do I deal with that?
Most likely it means that you are tired! Often when people come on retreats they realize how tired they are, and sleep is very important so honour the body in this way. On the other hand be aware that the mind is a tricky little thing so it might be using sleep to avoid doing the mind training. Pick a time for mind training when it is less likely that you’ll fall asleep, don’t be too warm or too cosy, and be curious around how the sleepiness is experienced in the body.
I always get distracted when I meditate, I don’t think I do it right?
The distracted mind is how most of our minds work in today’s world. Mind training is in effect increasing our spam filter. We do that by becoming aware of our distractions so that increasingly we can choose what we pay attention to, but also so that we can choose our distractions.
I can never stick to doing it every day, how can I get better at that?
Whenever we start anything new it is rare that we just do it 100% all the time. We have to keep outsmarting the mind in its attempts to get us back to old patterns. Travel with kindness and curiosity and don’t conclude if you don’t do the mind training one day that you have no will power or that you are hopeless etc.
In dealing with pain, I was told that I need to distract myself, is that true?
Mindfulness is the opposite to distraction. In dealing with pain we follow Rumi’s advice: ‘The healing of the pain, is the pain.” In other words we enter into the body sensation of the ‘discomfort’, and we keep following it till we really sense it and then we just stay with it, breathing with and in it.
How do I get started?
There is both a formal practice and then there is informal practice. The informal you can integrate into your daily life, like being aware of the breath and following the breath for five breaths every hour. You can simply start your formal practice with 10 minutes mind training a day, CLICK here to download your basic starting meditation called ABCD