“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness practice is a way of paying attention to the present moment without judgment or criticism, without perceiving something as good or bad. The practice of Mindfulness helps us to come out of automatic pilot and also stops us focusing on the past and the future. By paying attention to the present moment in this way, we are more able to manage difficult, anxious and stressful feelings.
Many Mindfulness practices focus on the breath and body; this practice can be done in many of our daily activities. For example, Mindfulness of Eating can be practiced very easily daily. Doing the Mindfulness practice listed below will give you a feel for this practice.
Mindful eating – Chocolate meditation
- Choose some chocolate that you haven’t eaten before or haven’t eaten in a while.
- Open the packaging and smell the aroma slowly
- Break off a piece and look at it – examine it
- Put the chocolate in your mouth, but do not chew or eat just yet
- Hold it on your tongue, allowing it to melt slightly
- Notice the tendency to suck or bite
- Notice what it tastes like, the texture, the temperature
- Notice if your mind wanders, and if it does, just escort your awareness back to the chocolate
- After the chocolate has melted, swallow it very slowly
Now ask yourself what your experience was like of eating the chocolate. Did you notice anything different about this experience of eating chocolate? How often did your mind wander?
(Chocolate Meditation taken from Williams and Penham, 2014 “Mindfulness, a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world’, p55)
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