Some of the core aspects of Mindfulness are called “What” and “How” skills. The What skills explain what you should try to focus on and the How skills show you how to be non-judgemental and effective. This article focuses on the HOW skills.
Mindfulness is about trying to calm the mind and whilst meditating you can observe your thoughts and try to acknowledge them and let them float away. A few ideas to explain this is to imagine you are stood on a river bank. In normal life we are in the river getting caught up in each rapid and turn of the water …. which means that you are getting caught up in thoughts and emotions and letting them lead you life. The ideal is to stand and watch these thoughts, feelings and emotion float past you so you can treat them in a non-judgemental way and not get involved with them. You then don’t get caught up with every thought and emotion and can deal with life more effectively. Another idea is to let your thoughts float away on clouds or a conveyor belt. It doesn’t really matter, it’s which is best for you and your mind.
These are how to be:
- Doing one thing in the moment and focusing on this
- Being effective
HOW – Non-Judgemental. This is about not judging things as good or bad. They are just as. See, but don’t evaluate. Focus on just the facts, the “what”, not that it’s good, or bad, or wonderful. Accept each moment and what comes with it and acknowledge the helpful and the harmful, but don’t judge.
One thing at a time. Be mindful and do one thing at a time. When you are eating, focus on eating. When you are walking focus on walking, if you are meditating focus on meditating. If other thoughts or feelings distract you, let go of the distractions and go back to what you are doing. Concentrate your mind, only do one thing at a time.
Be Effective. Focus on what techniques works for you. Do what needs to be done in each situation. Stay away from “fair”, “unfair”, “right”, and “wrong”. Act as skillfully as you can meeting the needs of the situation you are in. Not the situation that you wish you were in. Let go of vengeance and anger as they are not helpful to your mind. Think in terms of life that it is as it is, not what you wish your situation is. Then you can deal with emotions and situations as they come up with a more focused approach instead of impulse actions which often lead down a negative path. This is the ultimate goal of mindfulness, to bring the techniques into every day life and situations.
These are a few of the ground rules for meditating. Hopefully if you read and understand these basic rules they will help you as you start on the path of Mindful Meditation.