Mindful Wednesdays

8For six consecutive Wednesdays, from May 27 to July 1, 2015, Alan Sloan offered on-line an hour each week of mindfulness practice and discussion. Each session began with 15 minutes of guided mindfulness meditation instruction, followed by a short presentation and discussion on integrating mindfulness into everyday life. The sessions were free and open to the public.

The six sessions were recorded and are available for viewing on this website’s video gallery page here.

If you might be interested in subscribing to future presentations, please subscribe to Alan’s general mailing list. All contact information will be kept in strict confidence, not shared with any third party. Thank you.

For detailed mindfulness practice instructions in a downloadable PDF document, please click on the following link:
Mindfulness Practice Instructions by Alan Sloan

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4 thoughts on “Mindfulness

  1. ron

    Although I am unable to participate in person, I wanted to let you know that the Wednesday video meditations are fantastic. This week someone asked about hosting thoughts (not being caught up in the story). I often find it helpful to drop the story line and observe the physical reactions/feelings in my body. They often then dissipate which is a useful indication of the impermanence of both thoughts and emotions. If you have time I would appreciate hearing your comments.

    • Hi Ron – Thanks for your kind words and sharing your experience. Letting go of the story line is at the heart of mindfulness practice. First, we need to recognize that there is a story line, which means seeing thoughts as just thoughts rather than as ‘the truth.’ Then sensing into what the body feels in a non-conceptual way can naturally follow. As you said, it puts us in touch with things as they are, and anything that was being unnecessarily fuelled by the story line can begin to subside – to lose its power. It’s taking the drama, which is something extra and tiring, out of the mix.

      After that, I think there is a further process of making friends with what we are feeling. This means respecting and connecting with our emotion at a deeper level – whether it’s anger, passion, joy, sadness…whatever. A basic sense of acknowledging what we are feeling provides the space to take a further interest in and make a relationship to the physicality of the emotions. That physicality can be an aspect of what Chogyam Trungpa termed, “the wisdom of the emotions.” By feeling but not fuelling our emotions, they can become expressions of our natural human goodness – an expression of sanity, rather than neurosis.

  2. Mandi Arnold

    This week you said ideally you would be sitting twice a day. What is the “optimal” amount of time to sit for? Is it 30 mins morning and evening or less? I don’t want to try to be a perfectionist with it, but would like to know what a good goal is to work towards. Right now I practice for 20 mins in the morning, but usually don’t practice in the evening unless there is something special like the recording to watch. By evening do you mean before supper or before bed (or does that matter?). Thanks for any insight you can give me into this.

    • Hi Mandi – Thanks for your questions. The recommended amount of time to sit depends upon how experienced a mindfulness practitioner we are and how much time we wish to dedicate to the practice. When we are first starting out, just 10 or 15 minutes in the morning and evening is a good beginning. However, as the weeks turn to months and we find ourselves growing more accustomed to the practice, we may find that our desire to sit longer naturally begins to arise. I think it usually takes about 20 minutes for the mind to settle and the body to relax into an uplifted posture. After 20 minutes, there’s more opportunity to explore the practice, to work with bodily sensations and other sense perceptions, as well as to begin to work with deeper emotional and psychological patterns – for example, how we might tend to struggle within ourselves or with other peoples. When there’s lots of space in our minds and hearts, there’s room for everything we are and have ever been to come to the surface to be acknowledged and let go of. That’s very important.

      Basically, the more time we can put into the practice, the better – but not to prove something to ourselves or as a form of self-improvement.

      As for the recommended times to practice – in the morning, usually before breakfast, is a great time, before we get caught in the current of things on our ‘to-do list.’ In the evening, either shortly before supper, or a half-hour before bedtime. Sitting in the evening can be very helpful for integrating what took place during the day – not that we are intentionally thinking about it, but rather, simply making room for it all and letting things settle. I hope that’s helpful.

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