Five frequently asked questions about practising mindful meditation. | Mindful Moments: Ep 04

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SHERELLE CONNAUGHTON: Hello
I’m Sherelle Connaughton from Monash Mindfulness. And in this Mindful Moment I’m
going to talk to you about five frequently asked questions about
a mindfulness practice, and explore a few tips
that might help you with each of those. So the first one is ‘How
should I sit?’ So please sit in any
position that’s comfortable for you where
you’re upright and feeling steady. There’s that popular stereotype
of people sitting cross-legged for meditation, and that’s really just not
comfortable for so many people and it’s certainly not
essential for your meditation practice. So for most people
sitting in a chair with the feet grounded
to the floor is working really well. Question number two ‘Is it okay
to lie down?’ It’s fine to practise
lying down if you want to. Particularly if pain or nausea, or disability make
it difficult to sit. But for most people we recommend
staying upright as you practise for this helps
us to really emphasise the attention training
part of our practice, rather than relaxation, which is an often welcome side
effect but certainly not the aim of our mindfulness practice. Number three “Should I practise
with the eyes open or closed?’ This is a great question
and I encourage you to experiment with this. You often hear the instruction
to close the eyes because this helps reduce
visual distractions. It helps rest that visual
processing part of the brain and it helps us to focus more
clearly on our other senses. But some people find
practising with eyes open helps him to stay a little bit
more alert and aware of their surroundings. And it’s definitely
recommended if you find yourself falling asleep
or getting sleepy during the practice. Which leads me to our
fourth question “What should I do if I fall asleep?’ So feeling tired and sleepy
during meditation is very common and it’s often a sign
that you simply need more rest. So if you find you’re falling
asleep often in your meditation practice, please first of all check
that you are getting enough rest. You could also try practising
earlier in the day, making sure you’re not
practising after a big meal. You could try and drinking
some water before your practice and maybe even putting
some water on your face. I also really recommend sitting
forward in your chair rather than leaning back
so you’re not quite so comfortable. And you could even try
practising with the eyes open as we mentioned before. For some people practising
standing upright is a good way to go as well.
Our final question. “How can I stop the mind
from wandering?’ So please know that mind
wandering is very common. It’s perfectly natural
and it’s an essential part of our practice because if
the mind didn’t wander there’d be no
need for attention training exercises like this. So the aim is just to notice
that the mind is wanted and to gently bring
it back without too much fuss, and over time we usually
get better at doing this more and more quickly
and more and more easily. So rather than trying to stop
the mind from wandering, aim more to focus on one
thing at a time and just think about redirecting
the mind when you need to. So good luck putting all
of these into practise. I hope you found
these tips helpful.

 

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