During the 4th week of MBSR, we start the class with a sitting mindfulness meditation. Grounding ourselves after most of us have rushed into the zoom room just in time not to be late. Bringing attention to our breath, recognizing how often we rush into a variety of different situations in our lives. Rushing into meetings, to family dinners, rushing when there is no need to rush. Remembering we can always find grounding when we intentionally bring ourselves to the present moment.
During these mindfulness practices, we begin to work with any uncomfortable or even painful sensations which arise during the practice. Learning different ways for us to face the sensations. The discussion around this is extraordinary. Some participants talk about how when they “look” at their pain, bringing awareness to it instead of resisting the pain, their pain went away. Others talk about how it seemed to change, becoming less or just different. This often leads us to look not only at physical pain but also how we might be able to use mindfulness to move through emotional pain.
A mindful movement practice is introduced. Using standing yoga as a method to bring attention to moving in a mindful way. Again, we are reminded we are always in choice, and we are not trying out to be the next great yogi, so to choose wisely even if it means not doing the specific stretch being done.
We talk about how perception is reality. Our experience of life colored by our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. One of the conversations we have is to discuss how stress impacts our bodies and minds. Something happens and we attach meaning to it. We do this habitually. It’s a patterned way of interacting with the world. The beauty of mindfulness is we begin to notice when we are doing this, and we start to cultivate a curiosity around our reactions.
We talk about how there are different ways we can allow stressful moments and events to occur, not inviting them to happen, but when stressful moments happen…we learn to meet them. We review the unpleasant calendar from the fieldwork we did.
Our fieldwork for the next week includes alternating the Body Scan with the Lying down Yoga recording, doing a 20-minute sitting practice and then continuing to bring awareness to our habitual ways of reacting. Continuing to notice when we feel stuck or disengaged throughout the week and being curious about this experience.
Class ends with a mindfulness practice.
This is it.