As I write this entry, I have a busy period ahead conference wise starting with the National Autistic Society's (NAS) Professionals Conference in Harrogate and then a speaker evening with the NAS Newcastle-Gateshead Branch. At these events I will be speaking on the theme of Asperger's Syndrome and Mindfulness Techniques, including covering simple mindfulness exercises described in the new book.
Having noticed the qualities of mindfulness gradually coming into everyday situations, during practice, I had also begun to notice too much sameness when going over similar practice exercises, assuming the same movements, stretches and postures. When getting a feeling of sameness from an activity, one may have a tendency to feel bored, which can then lead to frustration. Alternatively, frustration can also stem from sameness when one feels that they have found themselves trapped in a routine or comfort zone which then becomes difficult to step out of when needed. However, in continuing practice, I gradually began to notice that the feeling of sameness I was experiencing was a by-product of the type of attention that I had been giving the practice instructions, rather than to the actual sensations experienced during the exercises.
When relapsing into sameness within mindfulness practice or within normal life generally, including within routines and responsibilities present within daily life, applying beginners mind can help.Though the movements, techniques and stretches are similar if not repetitive, what it is that constantly changes are the different sensations of bodily feeling, including noticing how each breath coming in and out when in tune with the breath effects the body as a whole. With closer attention, one can gradually notice that each breath is different as are sensations and bodily feelings that come from it. Each breath and sensation being a unique experience can then almost be like a new start, further tuning one into the present and adding to quality of life with new and different experiences.
To apply beginners mind, sometimes it can help to see the world almost from the perspective of a child. If we remember what it was like when we were children, we may well remember that we looked at things around us, including televisions, telephones, clocks, cars and more, with wonder and fascination, often because they were almost new to us. Though things around us such as certain household items and forms of transport can loose their appeal when they become a standard part of adult life, there are occasions when, as adults, we can almost turn into children when we see things that gave us a sense of wonder as children.
|The Great Farewell of A4 Pacifics, Shildon|
|A4 Pacific 4464 Bittern in action at Shildon|
Coming back to the breath, by seeing each breath as a new start, to help with future blog entries. Hopefully with continued practice, as well as seeing each breath as a new start, I can also see each blog entry as a new start, as well as each challenge as the start of a new journey.
RIP Harold Ramis 1944-2014. Best remembered in his role as Ghostbuster Egon Spengler, Ramis was also a talented writer and director. Ghostbusters is my personal favourite film of all-time!