Thursday, 17 November 2016

Not Living in the Moment

Last week in casual conversation a friend said to me that he'd practised 'mindfulness' by 'blocking out' distractions. Later in the week another friend said that she'd been 'living in the moment' by excluding and denying certain unwanted thoughts. I think that these accounts of what mindfulness and living in the moment involve are mistaken.

In their book "Mindfulness: a practical guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World" Mark Williams and Danny Penman write that "Mindfulness is about observation without criticism; being compassionate with yourself". This is more in tune with what I understand by the phrases 'Mindfulness' and 'Living in the Moment'. These practices are not about blocking out or excluding anything, they are about trying to focus on something specific, e.g. your breath or your thoughts, and simply observing what is happening non-judgementallly. If other thoughts, feelings or images (pleasant or unpleasant) come into your mind, you observe that is happening and then gently try to refocus on the subject of the meditation/mindfulness practice.

For a description of a standard meditation/mindfulness practice, click on the link below:

Meditation Practice

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