Mindfulness Class One -
Practices for Day 4
Coming back to this moment via awareness
On day 4, we'll start with a period of formal practice and then engage in daily-life practice, in order to increase our ability to notice feelings that come into our consciousness - even the subtle ones.
We'll use the breath as an anchor once again, and just be open to any feelings that come in. We'll be aware of them - especially, feeling them in the body - then come back to our breath.
During the day, we'll be aware of whatever we're doing, and, similarly, be open to awareness of feelings: feeling them in our body, then returning to the action we're doing.
Sitting with awareness of feelings
For our formal practice today, we'll sit, and be aware. Today we'll go back to awareness of the breath, and notice when feelings come into our consciousness.
Starting with formal practice will give us a chance to both hone in on the more subtle feelings more, and to avoid being carried away by strong feelings that may come up. This will prepare us for our daily-life practice, so these abilities of awareness are stronger when we engage in action.
In fact, if it seems difficult to sense the more subtle feelings, we can do an extended practice: sitting for 30 minutes, mindfully walking (and being aware of feelings) for 10 minutes, then doing another period of 30 minutes of sitting.
When we notice that our mind has been lost in thought, we simply return our awareness to the breath , without judgment.
Coming back to this moment via awareness of feelings
Throughout the day, we'll be aware of whatever we're doing, with an added emphasis on being aware of the feelings that come in. Feeling the feelings for a moment, then returning to awareness of the action we're involved in.
In this way, we develop the habit of being more aware of feelings, and being able to let go of them and come back to awareness of action - using feelings and action to extend our overall mindfulness.
Again, when we notice we've been lost in thought, we just gently come back to the action at hand.