Mindfulness – as used on a busy acute mental health ward

It’s been brought to my attention that my link to the University site no longer exists, so I’ve inserted a link to my pdf file of the presentation.
As there has been some recent interest, I’m reblogging this post.

MMM... Meditation, Mental health, Mindful crochet

This is a presentation I made at a Mindfulness Conference in spring 2011 – it has links to some useful resources:

Delamares MINDFULNESS PRESENTATION SOUTHAMPTON 2011

In the audience were my consultant psychiatrist and some of the psychologists who had taught me mindfulness – no pressure then!

This is from a powerpoint presentation – fairly self-explanatory but if anything is not clear, please ask. It includes a diagram of how mindfulness can help cope with unwanted or distressing thoughts, memories or voices.

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one minute meditation of fish in pond #mindfulness

This includes a link to a video of a fish pond – so if you’re unable to get out into nature…

I am at Hayes Conference Centre for the @RetreatsUK retreat. The centre has a beautiful pond where you can watch little fish swimming, being still, moving, suddenly startled…

I’ve recorded one minute of this on video. If you are stuck indoors somewhere it is good for your soul just to be able to step back into nature and your senses even for a minute. Watch the fish and notice their movements and their stillness, hear the sound of the birds and perhaps the indistinct sound of people’s voices occasionally in the background. Notice how the light changes and there are ripples on the water from the breeze. Sometimes we see the fish more clearly, sometimes they are more fuzzy and out of awareness.

If you think of the pond as your mind, a pool of awareness, and the fish as thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations that come into your mind. The…

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#Christianity and #mindfulness #meditation

More thoughts on Christian mindfulness.

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Mindfulness short: myth – in mindfulness meditation we are trying to empty our mind

One of the biggest myths about mindfulness is that in mindfulness meditation you are trying to empty your mind. Ruby Wax who is good at answering questions people are asking answers the question this way in her book Sane New World, ‘With mindfulness the rumour is wrong that the point is to empty your mind; you need your mind to analyse, memorize, create and most importantly exist. It can never be empty while you’re alive, even in a coma your mind is still chattering away.’[1]

Why can she say this so categorically? It is all to do with what we think the mind is and how we define it. Interpersonal neurobiologist Daniel J. Siegel points out there is a lack of awareness and understanding of the mind. He defines the mind to be ‘a process that regulates the flow of energy and information.’[2] The mind is always receiving…

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Photos for Meditation #3

This photo was taken in the Venetian lagoon in February of this year. We had just visited the Armenian monastery on one of the islands and as we came out this was the view. The sea was like liquid gold.

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For me, this is not only a stunning photo, but it reminds me of a lovely friend of mine.
The very next morning I learned that she had lost her fight with cancer almost to the minute that I had taken the photo. She was a truly golden lady, and is greatly missed.

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Lighthouse, Sea Surge and Survival in a Strong Tower

Graham Prouty on-line and on-life

lighthouse.jpgI don’t know about you, but this photo is one of my all time favorites. The photographer Jean Guichard has many spectacular pictures of lighthouses and surf, (google him and check out his other work!) but this one resonates with me because of the man standing on the platform looking out over, and under, waves that would annihilate him if he makes one bad move or a rogue wave decides to get him! Obviously he has done this before, but look at the potential disaster all around him!

There are a couple reasons this picture resonates with me…

I often feel like the world is raging around me so much that at any moment I will be capsized by it. I am sure you have felt the same way; a relentless crashing of wave after wave of commotion that keeps your attention so focused that you are completely drained and…

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#Mindfulness article via Associaton of Christian Counsellors magazine Accord

A good reply to Christians who are concerned about the supposed Buddhist roots of mindfulness. I love the comment that it’s like saying gravity is British because Isaac Newton discovered it.

Dear Shaun,

I have been suffering from recurrent depression and my doctor has recommended I try Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Someone in my church has said I shouldn’t touch it with a bargepole because mindfulness has Buddhist roots. Apparently it also involves meditation, and in meditation you are trying to empty your mind, aren’t you? Isn’t that dangerous?

I’m desperate for help – can you offer me any guidance?

Yours ever,

Concerned Christian

Dear Concerned Christian,

You are right! There is some confusion and caution within the church when it comes to mindfulness. It is important to bring some clarity into this area so you can make an informed decision.

Mindfulness is our universal human capacity for awareness and attention. This capacity needs to be distinguished from the mindful awareness or meditative practices that help us develop this innate ability to be mindful. A doctor in the USA called Jon…

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