Exercises: Mindfulness (Set 4)

contemplation4

Reference: Mindfulness Approach

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Mindfulness is seeing things as they are. It provides the discipline for looking and contemplation

The following exercises help you see things as they are. You may do them while sipping coffee in a café, or strolling along a river. You may even find a place where you can sit comfortably for a while without being disturbed, and then patiently observe the world go by.

Name acts as a broad reference point to something. Form is one of the many ways that thing may be represented. The perception of a thing goes beyond its name and form. Fixation on name and form may act as built-in judgment of what is there. To know something, one must go beyond name and form and look at it more closely including all its associations.

When mindfulness is practiced, thinking becomes contemplation. Problems are solved by looking at them non-judgmentally and recognizing the relationships. One looks around to get the missing information instead of try to “figure it out”.

When you let it be, it becomes effortless. Effort comes into play only when there is resistance to letting it be. It is completely safe when one lets the body and mind unwind gradually on its own. Trouble occurs only when one gets anxious and starts to dig for answers.

Mindfulness seems to be fundamental to all scientific observation, meditation, prayer, and other forms of spiritual practice. Incorporate mindfulness in your life as much as possible.

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EXERCISE # 1: Name and Form

PURPOSE:  To practice not to get hung up on name and form.

PREREQUISITE: Review Exercises: Mindfulness (Set 3).

STEPS:

  1. In this exercise you observe things beyond their name and form.

  2. Prepare yourself as in earlier exercises.

  3. Observe the environment and the people in a causal, easygoing manner.

  4. Notice the name and the outer form of the object that you are observing.

  5. Contemplate on the ideas associated with the name and form of this object.

  6. Contemplate on the purpose, possible uses, and history of this object. Explore all such associations.

  7. Contemplate over this object looking at it in the context of the whole universe.

  8. Repeat steps 4 to 7 with as many different objects as possible.

  9. This exercise is done for 20 minute, which is the normal duration of a session. Several sessions may be given during a day, and over the course of days, until progress is observed.

  10. This exercise is completed when it becomes effortless.

  11. When this exercise is completed you may proceed to the next exercise.

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EXERCISE # 2: Contemplation

PURPOSE:  To contemplate thoughtfully.

PREREQUISITE:  Review Exercise # 1 above.

STEPS:

  1. In this exercise you contemplate thoughtfully.

  2. Prepare yourself as in earlier exercises.

  3. Observe the environment and the people in a causal, easygoing manner.

  4. Observe name, form, characteristics and all possible associations.

  5. When you perceive something discontinuous, disharmonious, or inconsistent become very alert. Do so even when explanations are provided.

  6. Look more closely around the area that seems out of place and focus on what does not make sense.

  7. Be non-judgmental and follow the trail of what continues to be puzzling.

  8. The trail may take you to some childhood question that never got answered, or to some confusion in school that never got resolved.

  9. Apply all aspects of mindfulness to these unresolved questions, confusions and emotions. Consult references from books and Internet as necessary.

  10. The trail may also take you to some traumatic incident that you feel emotional about. Let the attitudes, emotions, sensations and pain purge themselves out.

  11. Follow through to the end of trails of what does not make sense. Exhaust all such trails until the missing piece is found.

  12. This exercise is done for 20 minute, which is the normal duration of a session. Several sessions may be given during a day, and over the course of days, until progress is observed.

  13. This exercise is completed when it becomes effortless.

  14. When this exercise is completed you may proceed to the next exercise.

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EXERCISE # 3: Effortlessness

PURPOSE:  To let it all be effortless.

PREREQUISITE:  Review Exercise # 2 above.

STEPS:

  1. In this exercise you practice effortlessness.

  2. Prepare yourself as in earlier exercises.

  3. Observe the environment and the people in a causal, easygoing manner.

  4. Observe what is there in the environment using all your senses. Let various forms, sounds, smells, taste, touch, thoughts, emotions, impulses etc. come to you. Do not strain to perceive them.

  5. Become aware of the body and stay aware of it without interfering with its natural movements, such as, that of breathing, or responding to natural impulses.

  6. Let physical reactions, such as, twitches in muscles, minor pains and aches, sleepiness, etc., come and go. Experience the body as a whole without resisting it.

  7. Become aware of the mind and stay aware of it without interfering with its natural thought processes. Let your attention be non-judgmental.

  8. Let mental reactions, such as, memories, feelings, emotions, thoughts, etc., come and go. Experience the mind as a whole without resisting it.

  9. Simply observe the physical and mental objects necessary to follow the trail of interest. Let the mind contemplate on discontinuities, disharmonies and inconsistencies as they present themselves.

  10. Let your eyes be open, half-closed, or closed naturally and not be controlled. Keep this exercise as effortless as possible.

  11. This exercise is done for 20 minute, which is the normal duration of a session. Several sessions may be given during a day, and over the course of days, until progress is observed.

  12. This exercise is completed when it becomes effortless.

  13. When this exercise is completed you may proceed to the next exercise.

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