Welcome to the July 2021 edition of The Mindful Moment Newsletter! The Mindfulness Teachers Association of Ireland is delighted to be offering this newsletter which is for anyone interested in mindfulness.
The MTAI were really pleased to facilitate a fascinating and enlivening conversation with Niall “Bressie” Breslin. In this newsletter you will find a snippet of this, and a link to the full interview on our You Tube channel.
We are all most likely feeling the urge to get outside more now with the summer in full swing. Below you will find some tips on mindful walking. Bringing our meditation practice outside can bring us both the benefits of grounding and presence, as well as being nourished by nature.
If you are interested in learning more about meditation and mindfulness there are lots of courses facilitated by highly qualified teachers starting soon for you, or for your workplace. For more information click the link below.
The Mindfulness Teachers Association of Ireland.
MTAI’s Michele Van Valey interviewed Bressie on July 1st with a live audience on Zoom. In this honest, lively and insightful interview Bressie and Michele speak about mindfulness, how technology is affecting our wellbeing and much more! It’s not be missed…
Live guided mindfulness practices on Zoom with MTAI pausing for the summer.
A heartfelt thank you to all of you who attended any of our online meditation sessions over the past 18 months. Many of you said how it really built a sense of togetherness and support during a difficult period. We are taking a break now for July and August and will return again in September. We will keep you posted here in The Mindful Moment Newsletter, or you can check out mtai.ie for updates there too. Some of these meditations can also be found on our You Tube channel which might keep you going till we see you in Autumn.
Tips for Mindful Walking
Why do it? Mindful Walking can be a ready-made mindfulness session for us if we simply set the intention for it to be so. With these milder calmer evenings it can be the most nourishing gift to ourselves to take 5, 10, 20 minutes to take our meditation outside. The walk to the shop or with the dog can be transformed when we open up to our senses and bring a little appreciation to what is here and now.
How do I do it? Start walking at a pace that feels slightly slower than normal. It needn’t be too slow. For me I find it helpful to start by just feeling my feet on the ground. The changing patterns of sensations of pressure moving and changing. What else in my body can I feel? How do the other muscles of your body compensate for changes in balance? Note how your arms swing as you walk. The air or clothing on your skin.
If you like you can move through the senses too. What can I see? Looking up at the vastness of the sky. When is the last time you really noticed the clouds, or how blue the sky was? Or grey? How far is your field of vision? The colours, the textures, the shadows, the light….maybe even people, children, or my personal favourite some cute dogs…
Shifting awareness to smell. Just bring attention to the sense of smell, whatever you discover. What can I hear? Whether you’re on your local roads, the city centre, or in the park we can open up to hearing… without getting too tied up in whether you find them pleasant or unpleasant. Noticing sounds with as much curiosity as you can muster.
Or you can just keep an open awareness of all aspects of your experience of walking, whatever is dominant. Maybe pausing from time to time and noticing the breath too.
And when your mind wanders-to plans, or analysis, day dreams-as it will, just remember this is normal. We default to ‘automatic pilot’ so quickly when we walk- because this is how we normally walk! So as best you can bringing understanding and compassion to this busy mind, and maybe even forgiveness- and returning once again to just these feet on the ground, or taking in the colours, the sky, the sounds etc.
Of course we can mindfully walk anywhere. Not just outside. Sometimes at home I just focus on feeling my feet on the floor as I walk from room to room. Connecting with these sensations that are here in this present moment is always a good thing. As the poet Danna Faulds says in her poem “Walk Slowly”
“As many times as I forget, catch myself charging forward without even knowing where I’m going, that many times I can make the choice to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk slowly into the mystery”.
Meet the Teacher
Hello, I’m Susan Delaney, a Cork woman living in Dublin. I’m a Mindfulness teacher, a Psychologist and a Celebrant. I came to Mindfulness about 20 years ago through an interest in Buddhism and through my work in Hospice.
I began using Mindfulness with clients facing loss and bereavement and quickly realized how useful Mindfulness techniques can be when facing difficulty; when our only choice is HOW we are going to meet difficulty. This was life-changing for me – and I don’t use that phrase lightly. In my own life Mindfulness keeps me grounded, sane(ish) and grateful. It has helped me through my own grief and struggles and sustained me through the Covid lockdowns. I’d be lying if I said I practice EVERY day, but Mindfulness is what I come back to again and again, and I know I function better when I have a regular practice. As they say; “ I notice if I miss a day’s practice, the world notices if I miss two”… or at least my family does!
I offer both drop-in sessions and Mindfulness courses in the gorgeous @Calm Rooms in Monkstown, Dublin, and I’m looking forward to getting back there in September and practicing with other people in the same room, although I have learned that practicing together over zoom is possible, and I hope to continue that too. As a wedding celebrant, I love working mindfully with couples to create very personal, low- stress ceremonies that really reflect their relationship and love story (www.marrymemindfully.ie).