We hope this newsletter will be a resource for you as well as an inspiration to pause and practice mindfulness. Who knew that 10 years ago the growth of mindfulness would be so phenomenal? Perhaps this is an indication of just how much we all need to press the pause button, and register how we are in a warm hearted way. In each issue we will highlight a practice that perhaps you could experiment with for the next month. We look forward to bringing ideas and suggestions that can be a reminder of why pausing is useful, practical and wise. These skills not only enable us to respond creatively to both our personal and interpersonal needs, but to also look outwards to the needs of the current environmental and social crises.
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.
Rachel and Josephine, on behalf of the Mindfulness Teachers Association of Ireland.
Live guided mindfulness practices on Zoom with MTAI.
MTAI continue to facilitate free drop in sessions three times a week.The sessions have been taking place for almost one year now! These guided mindfulness sessions are facilitated by accredited mindfulness teachers. They take place on
Monday 9 – 9.30 am
Wednesday 9 – 9.30 pm
Friday 9 – 9.30 am
Suitable for those new to mindfulness as well as those with an established practice. Please feel free to join with your camera on or off, and for as long or as little of the session as you like. Some of our guided drop in sessions have been recorded, and you can find them on our You Tube channel here
Try using the alert of a message/email, as a reminder to pause and take a breath-and relax, before we go ahead and pick up our phone.
Maybe we are struggling to sit and meditate. But mindfulness is always where we are. While having a meal, or a cup of tea and a biccie perhaps we can practice mindful eating. If walking to the shop perhaps we can connect with our experience a little more. Intentionally being aware of the body moving, the feeling of air on our skin, looking at the sky, listening at the birds, looking at children/dogs playing perhaps, and maybe enjoying the fresh colours of flowers.
3. Connection and Community
Meditating with other people can be a really rich way to not only sustain our practice, but to feel a sense of connection with others. This might feel especially important at the moment during this period of lockdown. There are many free drop in sessions run by mindfulness centres and teachers on Zoom. There is never any pressure to speak/have camera on so we can just show up as we are! Even in our PJs!
Words of Wisdom.
Each Newsletter we share a quote to help inspire us. Perhaps to help us pause, and enjoy the simple moments. These words are from Pema Chodron.
For the tricky moments…
There is no doubt that we are living in challenging times, some difficulties are visible and some less so. It’s easy to forget that there are supports that can help us, even for a moment here and there. We can so easily stay stuck and think there is really nothing I can do. Feeling totally helpless is damaging psychologically. Here are some steps to reduce the impact of this.
Step 1. The first step is to pause, and say to ourselves in a warm voice, just as we would to a friend who is struggling, “This is a moment of stress, this is hard, this is a struggle.”. Rather than thinking about it, seeing how it is to allow yourself to feel the tension in the body thats created by this stress. Pause, and breathe. Sometimes we dismiss this step as we may think, other people are suffering much more than I am…… “stop grumbling” and so on. This dismissal of what you are experiencing, is a dismissal of yourself and in the long run, does not serve us well.
Step 2. I am not alone with finding this difficult, many people in all sorts of ways are also struggling just like me, this is part of being human and alive.
Step 3. Now actively bringing some compassion to yourself, to this human being who is living through a pandemic,… maybe some words such as “I am doing the best I can. I am not perfect and I make mistakes just as everyone does.”. “I’m okay. I’m okay”. “There is nothing wrong with me. This is normal”. Pause, and breathe.
Step 4. Asking the question “What do I need right now to help me through this?”. Maybe taking 6 minutes to follow a guided practice like the one above, a short walk, or some contact with a friend whom I can be myself with. Or perhaps this pausing in itself might be sufficient for now.
Something to watch!
Each newsletter we will feature a short video that might support learning. Here Dr. Rick Hanson talks about why it is important to take in “the good” each day, and how this can rewire our brains for the better. We hope you enjoy it.