There are many styles of Meditation. At times sitting on your own, trying to get still and discern the accuracy of your thoughts, beliefs or gut feelings especially when you have highly charged feelings / emotions about an issue going on in your life can feel almost impossible.
The Four Foundations of Mindfulness are doorways through which we can find freedom from stress (another word for suffering). Sitting still and ‘simply noticing the sensations of body and breathing’ – the first foundation can feel hard, annoying and “why am I doing this when Ive got bigger problems to think about;”
The first foundation can be misunderstood as just paying attention to the sensations of body and breath. Likewise the other foundations of Mindfulness of Feeling, Mindfulness of Mind and Mindfulness of Dharma / Dhammas other Phenomena / Teachings / Purpose are also foundations that take a long time to understand. However having an ‘experience’ of them far outweighs trying to learn it from a book. Using the books to help you understand your experience is of course is useful to navigate this vast field of Mindfulness which can be misunderstood as just being present.
Even touching on the Pillars of Mindfulness can be misinterpreted as being Mindfulness themselves – like Non Judgement, Letting Go, Patience etc.
Taking time to actually “sit” and have an experience of the deeper meaning of The Four Foundations of Mindfulness not only take time but in my experience require ongoing guidance.
Co-Meditation can be a powerful way to uncover more about these foundations and the wisdom they offer us when we are facing conflict in life, or trying to solve problems or just wanting to find a way to keep life simple and have fun. My work as a Teacher Trainer and Clinician, delivering Yoga and Mindfulness Based Therapy to those who have experienced trauma, addiction, depression and anxiety affirms the importance of taking time to understand what is wanting to be seen, felt and heard. This has nothing to do with talking about it to the point of analysis paralysis. In-fact it is an approach that gives the thinking mind a rest to just ‘sit’ and be itself. Practicing and delivering Co-Meditation Using the Foundations of Mindfulness also re-affirms how Mindfulness helps in more ways than one in the healing process.
Sitting and experiencing what’s actually happening together can be a powerful way for two people to learn from the wisdom that comes from some place else (not the intellect of ‘trying to figure it out’)
“When one person teaches, two people learn”
Yoga has a beautiful way of opening us up. Often teachers coming through teacher training programs are concerned they won’t have all the answers in how to help their students. A common perceived problem for us all in varying degrees which creates more tension :
“What if I don’t know what to do”
Lessons from the cushion in Co-Meditation of how Mindfulness can help us with conflict resolution or the dis-ease created from uncertainty and perceived ‘separation’ :
I am just like them, they are just like me
When I take time to sit and truly see.
When I judge them,
Im also judging me.
Yoga holds up a mirror
Meditation shines the light
Helping us to see clearer
The resistance comes from fight or flight
This begins to dissolve as we take the lens wide
Just “being” on the cushion
Taking time with what’s inside
Not judging it, nor trying to figure it out
Seeing what the sensations are made of
Begins to make space, around the doubt
Invite it in for “tea” be inclusive of what ever is there
Asking what it needs, just listen
Now a sense of calm can be felt everywhere
When we merge with that inner balm and take a bigger view
A light bulb sensing moment
“I am just like you”
The world view from afar , almost out of sight
Holding the world in my hands seeing clearly
We all have suffering
Dissolves “my” need to be ‘right’
Sit down, become quiet
So you can step back and see
“I am just like them”
“They are just like me”
The division from conflict no longer there
From a view this far away
When I give the mind some space
The “I” in it
No longer needs to have its say
A problem cannot be solved
In the same mind it came about
Hear it, feel it and watch it dissolve
The mind now quiet, ‘nothing’ , no doubt
What we ‘thought’ was a solid sensation
Loosens its grip and fades away
Leaving nothing but a revelation
Space for joy thats already there can now be felt
Being inclusive, of all experiences helps us enjoy this precious day
From silence there is wisdom
A deeper knowing from no thought at all
From letting go a sense of freedom
Learning from the fall
‘Awake’ there is no struggle
Just do what needs to be done
“Oh and by the way” the witness whispers
Remember to have fun 😉
What initially starts out as body scans and three minute breathing spaces although at first may press our buttons of boredom, or doubt “Am I doing it right, nothing is happening” can open out into a form of self inquiry that sets you free from suffering. Boredom and not wanting to sit still are just side effects of how addicted the mind can be to our thinking, or perceived problem stories.
The stress from conflict, the stress from not knowing, the stress from feeling separate from other people, the stress from uncertainty are all just messengers reminding you to come back home and take a comfortable seat. (Paradoxically so) If you have trouble taking time, to watch it all unfold, there is nothing wrong with getting support. Co-Meditation in Mindfulness, getting support with ‘self inquiry’ (insight) is a little different to being told what you need to do to get rid of the problem.
Mindfulness when you look deeply at it , no different to the teachings of ‘Yoga’ which is the art of listening – the poses are there to help us relieve tension from the body so we are not distracted so we can ‘listen’.
This listening reveals the true nature of the mind, and when we strengthen that through practice we begin to trust that ‘truth’ is a beautiful care taker of any ‘problem’
Taking time to sit still, get quiet and Self inquire , sensing what needs to be seen felt and heard in a way that is gentle, loving and kind is a very important part of that step.
Listening takes time and sometimes we need help to do it.
Realising what “i” once knew
I don’t know anymore
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To book a private program or Mentoring in Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention or Mindfulness Meditation Coaching contact email@example.com
* CEC points and hours toward 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training Program also given for Yoga Teachers.