Mindfulness

There are two mindfulness groups. one meeting on the first Tuesday of the month, and the other on the second Tuesday. We meet at the People’s Initiative, Scargill Walk, Eastwood at 10 am. There are no experts in the group. Members take it in turns to lead the sessions. If you would like to join us please get in touch to check if one of the groups has a space for you. The group contacts are Barbara Gani 0115 9468721 for the group meeting on the first Tuesday of the month and Jean Wilson 0115 9383117 for the group meeting on the second Tuesday.

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December Meetings Tuesdays 4th and 11th November, People’s Initiative

Chapter 11 of ‘Mindfulness a Practical Guide to Finding Peach in a Frantic World’, ‘When did you stop dancing?’  Our ending  was written in 1927, but very relevant today.

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, if is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann

November Meetings Tuesdays 6th and 13th November, People’s Initiative

Chapter 10 of ‘Mindfulness a Practical Guide to Finding Peach in a Frantic World’, ‘Trapped in the Past or Living in the Present?’ Befriending was also a bit part of this session, including befriending ourselves. Our ending poem was very relevant.

Forget about enlightenment

Sit down wherever you are
And listen to the wind singing in your veins.
Feel the love, the longing, the fear in your bones.
Open your heart to who you are, right now,
Not who you would like to be,
Not the saint you are striving to become,
But the being right here before you, inside you, around you.
All of you is holy.
You are already more and less
Than whatever you can know.
Breathe out,
Touch in,
Let go.

By: John Welwood

October Meetings Tuesdays 2nd and 9th October, People’s Initiative

Chapter 9 of ‘Mindfulness a Practical Guide to Finding Peach in a Frantic World’ is called ‘Turning towards difficulties’ was about accepting and exploring our difficulties, something which isn’t easy to do but which does help deal with them. We ended with the following poem.

An Inspiring Poem to Call Forth the True Riches in Life

This life—
It is not a white dove,
Nor black sorrow.
All that is real is love.
All pain is borrowed.

Look not for gray clouds.
Look beyond to blue skies.
There is something to be seen
That is not seen with the eyes.

Leave a darkened past behind,
And see no red below.
Look not ahead to a gray day,
But be at peace in today’s rainbow.

Life is not above,
Nor is death below us.
Look deeper into your soul.
There is more to life
Than what we think we know.

May new eyes see,
And a new day unfold.
Hold onto love.
Let the rest go.

Now is the time to
Follow your rainbow,
And leave time behind.
Now is the place
To live in your truth,
Without needing to know
What’s at the end.

September Meetings Tuesdays 4th and 11th September, People’s Initiative

Chapter 8 of ‘Mindfulness a Practical Guide to Finding Peach in a Frantic World’ I felt was quite challenging. Entitled ‘Moving Beyond the Rumour Mill’ it invited us to look at the rumours and ‘Practice Interfering Thoughts’ or PITfalls, that we tell ourselves. Even so, being with the group feels safe and secure, no matter how uncomfortable some of our own thoughts may be.

And to top it all, some of us got to spent a thoroughly enjoyable time when we unexpectedly and spontaneously went to the cinima in the afternoon.

August Meetings Tuesdays 7th and 14th August, People’s Initiative

Chapter 7 of ‘Mindfulness a Practical Guide to Finding Peach in a Frantic World’ had us standing and stretching this month. Discussions about our practices this month showed that many of us are beginning to find real improvements in the quality of our lives.

We had no poem to finish the sessions this month but two quotations.

Marcandangel

It’s not what you say to everyone else that determines your life;

It’s what you whisper to yourself that has the greatest power.

 

Meditation: Calming the mind (except) by Bob Sharples

Don’t meditate to fix yourself, to improve yourself, to redeem yourself; rather, do it as an act of love, of deep warm friendship to yourself. In this way there is no longer any need for the subtle aggression of self-improvement, for the endless guilt of not doing enough. It offers the possibility of an end to the ceaseless round of trying so hard that wraps so many people’s lives in a knot. Instead there is now meditation as an act of love. How endlessly delightful and encouraging.

July Meetings Tuesdays 3rd and 10th July, People’s Initiative

At this meeting we continued with Chapter 6 of ‘Mindfulness a Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World’. As well as a mindfulness exercise, we considered going for a mindful walk and what little things we feel grateful for. The following poem talks about that.

Little Things in Life

by Regina Riggs

Too often we don’t realize
what we have until it is gone;
Too often we wait too late to say
“I’m sorry – I was wrong”

Sometimes it seems we hurt the ones
we hold dearest to our hearts;
And we allow foolish things
to tear our lives apart

Far too many times we let
unimportant things into our minds;
And then it’s usually too late
to see what made us blind

So be sure that you let people know
how much they mean to you;
Take that time to say the words
before your time is through

Be sure that you appreciate
everything you’ve got
And be thankful for the little things
in life that mean a lot

June Meetings Tuesdays 5th & 12th June 2018, People’s Initiative

The first meetings in our new venue concentrated on Chapter 5 of ‘Mindfulness a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world’ by Williams & Penman. This is the book we’ll be following for the first few months, bringing a beginner’s guide to mindfulness. The new venue was found to be very conducive to these meetings, and a poem seemed an appropriate way to close.

If you would grow – shine the light of loving self-care on yourself
If you would grow to your best self
Be patient, not demanding
Accepting, not condemning
Nurturing, not withholding
Self-marveling, not belittling
Gently guiding, not pushing and punishing
For you are more sensitive than you know
Mankind is as tough as war yet delicate as flowers
We can endure agonies but we open fully only to warmth and light
And out need to grow is as fragile as a fragrance dispersed by storms of will
To return only when those storms are still
So, accept, respect, and attend your sensitivity
A flower cannot be opened with a hammer
by Daniel F. Mead

Inaugoral Meeting Friday 4 May 2018, Forester’s Arms.

There were 21 people at the first meeting of the Mindfulness Group. We talked mainly about what mindfulness was and how we wanted to progress the group. We also practised a mindfulness meditation exercise. Almost everyone enjoyed the meeting and said they wanted to continue, even after hearing they would be expected to practise at home.  The room, complete with tea, coffee and biscuits was lovely, but not quite quiet enough for meditation. So we’ve decided to split the group into two and use the People’s Centre instead.