A week of meditation

Last week I spent the week at a mindful meditation retreat, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

I am not a particularly restful person and find it difficult to concentrate for more then 5 minutes. However the power of the human mind has always fascinated me and so the opportunity to learn more about the practice of mindfulness was to good to pass up.

The key skill of mindfulness is learning to seperate the active mind (thinking) and the observing mind (awareness). Both minds are in constant motion, however we learn to listen to our active mind most commonly and give it precedence. The active mind is interesting, always busy, always trying to achieve, always setting goals and making up stories to help us interpret the world. The observing mind is non judgmental, it is were feelings, emotions and gut instinct reside. This is the mind we are referring to when we say we have butterflies in our stomach or our hearts are broken.

Imagine if you could isolate those butterflies in your stomach before a big public speaking engagement and spend a couple of minutes acknowledging the feeling and relaxing. How much better would you feel about accepting speaking engagements!!! There are many ways that you can reconnect with your observing mind or awareness, mindfulness training is one of these methods.

I am very thankful that I was able to spend a week exploring this practice and developing some new skills and as a bonus, mini meditations, especially for people like me with a 5 minute attention span!!!! woot woot, I’m off to practice while the kettle boils.

Jen spent a week at The Yarra Valley Living Centre and Gawler Foundation undertaking Mindfulness Mediation teacher training. The Yarra Valley Centre and Gawler Foundation was established over 30 years and is nestled in 40 acres of beautiful farm land near Yarra Junction. While the setting was amazing, the lack of coffee, sugar and processed fats kicked in after about 40 hours making it difficult to concentrate on the teachings… a quick trip in the car to the local supermarket was necessary to stock my cupboard with protein balls and my keep cup with latte.