This post shares what happened during week 3 of the mindfulness course I did.
I am really enjoying the mindfulness course I am doing. I had no expectations so continue to treat it as an experiment.
This week home practice was the Body Scan again. I am not comfortable with this practice. I much prefer Mindfulness of Breath, I find those sensations a strong anchor for my attention. This week I have noticed two new things about myself. 1) I am giving people my full attention. At work if someone comes to my desk to talk about something I am naturally giving them 100% of my attention. I am fully present with them. I am quiet inside. I am not waiting for my turn to speak. I am just listening.
2) I keep slipping into the presence of an activity that I would usually do on auto-pilot. I am calling this "being with" as when it happens I have nothing in mind and I have not consciously chosen to witness the activity but seem to just slip into being with it.
With practice, awareness becomes increasingly your home base, your refuge, rather than the contents of awareness. You abide more and more as the field of awareness upon which experiences arise, register, and pass away. (Rick Hanson)
Here are two examples of what has happened: The other night I was doing the ironing whilst listening to a podcast and I suddenly became aware that I had become one with what I was doing. I was not listening to the radio, my sense of self was lost in pressing the iron along the bedding, watching the creases disappear from view under the iron and not be there when the iron moved on, enjoying the feel of the steam and the warmth of the sheets. I was driving my car to work when I realised I had got lost in the actual sensation of driving. I was sensing all the bumps in the road, the steering wheel, my feet on the peddles. I have never experienced this before. I had unintentionally got into what I can only describe as an "at one with" zone - yeah that does sound hippie woo-woo to me too - and then as soon as I noticed what was occurring, I was no longer with the activity but experiencing it as usual. Outcomes and findings Daily practice is now part of my weekday routine. My weekends are not structured so it’s more a case of fitting a formal practice in.
My mind is more inclined to wander during the Body Scan and I judge myself for this.
The "at one with effect" is a little disturbing as it was not mentioned as an outcome of practicing mindfulness meditation. I spoke about it with the course leader who said it was an outcome of deeper practice and not to be overly concerned.