Session 1

The Undercurrent and Observer

We start the session with a poem By Mick Scottbey Jones – Invitation to a Brave Space, which we recommend you listen to here

Together we will create brave space.
Because there is no such thing as a “safe space” —

We are all creative yet we can struggle at times to access this or take necessary brave steps. In this session we explore working below the surface of our experience, developing an ability to become aware of our inner condition, with our habits, judgements and preferences.

We need to still ourselves and develop a settled mind – recognise what is getting in the way.

The Undercurrent & Observer, by Lorna Brown (Please don’t reproduce or use without the artist’s permission. (lorna.a.i.brown@gmail.com))

In this first session we want to draw attention to how we can become the observer of our experiences in the moment. The observer is able to sit, as if at side of a river, and watch the constant flow of thoughts, feelings, emotions, judgements  etc. becoming aware of what we are experiencing in the moment. We start to recognise how unsettled our mind is, and how often we become involved in our thoughts rather than being in the moment.

To help us become observers of our experience we need to develop the capacity to settle the mind and become aware of the what is happening moment by moment. With practice we can begin to observers of our mind states, and recognise the patterns and conditions that give rise to our thoughts. 

We  offer this mindfulness practice  to help settle the mind and become aware of how often we get caught up in our thoughts.

Mindfulness Exercise - Settling the Mind

This exercise is adapted from Mindfulness Association MBLC course materials, and read by Karen Lawson. The exercise will take 10 minutes.

Settling the Mind – Audio Exercise

Transcript

You can read the full transcript of this audio exercise here, and get links to other audio mindfulness exercises. 

When  reflecting on these questions we also invite you listen to “Spiegel im Spiegel” played by Jurgen Kruse (piano & Benjamin Hudson, viola) as they think about the questions. The translation of the title is mirror in the mirror or infinity mirror.  

Reflective questions:

  • What did you notice?
  • Where did your mind go?
  • Did any images or thoughts come up for you?

Invitation to try something out in the next month. 

Can you Making space for stillness – it might be:

– a guided meditation, being aware of what is happening in your mind and body

– a mindful walk, noticing deeply what you can see, hear, feel.

– breathing

We finish this session with John O’Donohue’s ‘Nothing Can Happen Without a Certain Stillness’ (January, 2007; Vol. XX, No.1)

To return back to ourselves, there are three things needed, for which you don’t require a computer, television or radio: the first is a bit of stillness. Nothing can happen without a certain stillness.

We also need silence. There is nothing so vocal and articulate as silence; all good language, all great words, are born of it.

And the third thing we need is solitude. We need to acknowledge that solitude is an invitation to the soul to come alive. Solitude is utterly luminous if we lose our fears and begin to enter it more deeply. 

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