Susanna Alyce 01263 740392

email: susanna@yoga-meditation-relaxation.co.uk

These links give some background to mindfulness:

Mark Williams. The science of mindfulness 


frozen water
When we are anxious or fearful, we have probably slipped into ‘avoidance’ or ‘cautious’ mode, without even being aware. We start to look for danger, using the ancient reptilian part of the brain.

When we take our attention to the feet touching solid, stable, safe ground, it engages ‘approach’ mode. This reverses the aversion, caution or suspicion of a mind fuelled by adrenaline.

Approach mode uses a more creative (and in evolutionary terms, more modern) part of the brain and allows blue-skies thinking, which can resolve issues with imaginative solutions.

‘Feeling’ sensations of the feet can be a quantum leap from our school education, where it was drilled into us to use the mind to evaluate, understand, reason with, be rational about and compute the meaning/reality of the world.

Suddenly, mindfulness says: “Hey, put that thinking aside and simply feel.” Minds tend to hang on to their known way of handling life – they can want to ‘think’ rather than ‘feel’. Even feeling a physical sensation can be alien to us.

But if we practise feeling the feet, we start to benefit from the ‘approach’ mode. Would you be willing to try it now? For just 30 seconds? See if it feels like a little moment of respite, especially if you let your shoulders drop, your out-breath grow a smidge longer, and your focus soften.

Of course, the more often we do this, the better we get at shifting to ‘approach’ mode, gradually training the mind to use this other way of working with life.

Feeling sensation as simply and only sensation is called ‘bare awareness’. We strip away the evaluating mind, and also the name of the emotion we have attached to a sensation. We lay bare our senses to this moment. Like the children we once were, we can become awe-filled with fascination.

Inspirational Poem

David Whyte: Start close In

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

To find
another’s voice,
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes a
private ear
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don’t mistake
that other
for your own.

Download Tick Chart PDF