Answers by Bonnie Dawn Roberts, Director of Positive Meditation and Positive Consultancy Ltd
1. How does Mindfulness and Meditation work?
It focuses your attention away from ‘the monkey mind’ and the 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts we each juggle on a daily basis. It enables our thoughts to settle by giving the mind a simple task to keep it out of trouble. We may focus on the breath, a mantra, an object, a visualisation etc. This is taken as the mind’s ‘anchor’. As thoughts arrive, they are noticed and acknowledged and the mind is then gently pulled back to its anchor. Mindfulness is about paying attention, in the present moment on purpose with no sense of judgement, or self-criticisms.
2. What is the main aim of Mindfulness and Meditation?
To encourage a state of deep rest with the mind increasingly silent yet completely alert. This allows the body’s healing mechanisms to function more fully establishing better health, balance, calmness, resilience to life’s ups and downs, positivity of mind, happiness and mental clarity. A quality of life improver even under pressure. (See Benefits of meditation).
3. Is Mindfulness and Meditation like ‘posh napping’ or considered to be ‘quirky’ and ‘hippy’?
Absolutely not. Decades of scientific evidence now back up its efficacy with the use of EEGs, MRI scans and controlled experiments which prove that there are physiological changes in the brain, and mind-body benefits which reflect in better health, happiness, effectiveness, focus and energy.
4. What happens if I cannot let go of all my thoughts – am I doing something wrong?
No you are not doing anything wrong. Thoughts are natural to everyone. Just allow your thoughts to arrive, acknowledge them and let them pass on like clouds in the sky. As you continue to bring your attention back to your ‘anchor’ they will reduce in quantity and quality and you will learn not to engage or be so immersed in the drama of your thoughts. There is no need to be judgemental or ‘beat yourself up’ regarding thoughts. Accept in yourself that they come and they go.
5. I cannot sit in the lotus position – does this mean I cannot practice Mindfulness and Meditation?
We encourage people to adopt a comfortable sitting position or lie on the floor if they prefer. Whatever is most realistic for each individual.
6. If I fall asleep – does it matter?
If people fall asleep then that is ok as the body clearly needs the sleep however when you awake bring the mind back to the ‘anchor’. This can happen more when people first start meditating. The tendency to fall asleep becomes less as time goes on.
7. There are many different types of meditation. Which ones are best?
At Positive Meditation we predominantly practice Mindfulness and Meditation.
8. What if I cannot close my eyes to Meditate?
Some people feel more vulnerable about closing their eyes. It is fine to softly focus on the ground in front of you with the eyes half open. Over time fears tend to dissipate and people will be able to close their eyes.
9. I am not religious. Does this mean Mindfulness and Meditation is not for me?
Meditating at Positive Meditation is an entirely non-religious activity. Our sessions are completely irrespective of background, beliefs or ability.
10. How long should each practice be? Does it matter if it is just for 5 minutes?
Ideally practise should be around 20 minutes duration x 2 a day. However, any practice is better than nothing so one lot of 10 or 15 minutes is also good. We do in addition teach ‘Minute Meditations’ to take with you so that they can be used anytime, anywhere when you need a little refreshing, a little more energy, calming down or need to be able to take a new perspective on a situation.
11. What support will I get after I finish a course with Positive Meditation?
We aim to offer monthly or bi-monthly Mindfulness and Meditation sessions for past students so that people can come together to meditate and share experiences which can often be a very effective way of meditating.
12. Is Mindfulness and Meditation a panacea for all ‘ills’?
Meditation is not a panacea for everything however it definitely is being proven to support disease in a positive manner and in many cases makes significant differences in improved health and enhanced well-being. NB Mindfulness and Meditation is not intended to replace any medication or treatment plans provided by your health care practitioner. If you are under the guidance of a health care practitioner please contact them before beginning your course.
If you would like to talk to us about Mindfulness and Meditation, attend a course, or organise a group who wish to learn to practice or promote Mindfulness and Meditation in any way then please contact us either by calling +44 (0)1491 872184 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
All text and images copyright of Positive Meditation 2014