Mornings of Mindfulness

Saturday morning mindfulness, meditation, talks and sharing. Open to all.

 

All are welcome to our mornings of mindfulness. We meet every Saturday at the Friends Meeting House, 8 Hop Gardens WC2N 4EH. Hop Lane is a pedestrian passageway adjoining St Martins Lane next to Gymbox. Nearest tubes are Leicester Square or Charing Cross. 

If it will be your first time practising with us, mention this to the person on the door and please arrive by 10.15am to allow time before we start at 10.30am. There is no admittance after 10.30am and we finish by 1pm. You're very welcome to stay for a cup of tea and a chat afterwards.

A typical Morning of Mindfulness consists of silent, guided and walking meditation, followed by a talk then mindful sharing. Mats, cushions and chairs are provided although you are welcome to bring your own if you wish.

 

Sitting Meditation

We sit in such a way that our body can rest. We sit upright with the back naturally erect and with all our muscles relaxed. It’s good to find a posture that allows us to sit for 20 minutes in stillness and comfort without feeling tired or stiff. As soon as we sit down we begin mindful breathing by paying attention to our breath. We gently follow each in-breath and each out-breath with our awareness. We do not aim to control our breathing but rather allow it to deepen as we relax with the practice. When we are distracted with thoughts, feelings or physical sensations, we try not to dwell on these but simply acknowledge their presence and return to our breathing.

 

Guided Sitting Meditation

Guided meditation exercises have been created by Thay to help us develop our understanding and practice. Each exercise uses the vehicle of conscious breathing to carry images which evoke various responses within us. As we listen to the sound of the facilitator's voice we follow our breathing. We do not need to think about or analyse the words of the meditation, rather we let them fall into our consciousness, like a pebble falling into a deep, still pool.

 

Kinh Hanh - Indoor Walking Meditation

When we practice Kinh Hanh we coordinate our steps with our breath. When we hear the bell to start we take an in-breath and one step with the left foot. On the out-breath we take another step with the right foot. Then we begin the cycle again. We are aware especially of the contact of our feet with the ground, and the wondrous nature of the present moment.

 

Reading

We listen to a short reading together. This will typically be a chapter from a book, or sometimes a pre-recorded talk. When reading from a book, we pass it from person to person with those wishing to do so reading a paragraph each before passing it on.

 

Sharing

Sharing is an opportunity to benefit from each other’s insights and practice. It is a very precious space to share about the fruits or difficulties in our practice.

We practise deep listening, with the full attention, without making judgements. We do not reply to each other. By sharing from the heart out, we contribute to the collective insight and understanding of the Sangha. We base our sharing on our own experience of the practice rather than abstract ideas and theoretical topics. We may realize that many of us share similar difficulties and aspirations.

Whatever is shared during the Dharma discussion time is confidential. If a friend shares about a difficulty he or she is facing, respect that he or she may or may not wish to talk about this individually outside of the Sharing time.

It is a good practice to own what one is about to say; to hold one's own suffering, and to look deeply to see if it's the right moment to share specific things because of the impact one's words may have on others

 

Being Mindful

Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment of daily life. To be mindful is to be truly alive, present and at one with those around you and with what you are doing.

We bring our body and mind into harmony while we wash the dishes, drive the car or take our morning shower. We practice mindfulness not just in a meditation centre but throughout every moment of the day, whether we are at home, at work, travelling or engaging in any other activities of daily life.

In practicing together as a Sangha, as a community, our practice of mindfulness becomes more joyful, relaxed and solid. We are bells of mindfulness for each other, supporting and remembering each other along the path of practice. With the support of the community, we can practice to cultivate peace and joy within and around us, as a gift for all of those we love and care for. We can cultivate our solidity and freedom - solid in our deepest aspirations and free from our fears, misunderstandings and suffering.