October 19, 2017

Mindfulness: Find What’s Right for Your Practice

What Mindfulness Technique Do I Choose?!
by Ginny Castleberry

A mindfulness practice isn’t just sitting silently on a mat for an hour.  Different techniques abound! 

Some have you walking a labyrinth, some have you eating, some have you chanting.  Some are alone, some are in groups.  Some take you through a wonderfully long, detailed tour in your mind of a relaxing place.  Some have you picturing your thoughts as leaves on a stream.  Some have you counting breaths.  Some are tea ceremonies, some “bathe” you in the sound of a gong.

Different strokes for different folks, right?  If you’re brand new to mindfulness training, sitting silently for long stretches may be a challenge.  Try it first – maybe you’re a natural!  But it can be helpful in the beginning to sit with a group.  Peer pressure, even with mindfulness, works.  You are less likely to stop, to move around, when others are quietly sitting next to you.  Yes, your mind will be doing its fidgety dance (which is part of the experience), but your body will be more apt to stay still.

But if sitting doesn’t sound like the place to start, guided meditation is a fun option.  If you can find a live guided meditation, that’s perfect.  The practitioner will walk you through it all, explaining up front what is happening, and will usually have some discussion after.  If live options aren’t available, check out podcasts and YouTube videos.

In checking out all of the choices, Google is your friend.  And so is Meetup.com.  If you live in Denver or Boulder, you will have dozens of choices on the mindfulness front.  What I recommend is that you dive in and try out as many modalities as possible in a short time.  Immerse yourself in mindfulness.  Decide you are going to take the next 30 days to put mindfulness in the forefront – your Number One hobby.  Try it all then see what shakes out and moves your soul.  Pay attention … What felt good?  What do you think you could stick with?

Ginny Castleberry teaches a one-evening introduction to mindfulness, “Harness the Power of Your Mind for Peak Performance” at Colorado Free University.   Next offered September 28, 2017, 6pm – 9pm.