by Robyn Jones – B.Sc. (Psych), Goonellabah, Australia
I went to a local mental health meeting recently where the topic being presented was Mindfulness. I was curious to attend and learn more about what seems to be a phenomenon sweeping the Psychology therapy arena and many other areas of industry and life. The presenter started with a brief Mindfulness meditation.
As the presenter talked us all through the meditation it became increasingly obvious the point of the meditation was about focusing on ‘being in the room’, the noises, our bodily sensations, with the theme being to concentrate and focus on all of what was going on around us in the room and inside our bodies to bring us into the ‘present moment’, calming and soothing the mind, and bringing relaxation to our body. Sounds kind of nice, doesn’t it? But is it?
What I experienced with this Mindfulness meditation was how distracting the process that was being described was from truly supporting me to be in the ‘present moment’. By focusing on all that was going on around me and in my body it in fact took me away from ‘being’ in the present moment as there was an emphasis on connecting with all that was outside of me. Even how we were being asked to focus on the body it was like it was something we were being asked to connect to from a distance rather than actually being in. This kept me in my head, and there is no true connection that can come from being in our minds. How can we be in the present moment when we are being asked to focus on all that is going on around us, and in us, from a point of thinking about these things? Where is the BEING and true connection in this?
Connection comes from our hearts, from feeling our true nature. There is no thought that can imitate or match the Love that resides in our hearts – that lies at the core of our being.
Meditation has been misconstrued over the years and it is now being used for de-stressing or relaxation purposes. Whereas, the true purpose of meditation is in fact to support us in connecting with the truth of who we are, the love that is in our hearts – our true nature. A nature that is deeply joyful, respectful, honouring, still, harmonious, truth-full, responsible, and loving.
I have experienced many different types of meditation over the years and there has only been one meditation that has ever really been supportive to me, and that is the Gentle Breath Meditation™. With the Gentle Breath Meditation™ it offers an opportunity to connect to what lies deep within us. It offers the opportunity to connect to and feel the quality of gentleness, a quality that supports us to drop into our hearts and be reminded of our true nature. This quality can then be taken into our everyday lives, into everything we do. How we open and close the cupboard doors. How we dress ourselves. How we apply makeup. Basically, EVERYTHING and EVERY movement we make. It is not simply a meditation; it is a tool to bringing us consistently back to our true being, to our heart – to feeling, rather than thinking.
The quality we move in is paramount to the quality of our thoughts, so it makes sense that we need to focus on connecting with our bodies from the inside out, not from the outside in.
Knowing that connection is the true purpose of meditation and having experienced a re-connection to myself and to my body from the inside out through practising the Gentle Breath Meditation™, I knew what was being asked in the Mindfulness meditation was harmful, rather than healing, simply because it did not offer true connection. Instead Mindfulness meditation offers relief from the way we live every day, elation as we feel a reprieve from this way of living for a brief moment, it ‘clears’ our minds of our usual thoughts by replacing these with thoughts about noises in the room or the environment we are in and sensations in our bodies, and bliss from escaping feeling the build up of tension in our bodies. Only to find, that once we step back into our life and our usual way of living with our usual thoughts after the meditation, we can’t sustain or hold any of these sensations.
This is so far from my daily experience and many others worldwide who have used the Gentle Breath Meditation regularly. There is a consistent letting go of tension, a vitality that is sustainable throughout the day, improved quality of sleep, feelings of joy (no elation or bliss in sight), and closer relationships, amongst other amazing experiences.
For me it comes down to what we are looking for from meditation to the type of meditation we will choose. Are we looking to simply relieve ourselves – to experience elation and bliss, which are momentary and unsustainable OR are we looking to truly support ourselves from a place of connection, as this is where true and sustainable healing comes from?
So, is mindfulness meditation effective? Well, it is really up to every person to discern this for themselves. My experience is No it is not effective, anything but, and this article certainly offers a perspective worth investigating.
For highly effective and healing meditations that are available free on the internet and are downloadable click here.
Photograph by Dean Whitling.