Two videos that give an excellent introduction to Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a set of techniques that enable us to focus our attention fully in the present moment.
The aim of Mindfulness is to experience and live in "the now" for part of the day - switching off from our constant preoccupation with thoughts about the future (which usually cause us worry, fear and anxiety) or about the past (which involve us ruminating over matters that anger, irritate or frustrate us).
These techniques and practices are Buddhist in origin and date back over 2,000 years to the Buddha himself, but today they are widely used by many people in a secular way to simply enhance life by reducing stress, improving focus and opening the gate to a happier life.
Mindfulness is scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and stress, improve concentration, and to offer a wide range of wellbeing benefits across both physical and metal health. Mindfulness can:
- help relieve stress
- treat heart disease
- lower blood pressure
- reduce chronic pain
- improve sleep
- alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties
In addition, over recent years, psychotherapists and mental health practitioners have turned to Mindfulness meditation as an important element in the treatment of a number of problems, including:
- substance abuse
- eating disorders
- couples’ conflicts
- anxiety disorders
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
Some experts believe that Mindfulness works as a mental health therapy, in part, by helping people to accept their experiences - including difficult and painful emotions - rather than react to them with aversion and avoidance.
Mindfulness practice involves a regular period of meditation (there are specific Mindful meditation techniques, which usually involve focussing our awareness on what our physical senses are currently experiencing) plus various other mini-exercises - these can be used at different points during the day to quickly and easily pull our consciousness back out of our thought stream and return it (briefly) to the present moment.
The Nottingham Mindfulness Group uses Mindfulness techniques drawn from many different, respected sources and it is aligned to no one school,
tradition or branch of Mindfulness practice, however a key inspiration and reference point for our activities is the teaching and work of
Thích Nhất Hạnh and the Plumb Village Mindfulness Community.
Meditation and Mindful Living
Nottingham Mindfulness Group is a local group for anyone interested in Mindfulness, either as a form of spiritual practice or as a practical technique for living a better, calmer, more focussed and more productive life. The group holds regular, weekly meetings which offer (in a friendly, relaxed and informal atmosphere) the opportunity to learn about Mindfulness, to try-out some Mindfulness techniques and various methods of Mindfulness meditation, plus the chance to meet and get to know other people who are interested in Mindfulness, or in meditation in general.
The weekly meetings include talks by guest speakers, a period of Mindfulness meditation, occasional film or video presentations, information about Mindfulness events, classes and courses that are happening locally, and the opportunity to get to know other members of the group in an easy, relaxed way over refreshments. All are welcome and membership is free. These meetings are casual and "open", and they provide an opportunity to encounter Mindfulness in an easy and straightforward way. Meetings take place every week in the heart of the Nottingham city centre.
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