Mindfulness

Notes from Meditation classes by Stanley Merrill

— Week 1

Homework
Decide what you think that you can do in this list and see if you are disciplined enough to do it.   If not, why not.

  • Micro Practice – Do 1 long slow deep breath each day.   Extra credit – Multiple times a day and or more than 1 a day
  • Formal Practice – The best time to do it is in the morning because it is less likely you will be tired or feel overwhelmed. If you start out with 5 minutes you can just wake up 5 minutes earlier.
  • Day 1 – 5 min – long slow breath – “Calm my body” – Click Here
  • Day 2 – 5 min – long slow breath – “Balanced Breathing” – Click Here
  • Day 3 – 5 min – long slow breath – “Focal point” – Click Here
  • Day 4 – 5 min – Kristin Neff – “Self-Compassion Break”
    • Kristin Neff’s Web Page Click Here find ““Self-Compassion Break” on the page
  • Day 5 and 6 – Choose whichever ones of the three you wish to do and do it once a day.
  • Day 7 – Do a 5-minute longs slow breath without being guided. Choose any combination of techniques.

Informal Practice

  • Long Slow Breath  throughout the day
    • Develop a list of triggers that will remind you to become aware so that you can make a long slow and deep breath a habit. Examples of triggers/reminders:
      • Get into or out of your car.
      • Whenever you are waiting – in line, traffic jams, red lights.
      • When you walk through a doorway.
  • Stressful Situations
    • Whenever there is something that upsets you take one long slow breath before you react.
      • While you are breathing slowly make sure your focus is on your bodily sensations.
      • Does your attitude change as the focus goes to your breath and the breath slows down?

Guidance

  • Integrate long slow breath into your daily life
    • This helps you slow down your heart rate and decrease your blood pressure.
    • Use this before any formal meditation.
    • These breathing exercises are particularly easy for you to do throughout the day for short periods of time. Red lights, traffic jams, waiting in line, before or after stressful events.
  • Instructions
    • The benefit of the long slow breath is to be able to relax your body, slow down your heart rate.
    • Just by breathing slowly you can relax.
    • This can be done in a formal way in a sitting meditation or it can be done before, after or during stressful events or when you are waiting in line.
    • There are techniques or skillful means used to help keep your mind from wandering.
      • You are intentionally control your breath by breathing slowly. This decreases your heart rate and slows down your pulse.
      • You can say to yourself “Breathing in I relax my body, breathing out I relax my mind.”
      • You can balance the in breath and out breath by counting to the same number on the in breath and out breath.
      • You can try to pause between the in breath and the out breath.
      • You can imagine a wave of relaxation flowing through your body on the in breath and imagine that you are breathing out all of your tension on the out breath.

Basic Instructions for Meditation
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Other Meditations
Personalize your practice
Praters and quotes