Buddhism, mindfulness and wellbeing

oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London
#1
Does anyone else find Buddhist or mindfulness meditation ideas and practice helpful for their mental wellbeing? - Or perhaps similar non-dogmatic (Eastern?) spiritual approaches?

I'd love to share experiences, ideas and words of wisdom with other people on this forum who are interested.

May you be held in compassion
May your pain and sorrow be eased
May you be at peace
 
honeyquince

honeyquince

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
1,720
Location
Yorkshire
#2
Hi there,

I realy find that meditation can help me to calm my mind though when I'm in crisis I don't have the wherewithall to practice so has on these ocasions been of limited help. I know however that I should practice consistently to foster a calm mind before I experience crisis but for some reaason I lack motivation, the same reason why I haven't got very far into my mindfullness book.

Have you had any more luck??
 
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London
#3
Hi Honeyquince. Good to hear from you.

I relate to what you're saying about not having the wherewithall to practice meditation/mindfulness when you're in crisis. On a smaller scale, so to speak, I was feeling particularly anxious before going out to an appointment this week and there was no way I could 'breathe and relax' in that acute state of mental arousal. But maybe there's something about being able to accept that is how is at that time, and that Buddhism teaches us that everything changes, so it too will pass (just knowing/remembering that, these days, helps for me).

I guess it's like lots of things - you need to do your practice outside/before the crisis situation - like firefighters would practice their routines many times before trying to do the same in the smoke and fire of the actual emergency situation.

I've practiced various kinds of meditation over the past 20-plus years, but I too struggle with motivation and discipline. I hope one day that I will establish a more regular routine, but in the meantime I've learnt see it like the process of mediation itself: that it's about acceptance of what is rather than telling yourself off or beating yourself up about it, and that when I drift off from the practice of meditation, it's like my mind drifting off from awareness of breath or whatever in meditation - I can just gently notice this and gently return to awareness, or return to practicing.
 
Last edited:
intelgal

intelgal

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
1,413
Location
Yorkshire
#4
I try to lve mindfully. sometimes it works sometimes it does not. i try to meditate and that really helps me to focus.
 
Last edited:
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London
#5
Hi Integral. good to hear from you here.

I was just thinking about you mentioning a mindfulness book, Honeyquince. I wondered if anyone wanted to share what books they like, found useful or inspiring.

I love Jack Kornfield's 'The Wise Heart - Buddhist psychology for the West', and 'A Path With A Heart'. I like that Jack Kornfield studied psychology and psychotherapy after returning to the States from his years of practice as a monk in Thialand, so he has a breadth of perspective.
 
emski

emski

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Messages
1,151
Location
North West
#6
I find meditations and relaxations useful, but for me they are also something that is just not possible when I'm very unwell. I can make use of techniques in recovery or when 'well'. I remember trying to do guided meditations when unwell and because I was hypersensitive and aware I think it made me worse.

I have Eckhart Tolle's books as audiobooks - I find it easier if I'm not feeling my best to listen to them, rahter than to use my books, or try and practice by myself
 
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London
#7
Hi emski, Thanks for joining us and your experience.

Yes, and thanks for pointing out that sometimes, and some kinds of meditation, can be just the wrong thing to do at times of feeling unwell or in crisis. It reminds me of people I've read who've talked about the importance, at times like that, of doing things that really ground us, that aren't too 'heady'. Maybe meditation isn't right at all at times like that unless you're very experienced.

It reminds me of Jack Kornfield's story of when he lived in a Thai forest monastery and found himself going through a period of being constantly overwhelmed by intense anger related to the violence and abuse of his childhood. His teacher told him to stop meditating and gave him, instead, physical work to do to use and direct this energy.

Yes, and that sounds good using audiobooks - I don't have any, I might have look for some. A friend of mine has something by Eckhart Tolle on CD, I know. I'll ask to have a listen.

Does anybody practice by attending a centre or classes or similar? If so, I wonder how important this is for people? I'm trying an attend a local Buddhist centre at least once a week for an hour's walking and sitting mediation, and discussion and instruction too on one evening a week sometimes; meeting/sharing with other people is important for me, I think, in addition to sitting (in meditation) when I can at home.
 
Last edited:
honeyquince

honeyquince

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
1,720
Location
Yorkshire
#8
I attended a Budhist weekend retreat which was an excellent grounding in meditation. This has allowed me to use meditation when out and about. I do keep thinking I could do with another weekend away tho.

The book I have is called something like the mindfull way through depression. One problem I find when I'm not well is that I don't want to loose the bad feelings so I don't want to meditate:cry:.
 
intelgal

intelgal

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
1,413
Location
Yorkshire
#9
I have the mindful way through depression.. not really read the book yet but have used the CD in addition to other CDs. I was fortunate to experience mindfulness stress reduction course.

http://breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk/ has some very good resources.. particualry like the kindly awareness CD.. its very uplifting

Heal Thy Self by Saki Santorelli is an excellent book and details a journey through the midnfulness stress reduction programme and has some beautiful words .
 
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London
#10
Thanks for ideas about books and CDs (that I hadn't heard of).

I'm off to bed soon, and I wanted to find some inspiring words to leave here with; in Jack Kornfield's The Wise Heart, and attributed to the Buddha:

"My friends, it is through the establishment of the lovely clarity of mindfulness that you can let go of of grasping after past and future, overcome attachment and grief, abandon all clinging and anxiety, and awaken an unshakable freedom of heart, here, now."

And I liked that the Dalai Lama has repeatedly said:

"Buddhist teachings are not a religion, they are a science of mind."

:hug: mindful hug
 
emski

emski

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Messages
1,151
Location
North West
#11
Mindful :hug: back, I hope you sleep well.

I would love to attend a Buddhist centre, but unfortunately where I live I think most of the nearest centres are NKT and I am suspicious of them.
 
Libra1

Libra1

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Messages
515
Location
West Midlands
#12
Hi oneday, I do my best to practise mindfulness, relaxation/breathing and guided imagary tho' I often find the later difficult.

I can lose interest/motivation very easily, not just when I am depressed or in intense pain. I have restless/sleepless nights and find my concentration poor. I try to do 5 mins a day when not good and longer on better days.

Try your local library for Cd's on mindfulness, I got a couple out a few months ago and they were 50p to loan for about a month, very useful - sorry I cannot remember the names, I'm hopeless! :unsure:

Goodnight :hug:
 
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London
#13
Hi Libra thanks for the posting. Yes, reminds me that 5 minutes (or even less) is worth doing to 'come back home to yourself'.

Thanks too about the idea about libraries, yes I keep forgetting what good resources they can be with things like that, and all for free! (I also used to like exploring, discovering new kinds of music by borrowing CDs from the library, but maybe that's a different story...) Anyway, take care.

Oneday
 
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London
#14
A mindful poem for a brand new day:

Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety—

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light—
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness

Mary Oliver
 
L

Lola

Guest
#15
I live near a buddhist temple and monks are often in the town centre willing to chat to anyone who wants to. It's all very calming. I find meditation really helps me when my nerves are having a riot but the more depressed I get the less willing I am to do things that help. It's incredibly frustrating for myself and people around me. I need to get some motivation and sort myself out.
 
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London
#17
Hi lola, welcome. And everybody. The sun's shining here (London) after pouring all morning and I'd planned to go for a walk with a friend around 4pm. I hope it stays dry now 'cause I don't have the gear for a downpour.

Yes, Lola, it's seems a bit of a theme here for most of us that it can be really difficult to practice meditation/mindfulness when we're feeling depressed or in some other kind of crisis.

In my own experience I think it can help to be really gentle with myself when I can't settle or be disciplined or look after myself in this kind of way; I try and remember that I don't need to criticise myself, that that just adds more fuel to the fire of difficult feelings. When I can, I just try to gently acknowledge that's how it is for me at the moment and carry on. I can always come back to the practice when I am ready; I don't have to be perfect - whoever said I did?!

I remember the therapist in a therapy group I used to attend once saying that we need to get to where we are before we can move on. I think he meant being able to acknowledge and accept where we are, which is a kind of mindfulness practice itself. Being here in the present with ourselves.

I've been finding it hard to sit in meditation just lately - my mind's very buzzy and sometimes I'm quite anxious and with all the physical symptoms of that. I like to say to myself that I can trust that I'll come back to the practice when I'm ready, just like I can gently come back to awareness of breath or whatever might be my focus in meditation - I can just gently notice this: that I've gone off somewhere and gently come back.

And Emski, I'm glad you liked the poem.
Peaceful day everyone. I think the rain will hold out: 'walking meditation' it is!

Oneday :)
 
Last edited:
oneday

oneday

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
5,019
Location
London
#19
And a poem I looked at again today...

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Rumi

I think Rumi is the most wonderful poet especially if you like 'spiritual' without the bullshit. He was a 13th Century Persian Sufi mystic.
 
intelgal

intelgal

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
1,413
Location
Yorkshire
#20
I love that poem.. I remeber the connection I felt when i first read it last year.

have you read Heal thy self?
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Kerome Mindfulness and Mental Health 2

Similar threads