As the group grows together the definition of mindfulness begins to grow too. The participants learn that they are in the group to pay attention to each other with an attitude of acceptance, non-judgement, patience, beginners mind, non-striving and kindness towards whatever experience might unfold within the group or personally. This begins to create a feeling of connectedness through experiences that the participants have been sharing with each other which leads on to a real feeling of warmth and an acknowledgment that we are all in this together, so let’s be curious as to what might unfold whether it be perceived as being negative or positive it is an experience that has presented itself.
The practices of mindfulness are so powerful that we can see immediate benefits even after a couple of sessions as the participants learn to see that there is an unhealthy attachment or a grasping towards thoughts, emotions, feelings and sensations, and this attachment is causing a lot of suffering. Through the mindfulness practices we are learning to accept and allow them to be just the way they are without suppressing or to repress the experience as it unfolds in a natural way. The participants learn to see that this action of trying to get rid of thoughts, emotions and feeling causes contraction in the mind and the body, and when we let go of that way of processing our experience then we can move away from trying to doing something and into a more comfortable mode of being with what is here right now.
As the participants begin to develop an embodiment of mindfulness, we can see a confidence as we have now learnt to articulate how the practices make us feel, what emotions were present and where in the body we felt this experience when the thoughts pass through or the emotion or feeling presented itself. We can see that in so many ways we are all the same and this can help us to feel comfortable in the presence of the group.
The body can be viewed in my experience as the gross aspect of the mind and the mind the subtle aspect of the body and the breath allows us to connect them both together in a harmonious way. As a group we learn that we do not just have a lot of the same experience but that we all share the world around us but see it in different ways. Our Mindfulness practice lets us look inside this connection between our mind, body and the breath as an organism. So the mind has all of these external experiences coming in and we are just too busy to see a very subtle process taking place. If we do not become more aware of what’s happening when it is happening through learning to share, then these suppressed processes can and usually are stored in our body in the form of tension or dis-ease. As we develop a regular practice we might experience some difficulties because once we have learnt to be in the moment as it unfolds then the deeper levels of mind and physical tensions may begin to push their way into our field of awareness. When these experiences come into our awareness we have already learnt how to relax into the mindfulness practice and negativity and relaxation cannot not be experienced at the same time, so if we are relaxed and not reacting to what is happening in a negative way and responding in a kind way then we will effectively remove the negative charge that comes along with the emotion, or tension. This will ultimately allow us to regain energy that has been locked in our experiences and give us a little more vitality back, instead of it being locked away in the past or the now or even in the future.