Today is a Bit Different

In some ways, today may seem like a day off as no new course element is introduced today.  But it is not a day off.  Today is a day for you to review what has been happening during this course.

But be clear: you are not reviewing the course or assessing it. You are reviewing what you are doing with the course.

The aim is to help yourself to use the course. You are not assessing your performance, although the review might help you to identify if there are any parts that you may have ‘skipped over’.

See how you do.  Be honest with yourself.  But don’t be critical of yourself.  If you see a lot of no answers then note them and act accordingly.  If you can do this, then that in itself would be an indication of real progress.

 

Task for Today

There is a series of questions below.  Most have a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ type of answer.  If you wish you could approach answering these as a 1 to 5 with a 1 or 2 being a no and 4 or 5 being a yes.  I’ll let you decide what a 3 means.

When you have gone through them, see if there are any definite ‘no’ answers.  If there are definite ‘no’ answers then these may indicate areas where you are having difficulties and where you need to concentrate.

  1. Did you get a journal and write down your commitment to do the course?  How well do you think you have kept to this – have you broken your commitment?
  2. Have you done each of the tasks as outlined in the course each day, including repeating as instructed?  If you missed a day and then caught up again over a weekend then that’s OK.
  3. If you have not kept up, do you know why not?  Write a 1 sentence answer in your journal.
  4. Do you have a positive or neutral attitude to meditation?  Has your mind become more positive towards it as a worthwhile exercise?  If you think it is a waste of time write this in your journal and write one reason why you think this.
  5. Have you found that the breathing exercise has helped to focus your mind?  Has it become any easier?  Do you see any benefits?  Are you doing it now without listening to the meditation?
  6. Have you been able to translate the focus on your internal body to an external object?  Have you found yourself doing this on any other object without having thought in advance about doing so?
  7. Are you any more comfortable in your surrounds? Less judgmental of people or situations?  Less liable to always categorize and label?  Do you feel you need to improve in this respect?

 

If you have any a couple of definite ‘no’ answers you should redo the relevant elements of the course.  If there are a larger number you should consider going back to the start of the course and starting again (there are links at the bottom of this page that will bring you back to all the previous daily exercise pages).

 

Another Task

There is also a task for today that is related to reviewing your progress.  It’s not easy, but your ability to undertake it will be a good indication of your progress.

Recall the exercise from Day 5 when you were required to be aware of a routine and focus on it in a way you would never ‘normally’ do?  If mindfulness is to become an integral part of your daily life then this must become a regular part of your mental activity.

So, today, try to focus on as many routines as possible treating each in a mindful manner.  Don’t let this interfere with achieving any objectives such as meeting work deadlines, interacting with other people or driving safely.

The practice of mindfulness should assist you in undertaking these tasks, and eventually it will, but because you are still likely at the stage of having to consciously remind yourself to be aware of the moment you could find some conflicts.

Note in your journal how successful you are at this task and continue to undertake it every day from now on in the course.

Finally, you should continue to practice the breathing exercise a few times a day.  Use it to help you in other aspects of the course, or as a practice in itself to focus your mind.

 

Links to previous exercises:

Day 1: Preparation                     

Day 2: Awareness                      

Day 3: On Meditation                 

Day 4: Breathing Exercise  

Day 5: Awareness of Routines

Day 6: Meditation on an Object

Day 7: Attention to Your Body

Day 8: Meditation on Sounds & Thoughts


-- Download as a printable PDF --