RAIN in Manchester

On Saturday, I attended the third weekend of the Level One Mindfulness course: Being Present (for more info: click here) in Manchester at Luther King House. The weekend seemed to have crept up on me after attending weekend two in January. I was a bit dubious, wondering if I had done enough practice and feeling quite unprepared and frazzled when I arrived. I need not have worried as when I joined my group in the main room I was greeted with smiles and familiar faces and I soon felt at ease.

After an initial practice and an introduction by the tutors Gareth and Fay, the weekend got under way! Gareth led a great talk on preference, something we can all relate to! We did a wonderful practice called RAIN which was then incorporated into a body scan. We met up in our previous tutorial groups in the afternoon for discussion and to see how our practice was going. The members of the group are all so honest, supportive and really interesting. It is great to see the journey we are on from all different perspectives and learn about each other’s lives with humour and kindness.

On the way to the course on the Sunday morning, I noticed how different my journey to the course was to the previous day. I was up early and left the house with everyone else still asleep. It was quiet, calm and not raining, which makes a nice change living in Manchester! I was tired as my little boy will not go to bed early at the moment, so neither do I, but I took time on the sunny walk to the tram to notice my surroundings, something I hardly ever do because I am rushing or thinking about something else. I just cannot remember how it got to that point! it is amazing the things that you don’t notice because you’re not paying attention. I try not to get stressed or rush around too much but it inevitably happens. Why be so consumed with all this ‘stuff’ and instead enjoy life every day for what it is? (easier said than done)

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We began the day with some Mindful Movement led by Fay which certainly woke us all up and then moved into learning about the self -compassion break practice for the rest of the morning. The first tea break was in silence which is something I always struggle with being a chatterbox, but it was actually lovely. Not having to talk gives a real sense of perspective. There is no expectation and you can just be- something I have taken on board. We did some more Mindful Movement in the garden after lunch- it was lovely and sunny and great to take in the nature. We then met in our tutorial groups again for discussion, my favorite part of the weekends.

The last session of the day was about Mindfulness in Times of Difficulty and we talked in groups about our life values and reflected on how we are living our lives and how effectively we are using our time. Are we spending time with the people that matter? Very important questions.

I think the main idea I have taken away from the weekend is that any practice is beneficial. All these little pieces of practice, whether it be walking mindfully to the bus stop, a Three Minute Breathing Space or a Compassion Break, all piece together to make a bigger picture. I aim to practice more before the final weekend in May as I have really enjoyed the practices I have learnt throughout the entire course. Plus, the Membership as a Mindfulness tool is amazing, which I always knew but I am not looking through my ‘work’ eyes when I logon now. It is just so accessible and easy to download the practices and listen to the talks. I am looking forward to the next weekend already and the time in-between. I will let you know how it goes!

Kind Regards,

Helen xxxx

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