Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mindfulness 5 4 3 2 1


Jack Dikian
April 2012

Five Four Three Two One Mindfulness

Mindfulness, also awareness or a path to enlightenment meditation according to the teaching of the Buddha can be traced back to the Upanishads, part of Hindu scriptures and a treatise on the Vedas.

And modern clinical psychology and psychiatry have developed a number of therapeutic applications based on the concept of mindfulness typically referring to a psychological quality that involves bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis, and/or paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally.

What’s 5 4 3 2 1

Think about a time when you are overcome with restlessness, feeling too distracted, unable to focus on anything, overwhelmed, and/or confused. This can be at work, at a conference, at home, on the train… perhaps the 5 4 3 2 1 method can help.

Five:

Relax and focus on 5 objects around you. These could be buildings, windows, pictures, clouds,. Consider their shape, colors, consider how they relate to each other, are they geometric, symmetric, follow their lines all along trying to keep your mind from wandering off into thoughts. The Buddha said, "In seeing, only seeing." That's the essence of this part of the exercise.

Four:

Now do the same with hearing. You can close your eyes if you're in a place where that would be appropriate. Try and listen to 4 different sounds. This might be the quiet hum of an air conditioner, the roaring wheels of a train, the distant noise of traffic, a birds chirping high above. The Buddha said, "In hearing, only hearing." That's the essence of this exercise.

Three:

Now try and focus on 3 bodily sensations. This might be the pressure of the chair against your back. The tight fit of your shoe against your feet, the soft stream of air through your hair, the warmth of the sun on your face. The Buddha said, "In feeling, only feeling." That's the essence of this exercise.

Two:

Now, try and focus on 2 odors you can smell. It might be the remains of the perfume you used when leaving home, a snack, freshly cut grass.

One:

And finally focus on a taste in your mouth.

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