Mindfulness Exercise: The Power of the Mind

Mindfulness Exercise: The Power of the Mind

Excerpt from Practicing Mindfulness by Matthew Sockolov

The mind is a powerful tool. In mindfulness practice, you learn to train and work with this tool in an intentional, focused way. This practice lets you play with the power of your mind, showing you how to gently coax it in different ways. You’ll also witness the mind’s auditory and visual thinking patterns.

Bring some playfulness and curiosity to this practice, and try not to take yourself too seriously.

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HOW TO DO THIS EXERCISE:

  • Take 1 step at a time: Read through the step, then close your eyes and spend 2-3 minutes on that step.
  • If the step has multiple instructions, take those one at a time, spending 1 minute on each direction.
  • Don’t rush and be patient with yourself.

STEPS:

  1. For this practice, you need to close the eyes. Take a moment to notice how the body is resting. Keep the spine as straight as possible and allow the muscles to relax.
  2. With the eyes closed, try to bring to mind the room or space in which you are sitting. Can you picture where in the room your body is resting? Try to visualize the room in your mind. Pictures the floor, the walls, and any doors. See what else you can bring up to piece together the space in your mind.
  3. Letting go of the room, picture yourself somewhere peaceful. It may be a beach, a forest, or wherever your “happy place” is. In the same way, picture the space around you. Try to bring up as many details as possible.
  4. Letting go of the visualization, bring to mind a song or tune you know well. Try to hear the words or melody in your head.
  5. Now use the mind to change the experience of hearing the song. Try to turn the volume down, making the song quiet in your head. Turn the volume up a bit. Investigate what it is like to slow the song down or speed it up.
  6. Pause for a moment at the end of this practice to recognize the power of your own mind. With a small amount of effort, you can conjure up visualizations, play music, and alter the experience in any way you choose!

NOTE:

Losing Focus – While meditating, you may notice your concentration slowly leaking. Sometimes. you’ll lose yourself in a long train of thought for several minutes before you realize you’ve done so. When you lose focus during any period of meditation, bring your attention back to the last thing you remember observing mindfully, and if that doesn’t work, return to the breath. Noticing the mind has wandered off, you have the opportunity to train it to be present. Come back you practice as many times as necessary.

Reflection:

    • Write a reflection (at least 10 sentences) on your experience with the Mindfulness Exercise: The Power of the Mind.
    • Questions to consider:
      • How did you prepare for this exercise?
      • What went well? Did any aspect(s) feel natural or feel easy to you?
      • What did you find challenging?
      • Were you able to visualize? Were you able to change the song in your mind?
      • What are your thoughts about the power of your mind?