Back to paying greater attention


When this link Mindfulness and Psychotherapy nudged itself toward my consciousness today on my Facebook page I thought it worth exploring if only because I have too often come down hard on myself for having let slide my mindfulness mediation practice. (Such self-flagellation is, need I say, not part of this discipline – nor, come to think of it, any discipline that has ever been useful to me).

An interesting image came to mind as I pictured myself “in my head”, with hopes of getting out: I saw my mind de-fragmenting, as in the diagrams we see of our hard drives de-fragmenting, useful stuff being moved to join other useful stuff. No doubt plenty can be discarded.

From the earliest days of my illness, particularly when I crossed over from HIV to AIDS, I wanted to be as open-minded as possible to whatever healing technique was on offer – skeptical of anything which purported to cure.

Louise Hay and Dr. Bernie Siegel were early favourite gurus. If nothing else they introduced me to guided visualizations and/or guided meditations.

Being still and listening flew in the face of my experience of even silent prayer.

I do not know when I first heard of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s groundbreaking book “Full Catastrophe Living: (Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness)” but it was first published in 1990, after my diagnosis, and I misplaced my first copy and now use the fifteenth anniversary edition. In the interim I also bought his cleverly-titled “Wherever You Go There You Are – (Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life)”.

Had I fully read the books, and practiced their exercises, I might have been better prepared for the eight week mindfulness course I participated in a couple of years ago. I eventually let the practice go again but it is something I know that I can pick up and benefit from with only a seed of willingness.

May today’s little nudge on Facebook bear fruit.