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This meditation was not new or unique for me as I have used similar types of guided styles in my own meditation practice or in classes in the past. I initially noticed feeling hyper-aware of my posture, where I was sitting, and what was around me. With time, I began to focus my senses more on the breath counting. My mind began to wander a lot, and I “returned to one.” Although, I noticed myself passing judgment when I was not able to make it to ten, even though I know that that is not the mark of success. I found this exercise to be helpful, while I also think it could be difficult for someone in a state where they are having difficulty breathing evenly to begin with (e.g. hyperventilating).
I noticed that my mind wandered a lot. I think that a preparatory phase where I write down things that are in my mind (such as my to-do list or worries from the day) would be helpful so that I can feel liberated to let go of the thoughts. The gentle approach to shifting back to the breath work without passing judgment was helpful. I would rate this as effective is being aware and conscious of one’s mind.
One difference was the instruction to use counting in the first exercise. I liked this because it was a focus point and gave something for thoughts to return to. I think they are both very similar in their approaches, though. I believe that the first exercise might be easier for someone new to meditation or this specific style because there is a specific thing they can turn their attention to (the numbers and breathwork) versus just the breathwork. I think this might be a difficult exercise for people who are “uncomfortable in their skin,” dealing with agitation, etc. as they are being mindful and present with their current physical experiences.