Tag Archives: mind

Anchors

Anchor Anclaje

Anchors or anchoring points, are places we go back to again and again when our mind starts wandering off while we are meditating, while we’re practising sitting meditation.

They are places to go to, when our mind gets lost. It’s like a refuge in the mountains for those who need to rest, or need to spend the night. They are safe havens, places where we can go again and again, and we will always feel welcome. It is like going home or going to see a good friend, or someone we feel secure with.

When we meditate our mind frequently starts to become active, and starts to think… various kind of thoughts…

When we start meditating, our first anchor is the breath. Breathing in and breathing out. Going back to the breath again and again… It doesn´t matter how many times… we just do it.

It could be that we keep meditating for a long time, for a number of years, and we just use the breath as an anchor.

But after using it for some time we can explore other anchors…

The next step is contact… the contact points of our body with the chair, with the cushion, with the mat, with the floor.

We can also use those intense physical sensations like itch, tingling or pain.

Of course there are the sounds… All sorts of sounds around us, that can distract us, even unnerve us while we are trying to keep concentrated, meditating… But as it can happen with intense sensations, instead of getting angry, or disturbed, we can befriend that sound that has got in without permission, and use it as an anchor…

Is there anything missing…? Of course the thoughts… And again as happened with those other unwanted visitors, we can use them as an anchoring point, in a ¨touch and go” kind of way. We are aware of it, we touch it, and then we let it go…

After the breath, we can go in a systematic way to the different anchoring points that we have just mentioned, or we can keep it open, welcoming whatever comes along… A touch, a thought, a sound…

Everything is welcome, everyone is welcome… Whatever it is… Whoever it is…

Mountains and mindfulness

man meditating

After coming from ‘The Mountain’ in North Carolina, nestled deep in the Appalachian Mountains, the image of a mountain is vivid in my mind. It made me think how important the notion of it is in Mindfulness and MBSR.

Frequently when we do Sitting Meditation, crossed legged on the floor, or sitting on a chair, we use the image of a mountain, emerging with majesty, with dignity, like us, sitting in an upright position in a dignified posture, aware of our breathing, rooted, motionless, oblivious to what is happening around. As Jon Kabat-Zinn says, “by becoming the mountain in our meditation, we can link up with its strength and stability, and adopt them for our own”.

We also use the parallelism with a mountain when we do Mindful yoga. Standing with our feet shoulder-width apart, our arms parallel to our body. Our spine erect, standing with dignity, focusing our awareness on the connection with the floor. Being with our feet grounded, anchored, stable, like a mountain emerging from the earth. Going back to it again and again when we connect from one posture to the next while we practise Mindful movement. Knowing that we can come back to it frequently throughout the day, whatever we are doing, wherever we may be. Feeling secure, feeling connected, feeling rooted, feeling present.

Let the mountains inspire us, men who love men, while we practise Mindfulness meditation, let’s have them present in our imagination, in our mind, in our body.

Sources:
Kabat-Zinn, John. Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. New York: Hyperion, 1994.