Watch the Thinker Meditation

Watch the Thinker Meditation

In this meditation Adrian guides you in developing the ability to take a step back from your chattering mind in order to simply observe what it's doing. This helps us create a space where the mind can go quiet, where those ingrained patterns of thinking start to lose their power – an essential mindfulness tool that can help transform your experience.

Best listened to through headphones.


Listen online or download the file here:

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Awakening to Your Self

Awakening to Your Self

Awakening to your self… or to put it another way, who are you without your story and Ego? (by ego I mean the story of you)

In the East they might say your ‘true nature’, whatever term is used the meaning is the same; who are you really? There is a lot more to us as human beings than we are aware of.

If you have already had this awakening and are on this path of liberation, you know how powerful it is to realise you’re not who you thought you were. I bet you can remember the date and exactly what you were doing when the shift took place. Now, for this to happen to a human being is just mind blowing. The Buddha had an analogy about a blind turtle swimming the oceans, only coming up for air every 100 years, and a float ring lost at sea; what are the chances of the turtle putting his head through the ring? That’s how rare he thought this awakening process is.  However, lots of people I know have gone through this shift, why? The why might be obvious, we need to! As a species we are killing each other and destroying the planet, our egos are running wild and it’s not a pretty sight.

Ego’s left to their own devices can and will do anything, just take a look at the news if you don’t believe me. But even as I write this, something in me knows that the mind can never understand this, and the feeling is everything is perfect and it’s all part of a cosmic game. So awakening to your true nature is two things: 1. It’s the falling away of who you thought you were, and a gradual letting go into the mystery of who you are. This will, for many, be a painful process and until we surrender our will and how we think it should go then we suffer. You also start to feel the pain of the madness going on around you. 2. You know deep down that connection you have with the divine is not concerned with your story, and how good or bad it’s going.

Ken Wilber, an American psychologist says, you feel more but care less. Can you hear that? Feel more, care less – and by care less I don’t mean we don’t care – we feel more, but it’s not personal anymore. That’s not something they tell you in the books, it’s a living reality on this journey . So part of this stripping away of who you thought you were is also feeling a deep connection with everything around you.

So, what am I trying to get at here? Most people enter into a Mindfulness practice because they’re in pain, either physical or more commonly mentally – being tossed around by our thoughts and emotions. When first starting out there’s an element of wanting to escape pain, all perfectly normal behaviour. But Mindfulness is not about escaping, it’s about acceptance and flowing with life. So when we practice Mindfulness we do so knowing you cannot run from pain and once you have established yourself in the here and now you become acutely aware of the pain around you. See there’s nowhere to go, you deal with your pain and then have to deal with everything this world will throw at you as well, so there is no rush!

This isn’t a spiritual journey we are having, it’s a human journey, because who you are is already whole and ultimately one with everything, it is the human part we are struggling with – how to deal with this life with all its ups and downs. That’s the beauty of uncovering who you truly are, it gives you some space so you can navigate your way through this whole life process with a certain ease and also lets you express your authentic self, that’s why we are here, to wake up and create a new earth.

“Awareness is the greatest agent for change” Eckhart Tolle

Paul

The Power of Awareness

The Power of Awareness

We often have people returning to our retreats time and time again and we were blessed with the company of Phill & Sandra again in January, I think this is at least their third retreat. After the retreat Phill got in touch to share his experience and all of us who have read it felt the power of his experience rippling through his words, so we had to share! Thank you Phill for sending us this…


My wife and I have attended a several of retreats now and we really enjoy going back to soak up the atmosphere. There’s always nice people to meet and something new to discover which enhances your practice.

During the final session at our last retreat, I opened my eyes and caught site of a tree through the window and gradually started to become more intensely aware of it.

The tree seemed to be greeting me - but more enthusiastically then I had ever been greeted before! If you can imagine being apart from your young child and when you get home, their face beams and they run towards you with open arms - it was like that but stronger.

I had this sense that my own awareness was connecting with the tree’s awareness and it was apparent to me at that moment, that the life force running through both myself, this tree and everything, was one. It felt like being held in a loving embrace, as if this tree was pleased to have been noticed and I started to sense that the other plants in the periphery were vying for my attention too.

I was an integral part of this creation and felt a massive sense of home-coming. Exactly as if this tree was smiling at me - big, friendly, loving smiles. How utterly mad & wonderful is that!

Better yet, it seems to have brought about a shift in me. Whereas before, I would relax into my body when meditating and feel awareness within, now the awareness feels external too and somehow freer. My awareness feels like it’s been 'set free' from the confines of my own body. Hard to describe of course but as if it is more fluid compared to my inner awareness, which now seems slightly treacle-like in comparison. Not sure if there is any relevance in that yet but I do feel surrounded by this lighter, more care-free awareness which feels great and I find myself keep checking back, to make sure that it hasn’t disappeared!

Now I appreciate how far out this sounds, especially if your reading this from a pre-retreat mind space, as I too was a totally logical, scientific type for my whole life. No one was going to pull the wool over my eyes! But in fact, I discovered the opposite - the wool was already over my eyes. I was very much a slave to my own thoughts and they were the wool. And really, to consider ourselves as not being a part of this creation… doesn’t that seem just a little arrogant when you come to think about it?

Phill


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Sharing and supporting…

Sharing and supporting…

At the Now Project we want to build a mindful community and thanks to some of the amazing guests that have attended our retreats and classes and the team, this is happening. Some of our guests set up a closed Facebook group, The Mindful Bunch, for people who've been on our retreats to give people a safe space to share their experiences and offer each other some essential support. Members of the Now Project team drop in regularly to see if we can help at all… although the Mindful Bunch regulars seem to have it covered! It was a recent exchange on this group that is featured in this post as the group felt it could really help others. So here it is…

 

Our good friend Les posted this in the hope that it would help others who might be struggling…


We tend to share things here when we are already on “the other side of the mirror” ;back on the top of the wave. I thought I would share perspective from down below, maybe right now, you are a struggling soul who can relate to this and it you will know that you are not alone in it.

I know that this journey is a roller-coaster ride with ups and downs but on average we are getting higher and higher. Tell you what… it doesn't feel like that for me at the moment! I have had the longest period of the low so far. Obviously there are better days, some spikes of good mood or mindful moments, highly energetic states induced by some new mediation or by chats with Paul (which helps a lot!) but these are are short lived. My mind is very busy, my meditation practice is almost non-existent. I feel that most of my days are lived on autopilot. I feel like I don’t even have control over what I do; some behaviours are against any logic, they are destructive, making me feel even worse. The only thing that I'm conscious about is my thinking. A lot of that thinking is “perceived” by my head as being mindful as it is about trying to understand my monkey mind, or trying to help by equipping myself with mindful/spiritual wisdom.

Through all of this my logic is almost completely gone and that goes in most areas of my logical thinking. Making decisions is getting harder as my head will find 5 ways of doing something and will just get stuck in creating pros and cons for every scenario and will not ever finish.

I cannot hear my heart - my real self as l did not listen to it for years and my head is way too loud. All the messages of self love, self compassion and acceptance are understood...but they just don’t compute at the moment.

I do recognise everything above from the years of depression. My head tells me now: “F*** it! All that mindfulness mumbo-jumbo does not help me anyway! I'm back in the same place where I started!” But the thing is... I'm not! This time there is a light in the tunnel and I don’t feel as bad as I used to. And it is not even my trust that through the path of mindfulness I will get better/cured or whatever; I actually feel distance between the monkeys in my head and me. There are moments (sometimes very short) where I can see this in perspective and notice that it is only my head and not my true self. And I can feel that on the inside. On the logical level it can be defeated, misinterpreted but it does not matter as it is now planted deeper inside and I try to use that as a source of energy and positive thinking. This is a seed of mindfulness. We all have it inside.

I think in the hard moments the great help is to just review ourselves. Ask some questions. What is different than before? Find that change in us even the smallest little thing and find the source of it. Feel it!


There were lots of helpful responses on the thread but I also want to include a follow up post by Amanda…


As Les' post intimated earlier, this journey is most certainly a spiral and can feel like we're going round in circles... because we sort of are! But the important detail is that the circles become wider: we revisit lessons so that the learning - or rather the unlearning - can go deeper. Letting go of old patterns can be seriously hard and sometimes the universe decides that tough love is what is called for, pulling away deeper layers at the root. Man that can hurt! But, fundamentally we are changed as a result, becoming more and more of the person (soul in human form) that we truly are.

A few years ago because of the way l came into Mindfulness I thought my journey was one of overcoming physical pain... being healed so that l never had to experience it again....turns out l was wrong! Not that l wasn't healed because l most certainly was; but my healing was emotional and in letting go of that suppressed, heavy, destructive emotion, my body was set free from that chronic pain.

I am currently experiencing agonising physical pain again - not the same pain as has been because we never experience the same pain twice - BUT the difference is that right now, l am okay with it; l know it will pass and l know l have everything l need within me to allow it to be, to accept it; not fight it or turn from it. Facing these things head on - be they fear, loneliness, depression, anxiety, whatever - takes away their perceived power. It's not the physical pain that causes me suffering but the mental attachment to it - the anxiety, worry and fear - none of which is real.

Everyone has difficult times no matter how long they have been on this journey and l feel very grateful to be part of a forum where sharing with authenticity and vulnerability is acknowledged, embraced and accepted. One love ❤


If you've attended our classes or retreats and you're interested in joining The Mindful Bunch then please message us on Facebook and we can ask you to be added. We must stress this is a closed group where people feel comfortable sharing their experiences knowing people reading them are friendly faces who are only there to support, share and NEVER to judge. 

The Mindful Quote Top Ten!

The Mindful Quote Top Ten!

Join us live every Thursday to listen to Paul's Mindful Top Ten Quote chart! Get involved by tweeting us @nowprojectnow or texting in on 07977 237280

Or post your comments and suggestions below!

More details about our radio show and how to listen available here…

Paul opens the show with our first set of quotes…

1. “Don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask, don’t knock, don’t demand – relax” Osho

2. “Keep knocking and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who’s there” Rumi

3. “Happiness is here and now” Thich Nhat Hahn

4. “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment” Buddha

5. “All problems are illusions of the mind” Eckhart Tolle

6. “The truth is that you already are what you are seeking” Adyashanti

7. “To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders” Lao Tzu

8. “The cure for pain is in the pain” Rumi

9. “Realise deeply that the present moment is all you have” Eckhart Tolle

10. “The quieter you become the more you can hear” Ram Dass

1. Up 3 places to number 1 a delighted Buddha with his rendition of…

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment” Buddha


2. Straight in at number 2 from nowhere…

“Nothing has happened in the past, it happened in the now, nothing will ever happen in the future, it will happen in the now” Eckhart Tolle


3. A non mover at number 3…

 “Happiness is here and now” By steady Eddie… Thich Nhat Hahn


4. Out of nowhere and smashing in at number 4 is the Indian jesuit priest Antony De Mello with…

“Nothing has changed but my attitude, therefore, everything has changed”


5. Up from number 10 to 5… Richard Alpert was once a famous psychologist in the ’60’s until he took a lot of Acid with Timothy Leary, went to India and changed his name to, you guessed it, Ram Dass with …

“The quieter you become the more you can hear”


6. In at number 6 is our favourite Californian teacher, Adyashanti with

“All is well even when it seems unbelievably unwell”


7. At 7 it’s Eckhart Tolle with his new single and hoping for better luck with

“Being must be felt, it can’t be thought”


8. New entry at 8, a beautiful little ditty, Rumi with

“Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there”


9. At number 9, down 4 from 5 his second top 10 hit, it’s Eckhart Tolle 

“All problems are illusions of the mind”


10. A new entry at number 10, an Indian guru who never stopped laughing, it’s Papaji with

“Whatever comes, let it come, whatever stays, let it stay, whatever goes, let it go”

1. New at number 1, up from number 8, a beautiful little ditty…

“Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there” Rumi


2. Straight in at number 2, out of nowhere comes one of our favourite Indian gurus. Nisargadata Maharaji

“Love says I am everything, wisdom says I am nothing, between the two my life flows”


3. Up 1 place from 4 to 3 it’s our jesuit priest Antony De Mello with…

“Nothing has changed but my attitude, therefore, everything has changed”


4. Slipping 3 places from 1 to 4 its a not very amused Buddha with

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment”


5. A new mover at number 5, one of my favourite teachers, Vernon Howard,

“Freedom begins as we become conscious of it”


6. Making a bid for the top 5, it’s a laughing man in glasses, the Dalai Lama

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck”


7. In at 7, our favourite rasta, yes it’s Mooji with

“Your urge to control life controls you”


8. Smashing into the charts at 8, a newcomer to the spiritual scene, Happy Brewer with

“Nothing is wrong now, everything is right now”


9. At 9 a gentle American zen teacher, it’s Joko Beck

“Life is a second by second miracle”


10. A non mover at number 10 but he’s still laughing, it’s Papaji with

“Whatever comes, let it come, whatever stays, let it stay, whatever goes, let it go”

1. Topping the charts with this simple message it’s Maharji with

“Love is the strongest medicine”


2. A new entry at number 2, another Indian with a beard, it’s Osho

“Meditation is perhaps the master key for all our problems”


3. Jumping 5 places, battling for the top spot, he has taken the Mindfulness world by the short and curls, it’s the hungry newcomer Happy Brewer

“Nothing is wrong now, everything is right now”


4. At number 4, another bearded trouble maker, who hates crosses, yes you guessed it, Jesus Christ with

“Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the days own trouble be sufficient for the day”


5. Straight in at number 5, he had a spiritual awakening in 1922, its the little Indian, Krishnamurti

“There us great happiness in not wanting, in not being something, in not going somewhere”


6. At 6, all the way from Brixton, London it;s our favourite Rasta, Mooji

“You are eternally yourself, the rest is only a dream, this is why it is called awakening”


7. Making a bid for the Zen community it’s Alan Watts with

“The meaning of life is just to be alive, it is so plain and obvious and so simple; and yet everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves”


8. In at 8, if you like sandals he’s your man, it’s Gandhi

“The future depends on what we do in the present”


9. At 9, the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and all round nice guy, Jon Kabbat Zinn with

“Mindfulness is so powerful that the fact that it comes out of Buddhism is irrelevant”


10. Straight in at number 10 making an assault on the top 5 it’s our only woman, Byron Katie with

“Understanding that there’s no past, gives me perfect flawless memory”