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Mindfulness After Cam

Curiosity — n. 1. a strong desire to know or learn something new about a topic, situation or person 2. to have a sense of wonder about the world and how things work 3. genuinely interested in non-judgmentally understanding something or someone

Always questioning, always learning, curiosity is the foundation of all understanding. Of course it has the ability to empower and further knowledge, but to be curious within a mindful sense is I think one of the greatest tools one can have in the toolbox of their mind.

Most people are stuck in their thoughts, and label every single…

Washing our hands is so important these days, but by now it might have become a mindless activity. Perhaps you already sing or whistle a tune to make sure you’re at the sink for the recommended 20 seconds. But we can use this opportunity to incorporate meditation into our daily lives, linking the action with the loving-kindness that it brings, because with every wash, you are protecting yourself and those around you.

The next time you go to wash your hands, perhaps you could try repeating phrases like these, either quietly to yourself or in your head, 2–3 times through…

Back to the 8 C’s we go!

Clarity — n. 1. the ability to perceive situations accurately without distortion from extreme beliefs and emotions 2. the ability to maintain one’s objectivity about a situation in which one has a vested interest 3. the absence of preconception and objection 4. the ability to maintain a “beginner’s mind” in which many possibilities exist (Taken from Julia Sullivan and The Center For Self Leadership).

Think of a storm, full of rage, full of anger. Then think of the calm that comes after that storm, the wave, the flow, the ebbing of calmness dissipating…

Whether it is physical pain or emotional pain, we can support ourselves using the practice of mindfulness. But what does this actually mean — does it help us accept all of our experience, or help us do something to change it? Sometimes being with our pain can help us process it and take skilful action, other times it may be too overwhelming and add extra pressure. What mindfulness does is allow ourselves the space to make a choice, to check in and know what is best for us in that moment.

While we often hear that our pain needs to…

Welcome back to our exploration of the 8 C’s! Today we are exploring Calmness.

Calmness — n. 1. a physiological and mental serenity regardless of the circumstances 2. the ability to react to triggers in your environment in less automatic and extreme ways 3. to be less vulnerable to adopting the common fight-flight-freeze response when threatened (Taken from Julia Sullivan and The Center For Self Leadership),

Calmness… when I think of being calm I think of the colour blue, a whirring ribbon that settles around you like the ocean. I think of stroking a loved one’s head and hair, sitting…

Before the New Year started, I was having a discussion about New Year’s Resolutions with a dear friend of mine. My friend was kind enough to share with me what they were wishing to grow more of in the New Year: Calmness, Compassion, Courage and Capability. We spoke about how it was nice that they all began with C, and what these words meant to us. The following day I was doing some general mindfulness reading and by coincidence I came across a wonderful list of 8 ‘C’ Words that included three of my friend’s resolutions! …

So often the idea of mindfulness and meditation is caught up with benefits and expectations; of improving focus, increasing productivity, relieving stress… the list goes on. There may be a pressure to clear your mind, and a sense that there is a right or wrong way to meditate. However, you might like this more gentle analogy for your next meditation.

Treat the meditation like seeing a friend in a crowd. You don’t have to push everyone else out of the way, in the same way you don’t have to rid your mind of distractions. You can acknowledge their presence, and meet them with kindness and enthusiasm. You can ask them how they are with openness and curiosity. And when you are swept away by the crowd, your friend will still be there on your return.

In case you had forgotten what a crowd looks like… @ Trinity Backs, Cambridge

Written by Caryn Yeow, January 2021

Our meditation practice can sometimes be perceived as solitary, isolated or even self-centred. You might have an image of the Buddha sitting alone under the Bodhi tree for days on end in order to reach enlightenment, or see mindfulness being marketed for your own wellbeing, focus and checking in with yourself. After all, in our meditation practice, we often focus inwards; on our breath, body and our thoughts and feelings.

However, in the face of global challenges, we might find ourselves feeling disconnected and helpless, or lack motivation to stick to our practice. Perhaps it feels like you’re being passive…

You may have heard the phrase before: feelings are like the weather. It can be easy to get caught up in them, or feel like they will never end. But just like the weather, feelings come and go — and while they are around, they might have something to tell us. Observing our emotions mindfully, with a sense of curiosity and openness, can allow us to savour positive feelings and not become overwhelmed by negative ones. With mindfulness, we can learn to be okay with whatever we are feeling and take care while increasing our resilience.

Mindfulness is here to support you, come rain or shine 🌦

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It goes without saying that 2020 was no walk in the park — in fact, walks in the park may just have been one of the only things we could enjoy with one another!

However you found the past year, we hope that you can take some time to sit with some appreciation for yourself. You have lived through an unimaginable year, and that deserves more credit. Just by signing up to receive this letter from us, you have made a commitment to mindfulness, however big or small, and have become part of a loving community. …

Mindfulness After Cam

A community for University of Cambridge Alumni to learn, maintain and grow their mindfulness practice.

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