Our Mindfulness Meditation has really taken off this year. A group of students from Imperial and the RCA have met each week since October. We have been slowly working through the exercises in the book ‘Mindfulness, a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world’ by Mark Williams and Danny Penman.
The book applies the research of psychologists and psychiatrists at the Oxford Mindfulness Center. With a science evidence base behind it Mindfulness is something that I can use in this scientific college. It also helps that Mark Williams research is linked to the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The key feature of Mindfulness is switching our attention away from thinking and into our senses and body. This is another good thing to be doing in a place that rates mental activity very highly! It is not that thinking is bad for us. Rather that there is more to us than just mental activity. the meditations help us to note all our other sensory experiences – or data. This allows us to move our attention away from unceasing mental activity to notice the sounds, smells, sights, and sheer physicality of life.
I am going to write more about Mindfulness. It has been great at bringing together people from both religious and philosophical world views. And it has been a fascinating process for me as Christian. Since my own student days I have been drawn to silence, meditation and the contemplative tradition. But for now there is more information at http://oxfordmindfulness.org/about-mindfulness/
If you are a member of Imperial, RCA or RCM see here for details of sessions.