The evening got off to a very inauspicious start! Owing to an administrative tangle, we could not get access to the Friends Meeting House at the appointed time, all this on a very cold night. Eventually after some frantic phone calls, we were able to get in after some 45-60 minutes of waiting. As ever, all 25 of us took it in our respective strides and the meeting eventually started at 7:45, a mere 45 minutes late.
For some time, Clare has been looking to focus the principles and practices behind Mindfulness, and this evening’s session was partly by way of a ‘Taster’ on the topic, but much more, a refining process to identify those issues which attendees would most like to consider for its application in the future; this was particularly in respect of the full-day workshop scheduled for 7th March 2015.

Using Mindfulness allows a client the opportunity to recognise and experience what is happening to them in the present moment in a focused and extremely detailed way, separating out past and future preoccupations, and ultimately seeing the present from a non-judgemental perspective. As this is fundamental to most mainstream therapies, one can see that having even a basic understanding of Mindfulness can add to the therapeutic experience for both client and counsellor.

In a very interactive and relaxed format, Clare explored some of the major areas that could be usefully used in an applied focus, which included the ‘Inner (Wounded) Child’ and the ‘Pain Release Process’. Instead of focusing on how badly we want the pain to stop, Clare showed the process in which we paid attention to our pain with curiosity and without judgement. This is, of course, related to focussed mindfulness, in which Clare illustrated how guided meditations could be used to heal deep and often unconscious physical or emotional trauma, accessed through an awareness of feelings in the body
After a number of exercises, those present were asked to indicate which area they would like to concentrate on, and the Pain Release Process was chosen as being the favoured route. This will allow Clare to concentrate her March workshop preparation accordingly.

Mindfulness is clearly enjoying much attention at the moment, not all of it being necessarily favourable, and it is good that CNW members will have had the opportunity at the March 7th workshop, to go much deeper into the topic and learn to apply the principles and techniques in some depth for their future use in practice