Home Practice makes up the bulk of the work done on a mindfulness course. For every hour spent in class there might be about 2-3 hours of home practice.
Home practice can make a mindfulness course seem quite stressful, which seems a little counter-intuitive so it is worth undertaking the home practice with a sense of kindness and commitment. At first it may seem like yet another chore to get through but after a few weeks it can start to feel like precious me-time.
Eight tips for fitting home practice into a busy life:
- If possible schedule one or two regular time slots each day in which you intend to do your home practice and stick with it as best you can.
- If this simply isn’t possible set a gentle reminder on your phone, maybe every two hours during the day. It could simply say ‘home practice’. This could help avoid late night meditation which could feel like another thing piled on your already busy day.
- It’s recommended during the early stages of the course to do the home practice in a quiet spot at home but this isn’t always possible. So if it comes down to a choice of doing the home practice on the tube or bus or not doing the home practice at all it’s best to opt for doing it on the go.
- If you are doing a daily activity mindfully as part of your home practice you might like to use a visual reminder as a prompt. Autopilot is so strong it’s easy to forget the intention to pay attention. So for example tie a ribbon round your tooth brush if you have decided to pay attention as you brush your teeth.
- If you need to do the home practice on the go during the working week try making time for quieter practice slots on your days off.
- Remember there is no such thing as a ‘bad’ meditation. The mind will wander, again and again. Kindly, gently escort it back to the breath and the body. During these moments of the mind wandering great learning takes place. This is when you start to see your mind as having a mind of its own.
- Remind yourself of your intention, attention and attitude. For example your intention is to meditate, your attention might be on the breath and your attitude might be one of non-judgemental kindness. This can help focus the mind when thoughts take hold.
- As best you can try not to procrastinate, just do it!