I have already written a paper, but haven't completed conclusion (last paragraph) and don't have an introduction (first paragraph). Please add an introduction and conclusion based on the reference (I picked them out from online sites) I send and from a reference book I listed below.
Also, please edit the rest of the paper as English is my second language and there may be some grammar mistakes, wrong wording, and word misuse. If there are any parts that don't go along with the theory or concept, they can be removed and corrected.
I used subtitles, but if they are used incorrectly, please fix them too.
Reference book I used: Meditation for Dummies (please find it on www.amazon.com and search for details in the book by clicking ?Search inside this book?)
Other Reference: (I will email it)
My paper: (I include it here, but I will email it just in case it may cut off on this form)
*five pages paper on my experience with the class (Meditation: theory and practice)
*This paper should include my reflections of the practices and concepts learned in class and how these practices were incorporated in my life and their impact on my life.
The following is the paper I wrote.
My reflections of the practices and concepts learned in class
Although most of the time we do unconsciously, breathing is the essence of life and a link between our body and outside world. Besides breath
is a biological foundation, it is associated with our spirit and mind, as a Japanese letter for breath
represents ?the mind of self?. Breath
has many characteristics that are inseparable from state of mind: for instance, our breath
becomes shorter when we are tensing; deep breath
relaxes and calms our mind. When following the breath
, we are balancing our body and mind and are creating inner harmony, as well as exploring the living frontier where body, mind, and spirit meet.
Concentration and Mindfulness:
Since I realized the meaning and significance of it, I always come back to the breath
when I find myself distracted or lacking in awareness. Breath
as an object of meditation, I start calling ?in? for inhaling and ?out? for exhaling in my mind as a reminder of incoming and outgoing breath
, and gradually returning to present. As following my breath
with focus on the tip of my nose, I enjoy each breath
and appreciate that I am here and now. Because it is always available, breath
is a useful object not only for meditation but also in daily life for concentration and coming back to the present as relaxing and quieting my mind.
There are four mindfulness components: mindfulness of body, feeling, mind, and dynamic of mind. In mindfulness meditation, I start focusing on my breath
as I noticing coolness and warmness through nostrils, smoothness, speed, length, and so on. I gradually expand my awareness to the whole bodily sensations. Then I open my gate to thoughts, feelings, and emotions that comes and goes. Without judging or discriminating, I simply observe them with a spacious mind, as if watching the waves of ocean comes and goes. A meditator is expected to have a flexible mind to accept whatever arises. Although staying mindful for long period of time requires continuous awareness, I try applying the method as often as possible in everyday life. For instance, I focus on my foot stepping in at the moment of entering a door; I pay attention to the fragrance and the sensation on my face when lathering facial soap; I return to my breath
when hearing my PC messenger makes a sound for incoming email. After I come back to present at these moments, I try to keep my awareness as long as possible. Regardless of the activities, the basic attitudes for mindfulness should comprise being relaxed, being open, being here and now, enjoying the process, and having fun for what I?m doing.
The Monkey, the scattered mind, comes out any time from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep. Thoughts to memories, images to emotions, the monkey jumps around in one?s mind without being noticed. When being in class, I may start daydreaming. During a conversation, I may loose myself in thoughts and memories. When riding with my boyfriend in a car, some music may occupy my mind until he points out my fingers tapping (playing the piano in my head). By learning to be aware of my mind, I found myself becoming better in catching the moment when monkey appears, and capable of keeping myself in present moment. Instead of being controlled by my thoughts, I track them step to step as they go.
Practices incorporated in my life and their impact on my life
Using four pillars of mindfulness, I pay attention to body, feeling, mind and dynamics of mind before I eat, during I eat, and after I eat. When I get hungry, I listen to my bodily signals. I observe what my body is experiencing, where in my body is noticing the deprivation, or what is the feelings of stomach?s growling. I check my ?hungry-mind?: planning for what and where I?m going to eat, having less concentration and focuses, and getting easily distracted. My feelings include anxiety, moody, and irritation.
During a meal, I increase awareness of the sensation in my mouth for the temperature of the piece, the texture, or the rush of juice, distinction of flavor, as well as sound of chewing and smells of food. Social and situational stimuli affect my mind during the meal. I tend to loose myself in conversation and become mindless when I eat with somebody. When I?m with my boyfriend or by myself, I?m relaxed and am able to enjoy the food and the moment.
My ?full-mind? is being content and happy, having more awareness, becoming lift-up mood and focused. I feel more energized but feel calm inside. Certain food at certain time of a day gives me uncomfortable sensation such as nausea. As practicing mindfulness of dynamic of mind, committing to write a mindfulness log keeps me aware of things happening before, during, and after meals.
Japanese people say that handwriting reflects person?s mind. As writing has been an important part of culture in Japan, calligraphy contests are common event throughout one?s school days. They compete how well one writes kanji letter(s). One-hour calligraphy classes in total silence remains fairly fresh in mind as part of my childhood memory. Sitting in front of a white thin paper, I quiet my mind. I gradually reach the writing brush, dip it in the ink, and adjust the amount with care. Because the paper is so thin like the one used in classic shoji slides, if the ink is too much, it will be easily soaked in and may become more blurry than one intend to draw. I set my focus at the point where I?m going to start a first stroke. With a little tension, hoping it comes out well, I place my brush. Not too strong, not too weak, I stay attentive to the pressure and move of my hand. The work was a mirror of the state of my mind at the moment.
Paper after paper, I practiced the same letter(s) over and over again until I felt content of my work and I get a permission from an instructor for advanced level. Interestingly, when I tried very hard to make it perfect, I got my work returned with a lot of corrections. The satisfactory results often came out when I was concentrated but with a relaxed mind. In retrospect, each of my calligraphy classes was a first ?mindfulness? practice in my life.
Opening my heart:
Although I am proud of myself for how I did, I was lacking in acceptance of myself. Recently, I had a little accident that I trapped my finger between wall strips at a door as I passed by. I experienced a huge burning pain, and the nail came off from the skin. Simultaneously as I screaming ?ouch!?, I slapped the strips, which shouldn?t have been separated.
When people get angry in social event, we make a similar reaction, attacking a stimulus instantaneously though response varies from vocally, mentally, to physically. I analyzed the steps backward. The last stage is attempting to prove one?s strength, then being unable to forgive the stimulus or person, and feeling a pain or being hurt. Because we don?t want to accept our weakness and try to defend our vulnerability, we often show an opposite stance by hiding and faking our ?self?.
One by one, I started recalling the moments when I experienced anger, jealousy, hatred, and other negative feelings that kept me closing my heart. As I becoming aware of my initial true feelings of each occasions, I recognized my vulnerability, and felt love in my heart. A fog-like haze suddenly disappeared, and my heart became lighter. It was the moment of graduation to my old ?self?. I felt I have overcame something that I have always been clinging to.
Meditation is not just techniques but is an entire state of mind and a whole different way of looking at the world.
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