Day 11: Mindfulness Recap

Over the last few days you have made quite a few activities related to mindfulness. Well done! The last days were a really quick overview over some mindfulness principles, and a first attempt at training the mind to be present, which is often easier said then done! Maybe some of the activities seemed a bit unclear when you first tried them out. Maybe with hindsight, some of the activities seem more clearer now. Or maybe some will become clearer and easier. Remember, mindfulness is a skill that develops over time: there is no right and wrong here, however, in order […]

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Day 10: Letting go

We have now reached the last day of the mindfulness introduction. Today’s topic and the related exercise relate to the mindfulness practice of observing thoughts and emotions – and letting go of them. This is a fundamental idea in mindfulness, and something that the previous exercises touched upon. But because it is so fundamental, it is worth looking at it in a bit more detail. There are many different interpretations of the “letting go” principle in mindfulness practice. I’ll try and share a few of the most important ones here. All of them share the basic premise of “letting go” […]

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Day 9: Body Scan – the quick way to check in with yourself

Time now for a little longer and more focused activity than we had so far. The “body scan” meditation is one of the most common meditation practices for mindfulness practitioners. In fact, I have seen some mindfulness courses designed almost exclusively on variations of this meditation (which may also explain why often mindfulness is sometimes confused with and used as a a different name for meditation). A good thing about the activity is that you can do it as long or as short as you want, at least if you are doing it yourself. It can last from just a […]

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Day 8: Awareness (2)

How can mindfulness help you when you are facing a negative situation? After yesterday’s activity, the task today is to use mindfulness in a situation that you feel is, or could be, unpleasant. In an unpleasant situation today, remember to switch from mindlessness to mindfulness: ideally this could be an ad hoc situation, for example, when someone is annoying you. When you feel that you are getting annoyed, rather than to act impulsively, try and observe yourself and the situation attentively. Like yesterday, try to describe to yourself the feelings you have, maybe any physical symptoms like feeling your blood […]

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Day 7: Awareness

One of the basics of mindfulness is to be present in the moment without judging the moment. This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the moment, in fact, quite the opposite: by being present in the moment, you can appreciate the full scale of the positive emotions and feelings of a positive experience much more. This is because by not judging and actively comparing a positive experience, the moment becomes more positive: you are really present in the moment without the mind wandering off or comparing expectation and reality. This may seem a little bit strange at first, however, I’m […]

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Day 6: Daily life as mindfulness practice

Yesterday you started to focus your mind by using your breath as a way to stop the mind from wandering. You can repeat the exercise every day, especially when you have a quiet space and are able to come inside you. Today, however, we add a little extra to the same exercise, by integrating additional, easy mindfulness training into every day life. Think about how much time you spend during the day just being idle: waiting for a train for example. Waiting for your coffee. Waiting at the supermarket check-out. There are many times in a day you are likely […]

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Day 5: Breathing

After completing the two mindfulness exercises yesterday, you may have noticed how difficult it is to keep the mind focused and switch from mindless to mindful activity – especially when the activity is relatively quiet. Luckily though, there is an activity we perform all the time, which we can use to focus the mind: breathing. Normally breathing is, of course, very much an autopilot exercise: we hardly ever think about taking a breath, unless the situation is very particularly: a stressful situation for example. However, breathing is as close at you can get to perfect for focusing a wandering mind: […]

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Day 4: Mindfulness

After all the preparatory things we are now starting in earnest the bootcamp… with a day dedicated to discovering mindfulness, why it is useful – and what is the difference between the “normal” state of mind, where we are not mindful, and a mindful moment. To try the difference between a mindful and “normal moment” out, just try this simple exercise: Set a timer for three minutes. Now sit down for these three minutes in a quiet room. Just sit quietly. Don’t talk. Keep your eyes open or closed, whatever you feel comfortable with. Simply stop reading now – and […]

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Day 3: The Urbangay Manifesto

As said yesterday… today we will talk about some basic rules to make the bootcamp work – and some more overarching principles for the urbangay lifestyle. To start off, here are the three simple rules for the next few days. The rules are not there to make things complicated – and I don’t think they are overly complicated. Instead, they are designed to be easy, simple and to help you get the most out of the bootcamp experience, for you and for everyone else who is ‘bootcamping’. 1) You can only fail if you give up. This is hopefully pretty […]

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Day 2: Terms & Co – Meditation, Mindfulness and Tantra

As I explained yesterday in the bootcamp basics post, the 30 day urbangay bootcamp program brings together three related, though slightly different activities; mindfulness, meditation and tantra. We won’t be going massively in depth into any one of them. The focus will be on cherry picking the best features of each approach and combine them in one powerful, transformative month for you. All three methods have their roots in Eastern philosophy, though they can be found in different religions and philosophies outside of Asia. As promised, you don’t need to take a religious or philosophical stance, apart from some basic […]

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