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Mindfulness Addiction Treatment

Mindfulness Addiction Treatment

 

Mindfulness/Schmindfulness

Wellness is not so much a treatment, more a practice”

We often tell ourselves that we don’t know what mindfulness is. Get you! You are looking for help due to your addiction problem. Why are you seeking help? Simply because you have felt the negative impact of it’s manifestations in your life AND have tried, without success, to control it. In fact, when you try your hardest, it seems to get worse, a bit like ‘trying’ to get to sleep.

So to get here, you HAVE ALREADY practiced mindfulness with your addiction issue, (be that drugs, alcohol, relationships, shopping or something else) and discovered at least three things.

1. The addiction that you have used to regulate the way you feel no longer works.
2. There MAY BE a way out of this mess.
3. You want to try another way.

Banyantree21 is another way and that way is rooted in mindfulness practices. You may have noticed that the simple act of seeking help, as you are doing now, brings a sense of relief, as you are doing it. That sense is a felt realisation of well-being, often very slight or hard to describe or to grasp with the intellect alone, yet we cannot deny it is there. Why? Because it is ALWAYS there. That sense of well-being cannot leave us, but it is possible to not be aware of it. Mindfulness practice helps to remove the blocks to this awareness.

As part of a varied and comprehensive 21 day programme, you will be introduced to simple mindfulness meditations, starting with as little as 10 minutes a day. These are gentle, guided sessions with skilled and experienced practitioners. These practices are extended to other activities like a forest walk, Qi-Gong, photography and art classes. Gradually, as we experience the benefits, as an internal sensation, our mind is drawn to increase the practice into everyday, mundane activities like brushing the teeth, reading a book, or just staring out into nature.

mindful walking

“Mindfulness shows us a way to walk, instead of walking away.”

I haven’t checked but you could probably go online and buy some mindfulness yoga pants, a 13 week subscription study course, and maybe even learn how to toast marshmallows ‘mindfully’. As long as there’s a buyer there will be a seller; it’s the way of the world and business knows this so it’s not surprising that there are many individuals and institutions jumping on the mindfulness bandwagon. So how to separate the wheat from the chaff?

Experience, it’s the only way really; you try something, you have an experience, you judge the effects. If it’s wheaty, there will be benefits that you can discern with your wise self, which is beyond our usual ‘this feels good, that feels bad’ dualistic mindset. If it’s chaffy, the signs will be there, we will sense it and not only with our intellect or rational mind. Some of these may include a salesy tone, promises of riches or social gains, or a boast that a certain type of mindfulness is ‘better than our competitors’. You find yourself rediscovering your skill of discernment, and you are allowed to make ‘mistakes’. Mindfulness is always simple, but that does not mean it is easy.

Authentic mindfulness practices are usually noticeable by the omission of dogma. No demands to sit in certain positions, think or feel in a specific way or for a certain amount of time. There will be no insistence on calming or slowing down the mind, and an absence of religious terminology. The implication here is not that religion is wrong, it is more to do with the nature of mind, not religion; no religion can claim ownership. If the practice is authentic, we will sense an experimental tone to the invitation that may attract us, repel us, or even leave us feeling indifferent. All are possible and valid, yet the tone remains invitational, not moralistic or dictatorial. What changes happens during or after the practice and it is important to take notice of what happens, as best we can. Our ability and capability to notice these changes will vary from person to person AND within each person. So the emphasis is on enquiry, practice and awareness.

Mindfulness can be described as paying attention or bringing our awareness to what we are doing, while we are doing it.


Note:

Mindfulness has been described as “The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.”Jon Kabat-Zinn, 2003

Reference:  Department of Psychiatry, The University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA

 

“Mindfulness is a therapeutic technique that can help you manage and prevent feelings of depression, stress, anxiety, or discontent. It enables anyone who practices it to live a more attentive, appreciative and vibrant life.” 

Reference: Oxford Mindfulness Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford


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