Mindfulness operates on two levels, which unfold week by week The core mindfulness programme takes eight weeks and there is a chapter dedicated to each step. Each week you’ll be asked to carry out two meditations on six days out of seven. These take just ten minutes each.

You’ll also be encouraged to break some of your unconscious habits of thinking and behaving. These can embed a surprising amount of suffering because much of what we think and feel is locked in place by ongoing ways of approaching the world. By simply breaking some of your more ingrained habits you will help dissolve away your suffering. Habit-breaking — we prefer the term ‘habit-releasing’ — is straightforward. It can be as simple as watching the clouds from a park bench or waiting for the kettle to fully boil before making a cup of tea or coffee (rather than rushing to switch it off).

The programme in this book is best carried out over the recommended eight weeks, although you

can do it over a longer period if you wish. Many people find that mindfulness gives them so many benefits that they continue with it for the rest of their lives.

They see it as a journey that continuously reveals their true potential.

It can be a long and fruitful journey. We wish you well.

The next chapter explains the science behind mindfulness and how it dissolves pain, suffering and stress, and restores wellbeing. Reading it will improve the effectiveness of the whole programme. If you wish to begin the programme immediately, feel free to do so, but try to come back to Chapter Two when you get the chance. It really does enhance the whole experience.

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