Mindfulness info please

Hello lovely people,

After some recent advice and noticing the word 'mindfulness' cropping up time and time again in many posts I was wondering if anyone could point this newbie to the concept, in the right direction? I always think that personal recommendation is the best and I am very interested in looking into this further.

If anyone has the time, could you please post me some recommended links etc?

I'm a visual learner and would like to be able to explore this on my own at home as opposed to joining a group so maybe some good YouTube links where I can watch, listen and learn a bit more about this? I think it might be something that I need but just need a little help with the first step?

Thank you all in advance and hope today is being kind to you.

Tracy ❤️ xxxx

22 Replies

  • Hi Tracy !

    I have been doing mindfulness for a few months now. I have also done a course at my health centre. I think it's amazing and can really be applied to anyone. I suffer chronic back pain but Iv also lost 2 brothers within a year. One just being 2 weeks ago. It's good for anxiety, stress, insomnia etc too.

    There are lots on you tube. I would start by doing a body scan. If you search guided meditation body scan. I would recommend Michael sealy and also the honest guys. The more you do it the better you will feel.

    If you would like anymore advice then please get back to me.

    Take care

    Ang. Xx

  • H Tracy,

    If you YouTube Jon Kabat-Zinnn Mindfulness he does a good programme on CD / book on Minculness for pain.

    Also, Vidalyma Burch and Mark Williams also have CDs.

    I think that the voice of the person guiding you through the exercises is really important that it doesn't irritate! Therefore, good idea to listen to a few on you tube before choosing.

    Good luck!


  • I would recommend Mindfulness for Health by Vidyamala Burch and Danny Penman. Its available from all the usual online sources . It come with CD of guided meditations. The book is very readable and clear with a good balance of science and individuals experience. Mediation is the key to mindfulness. Don't however envisage crossed legged humming ! I had to buy a wee CD player but the outlay was more than worth it.

    Mindfulness has largely dragged me back from suicidal victim to someone who (by and large) is able to cope with the pain that I have. I did for a while reduce the amount of pain I was experiencing but have had a big set back recently perhaps because I pushed myself too much due to feeling so much better.

    I worked completely on my own with this. The book and CD have been plenty to guide me. Do try it. I know that I will be meditating to these guide line for the rest of my life

  • Palouse mindfulness do a free online stress release course. The body reacts to pain as it would in stressful situations. well being in constant pain is very stressful. x

  • Thank you all so much for you really helpful replies - I will definitely be following these up. Ang sorry to hear of your sad loss and thanks for taking the time to help me when you must be feeling so raw. I thought I had replied to you yesterday but the post doesn't seem to be there so must be my soggy foggy brain at work (or not) again.

    Thanks you Shirley, Dee and Elaine - lots to look at and see which one fits.

    I am having an extension to the house built this summer (ouch) but was thinking of using the underground room which will mainly be a music room, as somewhere I can also go to get away from everyone and practice my mindfulness too. So this will be christened "The Loud/Quiet Room" drum kits, guitars, music system and speakers etc a lovely soft mat or cushion for me to plonk myself on and a big key to lock the door with! 😁

    I am slowly planning changes to my life and feel I'm heading in the right direction at last. Today I am having a GOOD day - it may or may not last but I'm enjoying while it does.

    Kind thoughts, wishes and hugs to you all. T xxxx ❤️

  • You cannot practise mindfulness on your own without input from a group of experienced mindfulness practitioners. If you try to doing this you could end up with mental health problems.


    Is the web site for Chithurst Buddhist Monastery which has numerous articles on mindfulness and meditation.

    Joining a Buddhist group who practise meditation and mindfulness will help you understand the practise and help you cope with the difficulties that mindfulness practice generates. Mindfulness and meditation changes your outlook and makes you more aware of your environment. (warning) However, it also lowers the psychic barriers which means that you can get hurt if things happen too fast.


    is a web site where you can download for free a very useful book

    Meditation_A_Way_of_Awakening_-_Ajahn_Sucitto.pdf. This book gives detailed instructions on mindfulness, meditation and posture.

    Hope this helps

  • I'd disagree. The premise of Mindfulness for Health by Vidyamala Burch and Danny Penman is that these are practices that you can teach yourself. I know a mindfulness teacher and she is quite comfortable with what I am doing.

    I couldn't access a group anyway.

  • The Buddha took over five years before he understood the issue of mindfulness and how to use it. The experience of the Buddhist history is that it took many years to fully grasp with many people engaging in wrong practice because of wrong understanding.

    There are many who call themselves mindfulness teachers, but in reality do not know the first thing about what mindfulness is.

  • I also disagree with this. I practice mindfulness and have found it helps me in many situations as it is about living in the moment. It is something that takes practice and I have not had the benefit of a group outside my introduction to the technique. I have a Mental Health Nursing background and would be very interested to hear why you think Mindfulness practice alone would increase risk of Mental Health problems.

    The Walton Centre introduce Mindfulness during their Pain Management Programmes and there is a CD available to download free via their website. I think you will find a link from Pain Management Programme (PMP) pages.

    I wish you success Tracy, I know I have benefited from it.



  • You can disagree concerning what I said but your experience of mindfulness is limited.

    Jesus Christ said over 2000 years ago. It is easier to see a speck of dust in someone else's eye than the plank in your own. if you were having problems with the practice you would not notice it because you have adapted to it and would not notice that difficulties are occurring.

    I have read many NHS reports on mindfulness and none of the reports I have have seen ever looked at the problems that could occur. To understand the issues you need to practice with a Buddhist group and speak to Buddhist monks.

    The space here is very limited so I am being far more blunt than I would like. I have explained to people face to face the dangers of mindfulness. In a face to face meeting I can gage language and understanding and relate what I say to someones experience. In writing I have no idea what your experience and whether you understand the metaphores I use to understand the problem.

    The Mental Health Nursing background can be a problem as your training is with the psychiatry model of medicine rather than an engineering system model of how the mind works.

    There is also a psychic model of how the mind works which is a metaphor for what some people do. It is not scientifically accurate, but it is good description of what we do as humans.

    We all have psychic behaviours between us and the environment. These psychic barriers protect us from the upset we cause or can cause to the environment around us. When we practise a spiritual discipline (mindfulness, meditation etc.). We take down the psychic barriers. This is why many of the religious traditions have rules of conduct which need to be followed if you are engaging in a spiritual discipline. if the physic barrier comes down too fast you have no protection from the problems that are occurring around you and you can get mentally hurt. Many of the spiritual disciplines have people who can help and give advice when this happens.

    Many psychiatrists try to pretend that they are scientific and if they have not been told about it by their teachers at medical school then it does not exist. it is a recognised fact by researchers that research is only reported on things that can be measured even if what is measured has nothing to do with what is actually happening.

    Go on retreats with Buddhist monks. Speak to Buddhist monks and maybe you will learn that there are problems with mindfulness and what these problems are.

    Been doing mindfulness for 40 years. So know a little bit about what I am talking about, even if I do not have the correct scientific words to use. If I remember rightly Mindfulness was first used in a medical setting in New York in 1991. In the late 90's there were a lot of psychiatrists who were saying mindfulness and meditation were a waste of time.

    When psychologists discovered that was money to be made from it then it started to enter mainstream. I have met psychologists and social workers who have read a book on the subject and then set out to teach it having learnt it from a book.

  • Why, thank you. I see you changed your mind regarding my experience of Mindfulness. In the first paragraph you refer to it as 'limited' and in the forth you say you have no idea of my experience.

    The biblical quote you're thinking of is: Thou hypocrites, why do you notice the splinter in your brothers eye yet fail to notice the plank in your own. I simply disagreed with you based on my experience and evidence based knowledge, I'm no spring chicken. I did not criticise you or presume to know of your experiences or undermine you in any way.

    It is widely accepted that Mindfulness has it's roots in Buddhism. However, modern day Mindfulness was founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn who founded the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the late 1970's. The scientific community have clear clinical evidence that Mindfulness practice reduces levels of stress.

    As Modern Day Mindfulness does not have any religious requirements for practice, I do not think that speaking to a Buddhist monk would benefit me greatly. I would however like to hear your views on the damage you spoke of.

    My training looked at a variety of models and we evaluated the pros and cons for each. Care is patient centred and all disciplines attend reviews. Care options will be evidence based, as published in the NICE guidelines.

    I think that the aim of Mindfulness as practised by Buddhists is self enlightenment, please correct me if you disagree. Where as modern day mindfulness is focussed on being aware of what you are thinking and doing and what is going on in mind and body. With regards to physical pain it is about being aware of the pain, acknowledging it's presence and leaving it be, accepting it is there and moving on. Adapting our response to create a gap between the experience and the reaction in a similar way to cognitive behaviour therapy. I have personally found that this practice has enabled me to turn down the pain. Let's face it, living along side pain takes less energy than fighting it. It has less importance than it had prior to practising Mindfulness. I find myself able to perform a quick body scan when I am out performing a task, this scan can enable me to carry on by living in the moment. It reduces distress and reminds me to pace myself. I have grown to know myself better and to create a sense of calm where before I may have become anxious. It's a work in progress but I do not feel that I am in danger of harm to my mental health. If anything it has empowered me, improving my self-esteem and confidence.

    Kindest regards,

    Gin :-)

  • Thank you Gin for expressing what my drug addled brain might struggle with this morning. Modern day Mindfulness has a great deal of relevance to those, like me, who struggle with the emotional as well as the physical effects of pain. The tiny world I inhabit much of the time, due to pain preventing me driving, does not allow for outside teaching opportunities but it can accommodate daily meditations. What I have learnt has pulled me back from terror and despair several times.

  • You are welcome Dee, I identify with you regarding the 'tiny world'. It is sometimes feels like a balancing act between medication, pain and liberty. I will not drive if I have had to take opiate medication or if my brain is foggy as it's not safe. It is frustrating and can be disappointing but getting upset about it will not change the situation and will ultimately cause stress which increases pain and so we enter that cycle. I have been very low in the past and am not a stranger to the terror and despair you speak of and, like you, have found Mindfulness a real sanity saver.

    Take good care,

    Gin :-)

  • Thank you for your reply.

    What is self enlightenment? I have no idea what it means. It is a nice sounding phrase which really has no meaning, but what it means changes over the course of time in ones practice.

    Buddhist practice as I understand it and as I practice it is being aware of myself to the nth degree and what one does to try and hide the truth of what we do from ourselves.

    You say: "With regards to physical pain it is about being aware of the pain, acknowledging it's presence and leaving it be, accepting it is there and moving on." Unfortunately that is incomplete. We can cause pain by what we do and we can have pain by what we did previous to before the pain started. By having a grasp of experiencing mindfulness subtleties we can modify the pain in physical reality. What you say concerning mindfulness and pain can multiply the pain a lot and damage the body.

    Mindfulness does not necessarily reduce the levels of stress. It is a falsehood to claim that it does. Mindfulness can help prevent one from making levels of stress worse than it needs be. Mindfulness under certain circumstances can increase the level of stress.

    As I have no idea what courses you have attended on mindfulness I am not going to comment on what you believe modern day mindfulness is. The meaning of mindfulness varies from person to person and is based on the person's experience of their belief as to what they believe the practice of mindfulness is.

    I have met people who claim they practice mindfulness and they believe they are practising mindfulness and in reality they are practising something different.

    The quote you nicely reproduced I am familiar with. I am also familiar with the taught meaning as well as being familiar with the more subtle meaning which tends to be ignored.

    I don't fight pain. I take note of it and ask myself what is it I am doing that is causing this perception of pain. This approach takes up a lot of energy, but I am left with reduced pain by doing so. I am also left with more ease in movement.

    There are many mental health nurses who claim there approach is patient centred when the reality is that it is health system delivery centred. You can use mindfulness to pretend everything is okay when it is not. You have given hints of this. It is difficult to explain, because until you spot you are doing this you do not realise you are doing it.

  • Thank you everyone for your deep analysis of this but I really didn't want to cause such controversy over what seems to be a very sensitive subject. I just wanted to explore an avenue where I could control my residual pain and anxiety on a daily basis without Meds and using a little more self control and autonomy over my general wellbeing. I understand that there are many levels and disciplines for this but John surely there is something out there for me which requires a little less intense study and years before I master it? You have lots of experience that is not argued but others have found a more managageble way of using an off shoot of Buddhist meditation that works for them on a more realistic daily basis and who are we to argue if it works for them by whatever name you call it????

    Maybe I should have worded things differently and will now use "relaxation techniques" instead of "mindfulness"??

    I now understand that there may be a difference and to be honest I need to find something that works for me, my lifestyle, time, commitment and with a realistic hope of following it through without the dedication required or contact with buddist monks etc .... I am not belittling your discipline and idea of mindfulness John and appreciate your input but there is no way I can commit to that extent and I must be realistic with my goals.

    Thank you everyone - I really appreciate the time and advice (if somewhat conflicting) 😗 that you have given me - it has given me much to think about.

    Warm wishes Tracy ❤️ xxxx

  • Hope I have not put you off. Sorry if I gave you the impression that it needs intense study. It does not. Mindfulness is a simple practice that can be compared to learning how to drive a car. Driving a car is simple for someone who has been driving for a number of years, but very complex for the person who sits behind a wheel for the first time.

    We come to things with our own experience and view things in the light of our previous experience. Mindfulness is a new experience and one needs the help of other people to take on a new experience rather than try and fit it with respect to what we have already experienced.

    Hope you can find someone who can introduce you to the practice of mindfulness.

    I still remember my first Alexander lesson. I had read the books. I had listened to the lectures. I thought I understood what it was about. In the lesson I was given a totally new experience that was different from anything I was capable of imagining.

    It is like the taste of sugar. We can talk about what sugar tastes like. We can read books which describe the taste of sugar. Until we actually put a sugar cube in our mouth we have no idea what sugar tastes like.

    All the best

  • Hi all im new on here but i have just finished a mindfulness course and found it very helpful. There is a site getselfhelp.co.uk that has a lot of the print outs we had and a lot more as well. I hope that you get help and get on a course soon.

    All the best.

  • Excellent website. Thank you for posting. Already reading about chronic pain as I know I need to learn how to manage/cope better with my pain. Chronic pain is a lifestyle not just a diagnosis!

  • Very true Sue .... Even once things get better I think we have to look at life differently and work with the body and mind we have left!

    Thank you so much for the info Sally.

    Tracy xxxx

  • Hi Tracy,

    I hope you are able to find what works for you as we all understand how difficult life can be with chronic pain. I never take other peoples opinions personally as it is variety that makes the world interesting. It would be boring if we all agreed with each other and we wouldn't see much progress.

    In spite of the Fibromyalgia I still enjoy being me and, for me, mindfulness has been another tool in my pain management tool kit that I can draw on to improve my quality of life. Another technique that I use to reduce stress in life is to assess the importance of the potential stressor. I have two offspring, the youngest was 18 yesterday, and they have noticed that I have become far more laid back in recent years. I am not responsible for the behaviour or actions of others but I can choose how I react and behave. Of course I will worry about some things but have found an optimistic approach and my sense of humour help no end. The pain is going to be there anyway so misery is not an option if I am to enjoy life.

    Take good care and I wish one and all a stress-free day.

    Gin :-)

  • Hi Tracy K99 how are you getting on ? Any joy from the mindfulness ? Thinking of it myself I have a list of places to go and still pondering!! X

  • Hi there,

    To be honest I was a little put off and then I managed to get a job so i was a little pre occupied and short of time so it kind of fell to one side.

    Let me know how you get on though as I would be interested in how you found things.

    Travy xx

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