Zen Stones

Course Materials

Home Practices

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The date for the Spring 2022 Retreat is Saturday May 14. 

Email Summer to be placed on the attendee list. 

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Orientation Session

Home Practice

1. Please bring 3 raisins (or small fruit, vegetables, nuts) to session one.

2. Please read the guidelines below.

3. Find a quiet place to do the home practices without interruptions.

4. Print the Practice Manual now or the individual exercise sheets each week.

5. Journaling your experiences in this program can be very beneficial.

6. Here is a 3 minute video from the University of Massachusetts (UMASS) on the History of MBSR.

Optional: Read preface, forward, and introduction in Full Catastrophe Living (FCL).

 

Guidelines

General Guidelines

  • All course discussions are confidential.

  • Don't give advice to other participants. If you wish to talk with another participant about something that they've shared, please ask their permission.

  • If you are experiencing any difficulties physically or mentally, please contact your healthcare professional (Physician, therapist, etc.) immediately. MBSR is not therapy or a treatment but can be supportive of your healthcare decisions.

Preparation for all sessions

  • Please dress comfortably (sweats, workout cloths, etc.). Meditation in Motion is part of our course.

  •  Have water/tea/snacks available.

  •  Make sure your computer is powered up and plugged in. Each session is about 2-1/2 hours.

  • For comfort, yoga mats, pillows, blankets, bolsters, cushions, and cover-ups can be helpful.

  • All recorded meditations can be found under Resources.

  • Please keep all cell phones and electronic devices silenced and 3 to 4 feet away from the device that you're using for the Zoom session to prevent interruptions.

Session One

Home Practice

  • 30 - 45 minute Body Scan six (6) times this week (see Meditations under the Resources tab). Please try the 45 minute Body scan from each instructor.

  • Use the Home Practice Notes (in the Practice Manual) for each Body Scan this week or journal your experiences.

  • Print the 9 Dots pdf below and take no more than 10 minutes trying to complete it.

  • Eat one meal this week mindfully. Try eating without distraction (TV, talking, texting, etc.). Chew each bite and savor the flavor and texture.

  • Notice your expectations this week in everyday activities.

If time is limited, please consider a shorter body scan. It's better to do less time than to skip a day.

Optional: Read "Full Catastrophe Living" (FCL) Chapters 1-3 & 10  Chapter 1 - You Have Only Moments to Live, Chapter 2 - The Foundations of Mindfulness Practice, Chapter 3 - The Power of Breathing, Chapter 10 - Getting Started in the Practice 

 

Session Two

Home Practice

  • 30 to 45 minute Body Scans 6 times this week.

  • Fill out Home Practice Notes or journal your experiences with practice this week.

  • Sitting Awareness of Breath (AOB) 10 - 15 minutes 6 times this week

  • For each day this week, remember a pleasant event that occurred during the day. Print and fill out Pleasant Events pdf (below) or journal about the experience.

  • Do one activity mindfully this week. Bring awareness to an everyday task like brushing teeth, tying shoes, making tea, or washing dishes. How did it feel?

  • Eat one meal this week mindfully. Try eating without distraction (TV, talking, texting, etc.). Chew each bite and savor the flavor and texture.

The home practice can be done all at once or in shorter times during the day.

Optional: FCL Chapters 4-6 & 9  Chapter 4 - Sitting Meditation, Chapter 5 - Being in Your Body Chapter 6 - Cultivating Strength, Balance, and Flexibility, Chapter 9 - Really Doing What You're Doing

 

Session Three

Home Practice

  • Alternate Body Scan and Floor Meditation in Motion 6 times this week (3 body scans, 3 MiM).

  • Sitting Meditation with Awareness of Breath (AOB) 6 times this week (10 to 15 mins.). 

  • Bring to mind an unpleasant event for each day and fill out the Unpleasant Events pdf (below) or journal about the experience.

  • Eat one meal this week mindfully. Try eating without distraction (TV, talking, texting, etc.). Chew each bite and savor the flavor and texture.

  • Optional: For one full day, try eating only when you’re hungry and only what you need to satisfy the hunger (not trying to”fill up”). Have snacks available if needed. If you have blood sugar concerns or other health issues please skip this practice.

The home practice can be done all at once or in shorter times at different points throughout the day.

Optional: FCL Chapters 11-16  Chapter 11 - Introduction to the Paradigm, Chapter 12 - Glimpses of Wholeness, Chapter 13 - On Healing, Chapter 14 - Doctors Patients, and People, Chapter 15 - Mind and Body, Chapter 16 - Connectedness and Interconnectedness. 

 

Session Four

Home Practice

  • Body Scan (30 -45 min.) and floor Meditation in Motion 6 times this week (3 Body Scans, 3 MiM)

  • Fill out Home Practice Notes pdf (below) or journal about the experience.

  • Sitting Meditation (15-20 min.) 6 times this week.

  • Eat one meal this week mindfully. Try eating without distraction (TV, talking, texting, etc.). Chew each bite and savor the flavor and texture.

  • Be aware of stress reactions, auto-pilot behaviors, numbing, or shutting off to the moment during the week without trying to change them. Use the practice notes or journaling about the experience. 

 

Home Practice can be done all at once or in shorter times at different points throughout the day.

Optional: FCL Chapters 17-20   Chapter-17 - Stress, Chapter 18 - Change, Chapter 19 - Stuck in Stress Reactivity, Chapter 20 - Responding to Stress Instead of Reacting

 

Session Five

Home Practice

  • Alternate sitting meditation (30 - 45 mins.) with either standing Meditation in Motion or a body scan (30 -45) 6 times this week (day 1 - sit, day 2 - body scan or MiM, day 3 - sit, day 4 - body scan or MiM, etc.)

  • Bring to mind a difficult communication that you had during the day. Fill out Difficult Communications pdf or journal for each day.

  • Eat one meal this week mindfully. Try eating without distraction (TV, talking, texting, etc.). Chew each bite and savor the flavor and texture.

  • Bring awareness to moments of reacting and explore options of responding with greater mindfulness and creativity. Remember to use your breath as an anchor to heighten awareness of reactive tendencies, to slow down, and to make more conscious choices.

  • Please consider joining us on February 19 for our practice retreat.

Optional: FCL Chapters 24 - 32 (Select those of interest)   Chapter 24 - Working With Emotional Pain, Chapter 25 - Working With Fear, Panic, and Anxiety, Chapter 26 - Time and Time Stress, Chapter 27 - Sleep and Sleep Stress, Chapter 28 - People Stress, Chapter 29 - Role Stress, Chapter 30 - Work Stress, Chapter 31- Food Stress, and Chapter 32 - World Stress

 

Session Six

Home Practice​

  • Alternate Standing Meditation in Motion, Floor MiM, and sitting meditation (30 -45 each day) 6 days this week.

  • Be aware of the things that you take in this week (food, media, conversations, relationships, etc.). Notice how each one affects you in the moment and later.

  • Try a short silent meditation (5 to 10 minutes).

  • Eat one meal this week mindfully. Try eating without distraction (TV, talking, texting, etc.). Chew each bite and savor the flavor and texture.

 

Optional: FCL Chapters 7-8   Chapter 7 - Walking Medicine, Chapter 8 - A Day of Mindfulness

 

All Day Practice Retreat

Preparation for Retreat

After introductions and a description of the day, we will begin our day of mindfulness together in silence. Please read this and set up a space in your house where you can participate without being disturbed. A place where you feel comfortable to sit and lay with your eyes closed.

 

We recommend that you place something over the clocks in the room (see email “It’s Now”) and leave your phone outside of the room (unless there is an urgent reason you might need it). There will be breaks during the day and the possibility to go outside for walking meditation. You might want to wear a sticker saying something like “Hi: I’m enjoying a day of silence” if that makes you feel more comfortable with (no) social interactions.

 

We will be doing all the practices that you have been learning, with our guidance. There will be formal practices: body scan, sitting meditation, walking meditation, Meditation in motion and also some informal practices including poems and lunch.

 

For lunch, please prepare food you will enjoy eating slowly and mindfully. You might want to think about the source of the food, maybe choose a vegetarian lunch so you will enjoy looking deeply into your food. We are going to try to have lunch around noon, together.

 

At the end of the day we will transition back into talking and will end with some brief sharing.

 

What will you need?

  • A yoga mat

  • Some pillows, blanket and cushions

  • Having some clothing layers by your side

  • Lunch to enjoy eating mindfully

  • Tea or an other drink you enjoy drinking during the day

  • Think of an outdoor place for mindful walking, where you would not mind too much to not say ‘hi’ to people passing by (or maybe you would and want to explore those feelings!

  • It would be great to have a little kitchen timer. That way you can be back in time after breaks and walking meditation without needing a clock or phone.

  • A charged laptop that is connected to the electricity.

 

Session Seven

Home Practice​

  • 30-45 minutes per day of any practice without recordings for 6 days. First, try self-guided practices and then be free to add guided recordings if needed. Identify the practices that are pleasant and less pleasant with and without guided recordings.

  • Focus on informal practice, paying extra attention to being more self-compassionate. 

  • Continue being aware of what and how you consume (food, news media, social media).

  • Reminder: Gifts to share for class 8: email them to your instructor before class 8 so we can screen share. We will start a group email after class, so gifts can be shared among all participants. Class 8 often runs late. 

  • Eat one meal this week mindfully. Try eating without distraction (TV, talking, texting, etc.). Chew each bite and savor the flavor and texture.

  • Contributions to Imagine - more information here

Optional: Chapters 21-23 of FCL  Chapter 21 - Working With Symptoms, Chapter 22 - Working With Physical Pain, Chapter 23 - More On Working With Pain

Contribute via PayPal
Or find us on 
VENMO.png
@imagine-online
 

Session Eight

Home Practice​

  • Continue both the formal and informal practice each day. Even 10 minutes each day makes a difference.

  • Eat one meal each week mindfully. Try eating without distraction (TV, talking, texting, etc.). Chew each bite and savor the flavor and texture.

  • Join us online for for all program Retreats. Check the website for retreat days and times.

Optional: Chapters 33- 36 of FCL     Chapter 33 - New Beginnings, Chapter 34 - Keeping Up The Formal Practice, Chapter 35 - Keeping Up The Informal Practice, Chapter 36 - The Way of Awareness

To all our alumni:

We thank you for allowing us the honor of partnering with you in health and life.

Please stay in touch and we hope to see you again soon!