The Phases of Mindfulness

In some ways, mindfulness practice happens in phases, not in a linear way, but in a circular, organic fashion, and understanding the natureScreen Shot 2016-07-07 at 4.49.53 PM of each phase can be useful in deepening and sustaining this practice of ours. And so, I decided to write this little guide to help you to better grasp the process in which we find ourselves.

Lost In The Mindstream:

Also known as ‘normal’, in this phase, thoughts are in such control that we don’t even notice them. Every thought is believed and we are so lost that we see the thought stream as ‘my opinion’.

Noticing The Noise:

Take a mindful breath or two and you will quickly notice just how much noise your mind creates all day long. This seems like a step backwards for many people, but in fact becoming aware of the noise is the first step in becoming free of it, so congratulations!

Finding Some Peace:

If you keep at this practice, you will start to notice some space between thoughts, some silence in which there is just awareness, space and peace. And how wonderful it is to experience this after so long lost in words! Many people, after experiencing this space, try to rediscover it after the mindstream has returned, or rather the mind comes back and starts chasing that peaceful experience. This leads to stress, of course, so don’t let your mind drag you around chasing peace! Peace can’t be caught, it is here already when you allow yourself to settle, without chasing anything.

Peace Becomes Normal:

Looking from awareness becomes your normal state, your way of experiencing the world, and so, when thought takes over again, the difference is instantly obvious. In this phase you may still dip in and out of the previous three, but deep down you know that it is temporary.

Then what?

This mindful life, of course, is not linear and straightforward, and we all move in and out of each of these phases, sometimes gradually, sometimes rapidly as we continue to give attention to this practice.

But as you move through this process, some old beliefs will dissolve as new understandings arise, and in part 2 of this article, I will discuss these in depth and explain how these shifts in understanding will change your life forever.

Thank you always,

Oli

13 thoughts on “The Phases of Mindfulness

  1. Nicely explained Oli, as always, your words somehow speak to both the mind and mindfulness to ensure the mind looses it’s power of trying to ‘control’ the process of mindfullness practice!!

    1. Thanks dear friend, it’s always nice to have you stop by. I’m glad it spoke to you and I hope all is well in your world.
      xx Oli

  2. Very helpful Oli, I like the phases being named and for me it gives me more clarity re what I’d like to experience more of! Thank you! 🙂

  3. I enjoyed reading this post as it is brief, simple and so neatly explained.
    I also found it encouraging.
    Thank you, Oli.

  4. Thank you for this…..a reminder not to be too hard on myself on the days when the noise in my head is overwhelming. I just have to notice it, then take some mindful breaths and be there!

  5. Hello Oli, it’s been a while. Thank you for reminding me that mindfulness does not have to be fought for, merely allowed to express itself. It sounds so simple and obvious that I marvel that I make it such a struggle.
    Brenda.

  6. It seems that it is all about regular practice throughout the day even for the briefest of moments and being on guard against negative thought patterns. Since the moment we are not mindful it is so easy for the old way of thinking to return. With regular practice I’m sure it is easier to be on guard and recognise negative and harmful thoughts before they take hold.

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