So what does everyone think of when they think ‘David Attenborough’?
What did you say? He bothers gorillas, yes, in his little t-shirt! In fact, he sits in the middle of them with a hand – well, a claw going over the top, going: “Do you notice, the mother is just about to-“ No matter what is happening, if it’s a lovely butterfly, or if it’s a snake, or an orangutan, he just notices. He just notices his experience. He doesn’t interfere with it, he doesn’t try and kill the snakes and find the ice cream, he just notices.
When we do this exercise, all I need you to do is get ‘David Attenborough mind’ and just notice your experience. That’s all you have to do, and as soon as you do that, you’ve got it right. You don’t have to empty your mind; you just have to notice. I’m gonna sit during this – this is the great thing about being a mindfulness teacher, you get to sit a lot. And you can either join me while we do this exercise or you can just think about other things: it’s absolutely up to you whether you join in or not. While I’m doing it I’m going to shut my eyes – again, you don’t have to shut your eyes. You can have your eyes open and perhaps just fix them on the table in front of you.
First off, all I need you to do is just notice the sounds inside and outside the room.
What we wanna do is listen, really listen – that’s what you were doing. So all you have to do with mindfulness is notice. Notice the physical signs of it, and be with it. Just stay with it: it will change.
Paul Gapper is a Masters qualified trainer with experience in interpersonal skills, work skills and management training. He has worked in the public, private and voluntary sectors for over fifteen years. Paul has a Distinction in the Institute of Personnel Development Training Certificate and the teacher-training certificate for Mindfulness-Based Approaches from the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. He is Senior Facilitator at Happy, and you can join him for an Introduction to Mindfulness session on 4th November 2016 or 6th January 2017 at Happy in Aldgate, London.