The Sound of Silence

I realise I was so tired when I last blogged that I didn’t even think of a title. Sigh. But today is all about being mindful. A whole day of it. I cannot think what a whole day will be like but Mr Mason and I duly set off, allowing just over an hour to get to the venue. Alas, the tube station is closed and myriad underground lines are not running, meaning getting to our mindfulness class is a lot more bother than we have anticipated. After 3 buses, we arrive at the aptly named Haven and stumble through the doors to find 30 or so people lying all over the floor, all in various stages of mindful relaxation. We pick our way nimbly (ha ha) through the assorted masses, trying not to step on anyone’s tail, and find ourselves a couple of chairs to begin our practice. Once the initial session is over, we are able to find ourselves a small space each on the floor where we lie cheek by jowl with our fellow students, some of whom find it easier than others to heave themselves vertical. We are told our day is to be spent in silence as far as possible which is something I had not expected. I quite like the idea although I also like the idea of chatting with my co-conspirators.

We practise being mindful whilst lying down, sitting in chairs, sitting on the floor, standing, stretching and, finally, walking. At first, we walk slowly, measuring each step carefully and concentrating on every small movement whilst simultaneously trying not to crash into each other. Gradually, we are to increase our pace whilst trying to maintain our mindfulness. The faster I go, the less mindful I feel I am as I become more and more aware of my environment. It is also quite difficult to walk with any speed as there are so many of us. After quite a bit of walking about, we break for our silent lunch. We have been asked not to read, text or look anyone in the eye during the day, all of which is really quite demanding. Once I have mindfully eaten my lunch, I feel like a fractious teenager forbidden to go to see the latest popular music combo. I wriggle around on the sofa, sighing and resting my chin on my hand. Being silent for any length of time is so difficult. Without access to books or other stimulation, I feel so bored so I attempt sleep but it does not really work. Thinking back to interesting conference stories – an injection given by the light of the patient’s mobile phone – helps a little.

After lunch – well, perhaps we should run a competition to get the answer but I think you and I both know that we do more mindfulness practice. We finish our day just before 4pm and Mr Mason and I hare out of there attempting to make our bus journeys home as swift as possible in order to let Dog out who will be positively crossing his legs by this point.

And there this blog post will end. I have something much more exciting to write about… Keep watching!

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