Training Exercise


Staying in the Moment

             1. Take your notebooks. You can go outside or stay inside. If you go outside, stay close enough to hear the bell. Find a comfortable place to sit.

            2. Take out your watch and set the timer for one minute.

            3. When you start the timer, focus for that one minute on one of your senses. If you wander, take a couple of deep breaths to bring you back to the moment and focusing on that same sense until the chime sounds.

            4. When the chime sounds, write this sentence in your notebook and finish it. “In this moment, I….” Reminder: When you complete the sentence, remember to focus on the moment and avoid any references to the past or the future.

            5. When you have finished your sentence, set your timer again and shift to another one of your senses and complete the exercise again. With each new experience, create an attitude of interest and curiosity about whatever is happening in that moment.

            6. Listed below are some tips on staying with your senses:

             SIGHT: Look around and pick something to focus on. It may be the view, a flower, a stick, a    bug. You make the choice. Whatever you pick, focus all your attention on that scene or item. See the colors, shapes, textures, size. Do your best not to have an opinion about what you are   seeing or compare it with anything you’ve seen before. Just stay with what you are seeing in   the moment.

           SOUNDS: Be still and listen. Sometimes it’s helpful to close your eyes to cut out any visual distractions. Listen carefully. You may be surprised what you can hear. Don’t search in your mind for something to hear. Just stay present in the moment and listen.

             TOUCH: Pick up something or touch something. Be aware of texture and how it feels against    your skin. Explore other ways it feels in or to your hand or any other thing that comes to mind as you touch it. Let your mind be free to continue exploring.

             SMELL: You can close or open your eyes at different times. You might pick up something from the ground or just notice if there is a particular smell in the air. (Smiling) If you happen to fart, you can close your eyes and take in the full smell being careful not to judge it as a good or a bad smell. That might be a challenge for some of you, but see if you can choose to just be aware of it without the judgment.

             TASTE: I will give each of you a small box of raisins. Close your eyes and put a few      raisins in your mouth and savor them for awhile moving them around with your tongue. Be open to any subtle changes in taste as the raisins begin to dissolve. If you try this a second time, be open to discovering something quite different than what you experienced the first time.


                        (Group discussion after the exercise)

            We have talked about the challenge of staying present in the moment. I want to remind you again what you just did was a training exercise. Our minds are programmed to be all over the place and now it’s important you train your mind with deep breathing to be attentive, alert, and focused, which will help you quiet your mind, relax your body, stay present in the moment, and other skills to be discussed later in the training.

            Earlier, you filled out the symptom checklist. Get those out now and I want us to compile a list of the group goals. Record them in your notebook. I’ve listed below some ideas for group goals.