Lecture 1: Formal Mindfulness Training

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Hi, I'm Dr. Rich and welcome to session four, on mindfulness. I'm actually breaking mindfulness down into two lectures because there's a lot of meat to the subject. And in this lecture, we're going to talk about formal mindfulness training. In the next lecture, we're going to talk about informal mindfulness training and sexual mindfulness training. So we had a lot of work to do. If you haven't printed off the two activities that are associated with this lecture, make sure you do so.

And let's get started. deduce myself. And if you remember from session to one of the six processes that AC coaches use is contact with the present moment, also known as mindfulness. And it helps clients move from being inflexible and stuck to more flexible and unstuck and contact with the present moment is what we call it an AC coaching. Mindfulness is what it's called in And Commitment Therapy. And the best way to visualize or conceptualize mindfulness is to think of it as moment by moment awareness.

And if you looked at a mindful moment, it would actually have four characteristics. It would be present centered, so it would be in the hearing now. And the easiest way to tell clients to know if they're not in the present moment, is if their mind is drifted to the past, or if it's in the future. And as soon as it just past or future, they know they're out of the present moment. It's non judgmental. So there's no judging, there's Novell evaluating, there's no comparing.

You simply notice what's going on and accept it. It's nonverbal, mindful moments are silent. As soon as you add a level of speech to it, you conceptually it changes and it doesn't become a mindful moment. And it's non conceptual, where if there's no thinking or figuring out or problem solving, anything like that mindfulness is based on just noticing with acceptance, not judging, not thinking not fixing, not doing anything like that. Okay? So you can develop mindfulness through formal and informal training and in this lecture we're going to focus on formal training.

But informal training deals with attention building, and both formal and informal focus on internal and external stimuli. Now, we've been talking about internal stimuli calling it your minds programs. That's what I'm referring to. and sexual programs in sexual stimuli, you know, in the context of sex coaching revolve around client's sexual thoughts and sexual scripts and sexual images. Now, the external sexual stimuli refers to what's going on behaviorally, you know what the client and the partner are doing sexually as far as the behavior and then the environment is in which it occurs, the sexual environment wherever that is. So becoming more mindful means becoming more mindful of what's going on internally and externally in the sexual environment.

Now, being aware of what's going on in the present moment, and really giving it one undivided attention are two different things. And most people don't give the present moment, their full attention because their attention is misdirected, it's misguided. And they're half focusing on you know, something that's going to happen later in the day or something that happened earlier in the day instead of focusing on what's going on right now. And rather than talk about it in general, I mean, let's look at that in terms of the sexual consequences. So if you're not in the present moment, whether you're making love with your partner, you're missing out on what is going on. And it's my own old Japanese psychology teacher told me that the present moment is all we have when Your mind drifts to the past or the future.

It takes you out of the present moment. Right? The past is past, the future hasn't happened. So the only moment we really have is the one we're in right now. And misdirected attention usually results in your mind starting to judge and evaluate instead of noticing, not giving the partner 100% of you know, one's focus and effort. And that definitely contributes to getting stuck when your partner realizes all of a sudden you're not paying attention, because he or she asked you a question or doesn't move and you don't realize that even happened.

Or also, one of the consequences of Mr. divided attention is lack of appreciation of both your partner for that sexual gift that your partner is giving you and the entire experience, you know, the detail, the richness, the nuances of the lovemaking session. So there are some real you know, serious consequences of not Not giving one's partner and one's lovemaking full attention. And meditation training Mark would just jump right to the next slide. Meditation training requires five to 20 minutes of uninterrupted time, in a quiet environment. And I find that the best way to start is in the coaching session. You know, sit down with five minutes in the beginning of your session and meditate with your clients.

If you're not meditating already start it's simply the best thing you will ever ever do. to really help yourself stay centered and focus to calm your mind and to develop a more peaceful overall, you know, mental structure personality. I've been meditating now for 20 years, and it's the single greatest thing that I do for my mental health. And at home, you know, for your homework activity assignments, you tell them to continue their meditation practice, at least three times a week, and add five minutes each week until they can reach 20 minutes. So let's actually do this I want to take you through a mindful breath meditation session. And really why we're doing this is we're building generalized mindfulness because we want it to then transfer over to sexual mindfulness.

In other words, in order for a person to give their partner 100% of their undivided attention in the present moment, with all five senses, they need to practice first in a more generic way. And then with regular practice, everything they experience now, they experience more mindfully, more thoroughly with more appreciation, including sex. All right. So when you're teaching this to your part, or your clients, tell them first to listen to the audio completely before they actually do it themselves. And for sure, you should do it and practice a little before you try and run your client for this session. And this will assure that you know what's going on there no surprises and you'll get comfortable make sure the room temperature is comfortable.

Make sure you know all distractions are turned off or put in the other room you know cell phones, TV, things like that. And if you want to convert incense or candles to create, you know, more sensual environment. Now, I suggest that clients do this in bed. So if you're at home listening to this and you want to practice in bed, Prop A couple of pillows up against the headboard of the bed and sit on the pillows with your back straight up against the bed of the headboard rather, and your legs folded and dropped in front of you so your butt is higher than your legs and your knees so they are comfortable. And just kind of let your your head float effortlessly on your spine. So while you're sitting erect with your back, touch The back of the headboard, you're still relaxed and comfortable in your head is just kind of floating gently.

Now, if you can't get enough support, we can't get comfortable on the bed you can sit on a chair or the floor. And if you sit on the floor, make sure you sit on a firm pillow so that again as you would against the headboard, your buttocks is higher than your legs and they can rest on the floor. If you're sitting in a chair, you want to make sure your feet are flat on the floor, your legs are not crossed. So take a couple of moments and adjust your position whether you're on the bed, the floor sitting on those pillows, or you're sitting in your chair with your legs and crust in your feet flat on the floor. I'll take a sip of water and we'll continue. Okay, set a timer for five minutes and you Now as you increase you would then set it for 710 12 whatever but for right now, set a timer for five minutes.

Close your eyes and focus your attention on your current breathing pattern. make a mental note of the depth, pace and regular regularity of your breathing. Good. Visualize a picture of your lungs and begin to watch the air as it enters and leaves your body. Watch your breath as it enters through your nose, travels down your windpipe and fills your lungs from the bottom up as you breathe in slowly and deeply Don't worry about exhalations right now, just focus on inhaling slowly and deeply and watching the air as it fills your lungs from the bottom up. Good.

Now rest your hands on your belly just under your ribs and fill your belly move out as you inhale slowly and deeply, filling your lungs from the bottom up. Continue to breathe this way for a few moments. With your hands on your belly, watching the air come in and watching your and feeling your belly push out as you fill your lungs slowly and deeply from the bottom up. Good. Now start to focus on your exhalations. visualize your breath leaving your body as your diaphragm relaxes and pushes the air out of your lungs, up your windpipe and out of your nose through your mouth.

Keeping your hands on your belly, feeling returned to normal as you breathe out. So continue to breathe in and out, focusing on your exhalations and the movement of your belly for a few more moments. Good. Now notice the sensations in your ribs, shoulders, and torso as your muscles contract Relax with your breathing. Notice how your shoulders rise and fall with each inhalation. Continue to focus and watching the air and feeling the movements of your belly, ribs, shoulders, and any other part of your body as you breathe slowly and deeply.

In and out. Good. Lastly, as you breathe in slowly and deeply notice the sounds and smells in your environment, and the sensation of air moving as it passes over your body. So as you breathe in and out slowly and deeply notice the sounds and smells in your environment and the sensation of air as it passes over your body. Good as you breathe in slowly and deeply, notice the sounds and smells in your environment and the sensation of air as it passes over your body. could continue to breathe this way until your timer goes off.

Now as you meditate, notice that thoughts, personal scripts, mental images and emotions that accompany your breathing. When your mind wanders into the future or the past and it will, or fills up with unhelpful thoughts and feelings about your meditating, simply note that this has happening and say to yourself, there goes my runaway mind again, taking me out of the present moment and get back to your breath meditation. Don't judge your meditation. Just notice what is going on in your mind, body and the environment as you agree. Okay, so those are the instructions, you can go back and actually do this again and run it for the full five minutes, but I just wanted to give you an idea and kind of run you through the instructions. The key is really asking your clients to breathe slowly and deeply.

Focus on the inhalation And kind of you know, one of the keys that they're breathing slowly and deeply is that their belly will push out because that means their lungs are filling up completely. And then on their exhalations, their belly will return in as they exhale completely slowly and completely. So you want to do you know, slow and complete, slow and deep. And then you want to try and get them to use the visual image of watching the air and I know you can't see air, but what you're actually watching are those body parts and imagining that the air is going in through your nose and your sinuses down your windpipe filling your lungs. So you can explain to them that you realize you don't see air but the whole purpose of it. And then lastly, you want to emphasize that their mind will wander it is going to go into the past or into the future.

They're going to be distracted by a site or a sound. That's why I really recommend that beginners meditate with their eyes closed. Some people can't stand that though. So say you're going to be distracted. And when you when you do get distracted, don't fight it. Remember, you don't want to try and control avoid or eliminate your feelings, your unwanted, unhelpful feelings.

You want to accept them and get back to your breathing. It's always except and get back to your breathing and keep it up for five minutes. And tell them that, you know, it gets easier over time, I found that about three months of regular practice is enough for people to start actually noticing the difference. Now another kind of mindfulness that I'd like to teach you and have you teach your clients is from my training in Japanese psychology and it's called Nikon self reflection. And self reflection is a form of mindfulness that focuses on paying attention to one's actions and their consequences. And I had to do Nikon when I got certified in Japanese psychology, I was at a 10 day Retreat.

And every day I had to do Nikon for half an hour on someone or something. So I did it on all of my family members, my mother, my father, my brother, my wife, I did it on my colleagues at work. And I did it just in general on my life. And it was the most one of the most powerful things I've ever done. One of the most difficult things I've ever done because it took a lot of time and energy. And on a number of occasions I broke down and cried when I realized how much I had taken people for granted in my life.

So the whole purpose of Nikon is to develop grace and gratitude and again in a sexual sense, and a long term committed relationship. Once gratitude and grace towards your partners breaks down, the relationship starts to deteriorate and it starts to get into that rut. So showing grace showing gratitude towards the wonderful sexual things. Your partner Doing for you is kind of what this you know we're aiming for. And you'll see that in that concept of self reflection. You really asking people, clients to kind of look at what they've done for people and the pain and suffering they've caused people.

You know, it's very easy when you took any client or took pain your friends, you know what, you know what's wrong with your mother, your father, your wife, your husband, and you make them come out with a laundry list. Very rarely have they thought about, well, how, how have I contributed to this mess? And that's really what Nikon is all about. So simple instructions. So clients have set aside at least 30 minutes to do this. To do it right.

You really have to spend some time and then ask clients to answer the following three questions with great detail. What is my partner done for me sexually in the past blank, and you know, you can pick the timeframe you want it to be a month a year or the duration of variable Relationships 10 years, 20 years, 30 years up to you. The second question is What have I done for my partner sexually in the past, same timeframe? And then the third question is what pain and suffering have I caused my partner sexually in the past? same timeframe. Now when you're doing this generically, you can do it like I did it on on my mother.

So what is my mother done? For me? It was amazing. When I broke down my life at that point, I think I was 15 when I did took the training. So the first 10 years of my life when my mother dumped me, it was staggering. I had, you know, 50 things on the list, ranging from changing my diaper to feeding me to whatever.

And as I went through each decade of my life, I mean, there are literally hundreds of things that my mother and I didn't like my mother, I hated her. I really, when I was in this training, I had very negative feelings towards my mother. But then when I looked at all the stuff that she did for me, and then I did my list What have I done for her? I mean, I, you know, did practically nothing for her in the first 10 years very little in the next 10 years, and next to nothing in the previous 10 years, and it just was overwhelming to me how much I had taken her for granted. And that how I let my anger over her and you know, our current relationship, which I only focus on all the negative, of course, just completely overwhelm it. So, it can be very, very powerful if if clients do it correctly.

Let me give you an example. Now, the other thing is when answering these questions, because it's a sexual Nikon, want to focus on sexuality, and I can't think of a better way to do it than to focus on the five dimension of their sexual identities. And, you know, take time and go over each of those sexual identity components for a specific timeframe. And then I say use a numbered list just it's easy to compare. You know, my partner did 100 things to me. I did 20 for her Whatever.

And then when clients have done Yes, then the following questions, what are your thoughts, personal scripts, mental images and emotions about this activity. And when I did that, I mean, I was just blown away, I was so depressed about what a jerk I had been towards my mom that it was kind of very powerful. So how is your behavior towards your partner contributed to being stuck in the rut that you're in? And with all this data, it's it's easy for clients to see? And then what are you willing to accept about yourself from your behavior in this experience and coexist with as you move forward towards your sexual relationship goals? So, quick example, I'm going to breeze through it because this is about 20 slides.

So what is my partner done for me in the past month, year, 10 years, so I'm going to look at biological sex throughout our relationship since I've taught you can you know, if someone wants to report they could say Well, this was a uniform throughout my relationship. She told me how nice and this was from an actual client told me how nice she was, she still was turned on my body, you know, and this is a person in the 30 year relationship that I had nice shoulders and arms, she always like that about this guy. Then we go to gender identity and role so in that, and then and now because there's more and it's changed slightly, you break it down. So in the past month, she told me that I was a good husband right gender role. She said that she was proud of my work and semi retirement shows that the person is in that you know, 5060 year old age group.

And again, semi retirement work is a gender open. And yours 30 intensive, we're working backwards. They were together 30 years from years 30 to 10. She complimented me in my role as a dad supported my career change, supported, supported my career change to teaching to allow me to be with our children over the summer again, that's it general thing that the partners supported you know, some partners wouldn't support that. They say just you know you're a man make the money you know get the biggest highest paying job you could supported my role as co partner relationship. No, this relationship was very egalitarian sacrifice time and money for me more than $75,000 to support my graduate studies supported my career.

And then we go through you know, us tend to one of the relationship in terms of the gender role because it was it was, you know, very specific. Then we go to sexual orientation and throughout my relationship, she supported my heterosexuality and then you go to sexual behavior. And this again is where quantifying and be very specific help so he reported that in the past love, she made love with me two, three times each week. She was willing to try different sexual behaviors to please me. She was supportive in my need for a little more time and stimulation to become Morales can have an orgasm, you know, very specific. She was a willing participant when I wanted to just live back and have her make me come okay.

In the middle 20 years of relationship, she was willing to incorporate a couple of things into our sex life sex life that I desired. She was willing to increase the frequency of sex with me. And in the first 10 years, she put up with my pressure to try different things. This guy was at a much higher sex drive than his partner and he, throughout the relationship, he was constantly putting pressure on her to change, you know, to try different things to have more sex. And he actually had a numerous affairs in the first 10 years and, and his partner accepted that so he reported these are the things that she did for me. Now, what have I done for my partner?

Same thing, a couple of you know, things related to biological sex. A couple of things related to gender. role and gender identity, you know, same kind of stuff complimented her about being a good mother told her how much he appreciated her cooking wonderful meals, which knows a gender role thing. complimented her on her taste. He had this guy had absolutely no style taste at all. So he said he's always been very complimentary of his wife.

And they're picking up furniture and stuff for the house and they were building a new house. So he was very thankful for her and doing this. He actually, he was a real dichotomy because on the one hand, he really liked the natural look in his wife, you know, very little makeup, long blonde hair jeans, you know, kind of like a surfer girl kind of look. But you'll see on the other hand, he wanted her to get like tattooed eyeliner on and you know, looks more sexy, so, very interesting relationship. And let's see, okay, so we're still with the gender roles stuff. I said.

Orientations similar. She's he supported her and her hers heterosexuality. And then when you get to sexual behavior, he said he accepted in the past month accepted our sexual differences and in sex drive, and was contend to please myself when she wasn't interested. One of the things he told me that over the years he started shifting the focus off of putting pressure on his wife to have sex with him or make him come and started masturbating more and in fantasizing more, and he said, it kept me from having sex with other women. It satisfied my sexual drive. And you know, I got over the stigma of being an adult and masturbating and it worked for them.

She was willing to make love. He was willing to make love with her two or three times a week. And he did whatever she wanted to please her sexually. In the middle years after those first 10 rough years, he stopped having affairs. He backed off pressuring her to try, you know, too many different things. And he backed off on pressuring her to have sex more after the first couple years.

I mean, they really came to kind of a crisis and he started backing off a little bit. Okay, now this is the big one, what pain and suffering have I caused my partner's sexually in the past. So in the past month, she's, you know, nudge her to get lap band surgery to lose weight. And he was kind of cool and said, You're not just overweight, but you're obese. And he actually showed her tough clinical definition of obesity. And so that's like a biological sex body image kind of thing.

Throughout the relationship, you know, relating to her body image is always pressured her to exercise more to lose weight. She was very, very thin when they first married and then after having a couple of kids and some illnesses, she gained a lot of weight and now, even though she exercises and tries to stay healthy and had a real hard time, knocking the weight off, and he's always pressured, For her about that, here's the gender identity roll thing throughout. Even though he likes this natural California girl kind of look, he's wanted her to wear eye makeup or have permanent eyeliner done because he's always been turned on very much by women that have a lot of eyeliner. He's throughout the relationship pressured her to be more aggressive sexually. In other words, to initiate and take charge. He's pressured her to be more involved in athletic activities that he's involved in.

And then weird things he's always tried to get her to kind of not spend over time with him and spend more time with you know, women friends and and she really is an interested in that. So that's always been a bone of contention throughout the relationship. No sexual orientation issues that cause any pain and suffering and throughout the relationship in terms of sexual behavior, he's really Never been satisfied with the overall level of sex. He's always told her I want more sex, different kinds of sex than she wanted, pressured her to give him oral sex, and have him lay back and be passive. And he always really wanted her to swallow his company ejaculated, and she always, you know, had a problem with that. And then he was moody when she didn't satisfy his sexual desire and needs.

So that's the kind of specificity that you want from your clients. And then he answered the questions like this. And he said, when I close my eyes and think about my sexual relationship with my wife, for most of our marriage, I kind of see myself as selfish jerk and see my wife as being sad and uncomfortable. And, you know, now he's beginning to accept the fact that he's not been the best husband and then can't do anything about the past. And he's willing to be uncomfortable, you know, coexist with all the things that he realizes now that he did and you know, Their relationship to ease, he accepts that he's willing to bring that along with them, as the two of them really work on things to make their sex life better. So that's let me come back to the present moment.

Okay, so those are two real strong powerful exercises. The one again, beginning to meditate is key, you have to get your clients to start, if you haven't started, start with them. wonderful thing to do. And then the Nikon is, is a really interesting way to become more self reflective and a lot of clients really are not very self reflective, especially in terms of their sexual relationship. They really haven't looked at well What has my robe and and you know, what have I done or not done for my partner and how have I contributed to my partner's pain and suffering. So this is a really powerful exercise.

Feel free to tweak it and do it in more generic ways. You know, maybe you don't want to do all five dimensions of sexual identity, that's totally up to you. But to get clients to start to look at, you know, what's my partner done for me? What have I done for my partner? And just kind of look at that difference? And you know, what kind of pain and suffering have I caused my partner's is powerful stuff.

So that's it for lecture one in mindfulness. It's a lot go back and listen to this practice meditating. And, and I'll see you in session two. I'll get out of here. Okay, see in session two, which is on informal mindfulness training, and sexual mindfulness training, which is really hot.

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