Based on Mike Fisher’s latest book. Click image to buy.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
This mindfulness retreat takes place in Malaga and involves deliberately resting one’s attention on present moment sensations such as the breath. The practitioner assumes an awake yet relaxed posture in their body, and then places their attention on the breath. When one notices that the mind has drifted away from the object of meditation, attention is then again gently brought back to the object, in this case the breath. This practice, which is very simple, is also quite difficult, mostly because our minds are not trained to be present.
Instead we spend most of our waking hours in distraction and random, discursive thinking. Because we have never cultivated this ability of mind to simply be present, our ‘mindfulness muscle’ is weak, and we find we have little control over our thinking process. For thousands of years meditators from various traditions have known that by working with the simple technique of repeatedly bringing our attention back to the present moment, our ability to be fully present with our experience, both during formal meditation practice and in our everyday life, steadily increases. In recent decades extensive studies have confirmed this claim through the lens of scientific inquiry.
Scientific Research on Mindfulness and Anger
Studies on mindfulness and how it interplays with rumination, positive attitudes, self awareness, cognitive functioning, and emotional well being, and others all point to the beneficial effects of mindfulness for anger. What follows is an overview of some of that research:
1. Rumination, Anger and Mindfulness Rumination is when a person repeatedly fixates on negative thoughts about the past and future. Rumination keeps one stuck in a cycle of negative thinking about perceived wrongs from the past, and projects similar thoughts onto possible situations in the future. Research has shown that rumination is a major factor in the creation and perpetuation of chronic anger management problems. Rumination is associated with decreased neuropsychological flexibility, or in simpler language, decreased ability of the mind to be responsive. Rather than responding to situations in a realistic way, rumination causes one to react in fixated patterns based on fear.
2. Mindfulness and Letting Go By contrast, research has shown that mindfulness cultivates greater neuropsychological flexibility. When practiced regularly mindfulness increases the mind’s capacity to respond to situations in a more accurate and appropriate manner. The intentional ‘‘here and now’’ focus of attention contrasts with the seemingly uncontrollable mental circles people experience when they are ruminating. Our contemporary scientific community has been discovering what the ancients have known for millennia: mindfulness works. Extensive research shows that mindfulness decreases rumination and increases the natural process of being aware in the present moment. Mindfulness cultivates an attention to and awareness of the ‘here and now’, being attentive to what is currently happening rather than swirling in the endless loops of the past and future. Rumination makes it difficult to step back and release oneself from the grips of negative emotions such as anger because the thinking process becomes rigid and unchanging. Mindfulness breaks the rumination cycle by grounding oneself in the reality of the present moment.
3. Releasing Negative Thoughts About the Past and Future Mindfulness practice helps us consciously redirect our attention away from past negative memories or worrying thoughts about the future, back to the present moment sensations and impressions. The process of continual returning one’s attention to the present creates a new mental habituation, and one develops the ability to step away from the cyclical trap of rumination, and hence anger.
4. Mindfulness Increases Healthy Attitudes As shown in various studies, mindfulness fosters a positive and non-judgmental attitude. Practicing mindfulness helps one to be more open to one’s internal and external experience. Thus mindfulness cuts down on the reactiveness normally associated with chronic anger. Extensive research suggests that mindfulness is associated with a range of positive outcomes, from improved life satisfaction and positive mood to decreased stress. When people have habitual anger they are in a state of perpetual reactivity to every little inconvenience and discomfort. Mindfulness meditation helps to lessen this reactivity by cultivating a more open and receptive mind set. Mindfulness meditation has also been shown to foster a more realistic perspective on one’s experience, making us less likely to perceive offence and injustice every time things don’t go our way.
5. Mindfulness and Self Awareness Self awareness has been shown to decrease physical and verbal aggression. Research demonstrates that mindfulness meditation increases self awareness. Research has also shown that mindfulness increases one’s attention to and clarity of feelings, and also makes one more aware of one’s own inner values, such as not wanting to act aggressively.
6.Mindfulness and Cognitive Functioning Mindfulness training leads to a better functioning memory, sustained attention span, and cognitive inhibition, or control over one’s thinking process. Aggression on the other hand is shown to rise with lower performance of these same cognitive factors. Thus the increased cognitive abilities cultivated through mindfulness practice decrease aggression.
7.Mindfulness and Emotional Regulation Studies have shown that increased mindfulness strengthens one’s ability to regulate emotional experience including anger. Extensive research has shown that mindfulness can help people better deal with and even change their emotions. Mindfulness practice helps us see how emotions come and go and aren’t so solid as we might have thought. In this way we learn to identify less strongly with emotions, we understand them more clearly, and thus are able to develop more emotional intelligence. What you will learn:
- Mindfulness – medicine of the future
- The Breath – a pathway to tranquility
- Letting go of attachments – Zero Duality Training
- Reducing emotional obstacles one by one
- Welcoming stillness into your life
- Facing your fear and doing it anyway
- Making space for solitude
- Tuning in – a guide to different meditations
- Encouraging a daily practice
Some key benefits
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves concentration and creativity
- Helps decrease anxiety and depression
- Improves self-esteem
- Reduces pain levels
- Improves immune system functioning
- Results in a greater sense of well-being and satisfaction with life
General Terms & Conditions of Booking and Payment 2015
1) PRICES Pers./day twin room share / buffet veg. Breakfast & Dinner 85 €uros Single room supplement is 25 €uros/pers/day & applies to all rooms. ** If there is no one to share a twin room, then the supplement is also charged. The Double King Junior Suite has a supplement of 10 €uros/Pers/day.
2) We have a max of 22 beds. Treatments, Sauna, Soft/Alcoholic drinks.
3) Room Description: Rooms are en-suite & equipped with warm/cold ac, fans, tea facilities, safes, hair dryers, alarm clocks etc. 2nd floor : 7 twin rooms (one has both a double & single bed,) plus 1 single room. 1st floor: One separate twin room. 1st floor: Double King Junior Suite. This room is more luxurious than others. Is en-suite, has a glass conservatory, SAT TV, DVD player, electrically adjustable beds etc. The dome twin room is separate from the main building, in lower gardens. It is not en-suite, but shower/WC facility just outside the door. The 100m2 yoga studio has under floor heating & equipment described below.
5) Normal arrival is after 1500hrs on Sunday, and departure 1000hrs. the following Sunday. Cars must be parked in the official parking on entering our hamlet.
6) Please note that we do not provide room service. The facilities are handed over in clean condition should returned in a similar state. Students are expected to keep their rooms and yoga spaces clean during their stay. Rooms etc. are cleaned once weekly for new groups arriving.
7) Extra towels for pool & sauna etc., a flash light, and trainers/hiking shoes, should be included in your luggage.
8) Meal times normally: 10.00hrs and 18.30hrs. Please arrange with us BEFOREHAND if other times desired. We are not able to cater for special diets. Please ask students to bring supplements if needed. Normal clearing away of food is one hour after meal begin.
9) Please respect that Molino del Rey is a non-smoking house. Smoking is not allowed on our premises.
10) Min. age should be 18.
11) Car hire is very much recommended, and often costs less for the week than a taxi both ways! For retreats not wishing to leave the centre during their stay, transport coaches can be arranged at extra price, with a Malaga bus company (e.g www.malagaminibus.com). We can also offer a limited private pickup at extra cost. Please ask for details.
12) IMPORTANT NOTE:
(a) We must stress that we are a private house & not a hotel. Teachers hire the centre on a private basis. We do not rent out individual rooms. Use of the centre is under the understanding that it be at visitor’s own risk. Travel insurance is mandatory and liability waiver forms must be signed by all visitors, using our facilities
(b) We do not accept any liability for cancellations, delays or changes caused by war, threat of war, terrorist actions or threats, closure of airports, civil strife, industrial action, natural disaster, technical problems to transport, staff cancellations, unforeseen changes in your personal circumstances or other events beyond our control; participants’ medical or psychiatric conditions which may develop during or subsequent to the retreat; loss of, or damage to, personal property of participants.
(c) We are not liable for any injuries you may incur. Yoga classes & use of our facilities are undertaken at your own risk.
The retreat week was an interesting and innovative way to revisit the Anger Management course that I attended a year before. As an extra bonus the retreat also had a Mindfulness aspect added to it. Located in a stunning part of Malaga, the week was both extremely intensive and relaxing at the same time.
I felt that revisiting the material that we discussed and learned during the Anger Management course was extremely useful. It’s surprising how much information you remember but neglect to focus upon on a daily basis. As you have a whole week, there is no need to rush through topics and issues, instead you think about them and discuss at length with similar like-minded people. In turn, this allows you to dig into the true triggers of your anger. The mindfulness aspect allows you to learn to accept some things about yourself and to at least try to accept the faults in others.
As it happened I traveled there with my partner. The course brought us closer together, as my partner was able to understand and experience my thought process and learn about the roots of my triggers. At the same time, I was able to learn a lot more about him and additionally to watch how our relationship developed post the course. Six months later, at the time of writing this testimonial, the lessons we learnt during the retreat have helped us to resolve issues more quickly and less dramatically.
My advice is to do the retreat. If you can take your partner then do so as this retreat allows you to really talk to each other and re-develop the fundamental communication channels in your relationship.