Spirituality and Mindfulness
Spirituality and mindfulness can be important ways to support our own wellbeing. Just giving yourself time to slow down and think is important.
NHS Choices describes mindfulness:
It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much.
Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.
Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. Mindfulness can help us enjoy life more and understand ourselves better. You can take steps to develop it in your own life.
“Most of us have issues that we find hard to let go and mindfulness can help us deal with them more productively. We can ask: ‘Is trying to solve this by brooding about it helpful, or am I just getting caught up in my thoughts?’
Mindfulness is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a way to prevent depression in people who have had three or more bouts of depression in the past.
Taken from NHS Choices
How To Be More Mindful In Daily Life
- Eating Mindfully – Some of us eat on the run, eat our kids’ leftovers and sometimes even eat in the car or at our desk. We rarely know when we are full when we eat this way and it can lead to weight gain and digestive issues.
- The next time you eat:
- sit down, with both feet on the ground
- take one bite at a time
- chew slowly
- focus on the flavours, textures and temperature of the food you are eating
- think of what went into growing or preparing the food you are eating
- eat with gratitude.
- Walking Mindfully – Walking meditation is an ancient practice but it can be done by anyone at any time.
- Next time you have to walk to the train station or to work:
- pay attention to the feel of each foot as it touches the ground
- pay attention to the movement of your foot as you step from heel to toe
- notice the feeling of your foot inside your shoe
- notice the pressure it feels as it hits the ground
- feel the work of your individual toes
- feel how your feet work to propel your whole body.
- Speaking Mindfully – Most relationships can be improved with better attention to our speech.
- Before you speak:
- choose your words carefully
- pay attention to the speed as you speak
- pay attention to the frequency at which you speak
- pay attention to the type of language you use
- think about the way you talk about yourself and those around you.
- Cleaning Mindfully – Simple and mundane tasks, such as cleaning, can be made enjoyable by bringing a bit of mindfulness to them.
- The next time you have to focus on chores we normally find annoying and time consuming:
- bring joy and meaning to them,
- treat them as a part of our whole and meaningful life.
- Example: Doing the dishes,
- roll up your sleeves
- put your hands in the warm water
- notice how pleasant it is
- notice how the water caresses your skin
- notice the feel of each plate, item of cutlery, cup, saucepan
- notice the action of the water as it swirls around the item you are washing
- Resolving Conflict Mindfully – Just the simple act of observing your negative thoughts and feelings can help dissipate their intensity and by taking a moment before we react, we can choose a response that we don’t have to regret, later.
- The next time you find yourself in an argumentative situation or a situation that makes you uncomfortable:
- take a moment before you react
- observe the negative feelings as they rise up in your body
- observe the negative feelings in your stomach
- observe the negative feelings in your chest
- notice the negative feelings but don’t judge them
- Working Mindfully – The same technique can be employed in the workplace.
- At the start of and during the day:
- slow down
- take the time to be present with the task at hand
- be conscious of the task
- focus on that one thing – other things can wait
- use subtle music to mask the ticking clock
- simply be
- be calm
- do the work one step at a time.
Benefits Of Mindfulness Meditation
Studies have reported a wide variety of benefits associated with mindfulness meditation that are not limited to but include:
- Decreased stress
- Better sleep
- Less irritability
- Improved immune system
- Improved general health
- Increased focus at work
- Decreased recovery time from illness
- Improved brain function and health
Taken and adapted from this article: (Click to read) Mindfulness: An Everyday’s Guide To Being Mindful For Better Sleep And A Balanced Life (accessed 3rd May 2018)
A couple of ways to do this is through some form of creativity whether art or music.
Here is one way:
Would you be surprised to learn that mandalas have existed since the beginning of time and that you probably witness and experience their beauty every day? Simply stated, a mandala is a sacred circle.
The word mandala comes from the ancient Sanskrit language and loosely means “circle” or “centre.” It’s a simple geometric shape that has no beginning or end. Within its circular shape, the mandala has the power to promote relaxation, balance the body’s energies, enhance your creativity, and support healing. The great news is you can achieve all of these benefits while having fun with your mandala colouring pages.
By simply colouring mandalas, you can accomplish the following:
• Relax & enhance your meditation
• Balance your body, your mind, and your spirit
• Make a spiritual connection
• Expand your creativity
• Increase your self-awareness
• Encourage your self-expression
• Just have fun, alone or with your friends
There are many books in shops for adult colouring but going to Mandala Colouring Meditation you can subscribe to a free collection for you to print off.
Another site that provides free mandalas is The Balance
Whilst colouring in play some instrumental music that is calming and this will enhance your meditation.
If you are considering a wedding please click here
Faith – definition:
Complete trust or confidence in someone or something, which can be based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.
Below are a list of religions, sects and paganisms and how they treat the LGBT+ communities. Many phobias are social-based and are not true reflections of the faiths that people purport to follow:
The Bahai law limits permissible sexual relations to those between a man and a woman in marriage. Believers are expected to abstain from sex outside matrimony. However, they do not attempt to impose their moral standards on those who have not accepted their teachings. The Bahai teachings also take account of human frailty and call for tolerance and understanding in regard to human failings. So, to regard gay or lesbians with prejudice would be contrary to the spirit of the Bahai teachings.
Buddhist ethics are based on the Five Precepts and the Eight-fold Path, 'one should neither be attached to nor crave sensual pleasure'. The third of the Five Precepts is "To refrain from committing sexual misconduct", which is subjected to interpretation relative to the social norms of the followers. In fact, Buddhism in its earliest form did not clearly define sexuality rules for lay followers, restricting the subject mostly for monks. Therefore, the determination of whether or not homosexuality is acceptable for a layperson is not considered a religious matter by many Buddhists.
During Medieval history it became forbidden to perform sodomy. The Bible, however, does not mention sodomy as a sin, but it does mention in the Old Testament (Jewish part of the Bible) that 'a man shall not lie with a man as he does with a woman'.
However, Christ's commandments are:
'The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.
And the second is this: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. No other commandments are greater than these.'
Under these commandments Christians should be all inclusive and accepting. Misrepresentation and misinterpretation of the Bible is the issue with many churches.
Church of England - A church near you
Roman Catholic Church - Portsmouth Diocese Churches
Methodist - Hampshire Churches
Baptism - Hampshire Churches
United Reformed Church - Hampshire Churches
Ecumenical Catholic Church UK - All inclusive, fully diverse Church in Portsmouth and Gosport
Metropolitan Community Church - in Bournemouth & Brighton
This is primarily a social and political philosophy, focusing little on sexuality, whether homosexual or heterosexual. However, the ideology does emphasise male friendships, and it has been argued that the "closeness of the master-disciple bond may foster subtly facilitated homosexuality.
Hindu's have never seen being gay as a religious sin. 'Vikruti Evam Prakriti' (perversity/diversity is what nature is all about, or, what seems unnatural is also natural). Sexuality is rarely discussed openly in the modern Hindu society, and LGBT issues are largely a taboo subject — especially among the strongly religious. A "third gender" has been acknowledged within Hinduism since Vedic times. Several Hindu religious laws contain injunctions against homosexual activity, while some Hindu theories do not condemn lesbian relations and some third-gendered individuals were highly regarded. However, the past shows that Hindu's were more accepting of homosexuality than they are now.
Humanism is a life stance that supports full equality for LGBTQ individuals.
A socially traditional view forbidding sodomy. Islamic teachings (Qu'ran) presume same-sex attraction, extol abstention and condemn consummation. Although sexual activities between same-sex are totally prohibited, Islam allows and promotes filial love between people and siblings of the same sex.
Aldershot Mosque - men only
This is an Indian religion similar to Hinduism and Buddhism, with a symbol that has been stolen and used by neo-fascist organisations.
A medieval approach considering a socially traditional view forbidding sodomy, but The Torah states that 'a man shall not lie with a man, like he does with a woman' which is the basis of many homophobic views.
The official position of the Conservative Judaism is to welcome homosexual Jews into their synagogues, and also campaign against any discrimination in civil law and public society, but also to uphold a ban on anal sex as a religious requirement.
Liberal Judaism authorities believe either that traditional laws against homosexuality are no longer binding or that they are subject to changes that reflect a new understanding of human sexuality.
Founded by Hubbard, whose writings about homosexuality have been described as the promotion of homophobia. They do not support same-sex marriage but have since become a little bit more accepting of the LGBT community.
The holy scriptures of The Guru Granth Sahib, teaches tolerance, equality and acceptance of all people, regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexuality. As Sikh weddings are non gender, then same-sex marriages are possible.
Sarbat - LGBT Sikhs
Unlike other religions, Shinto is very decentralised and non-dogmatic and thus there is no definitive religious ruling on homosexuality.
Passionate homosexual expression is usually discouraged because it is believed to not lead to human fulfilment.
There have been UUA resolutions supporting people regardless of sexual orientation since 1970. The first denomination to accept transgender people as full members with eligibility to become clergy; in 1988 the first openly transgender person was ordained by the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Throughout most branches of Wicca, all sexual orientations including homosexuality are considered healthy and positive, provided that individual sexual relationships are healthy and loving. Sexual orientation is therefore not considered an issue.
The teachings are:
Vendidad - The man that lies with mankind as man lies with womankind, or as woman lies with mankind, is a man that is a Daeva [demon]; this man is a worshipper of the Daevas, a male paramour of the Daevas
Many reformed Zoroastrians, shun the teachings of the Vendidad as it is not in keeping with Zoroaster's original message: 'Good Words, Good Thoughts and Good Deeds', and therefore has no spiritual significance. These reformist Zoroastrians are openly accepting and supportive of the LGBT community and same-sex marriage.