Mindfulness Meditation

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Mindfulness Meditation

Summary:
– definition of mindfulness: it is awareness that arises from paying attention on purpose, receptively & non-judgmentally; it is knowing at your mind is racing before being swept away; it is clear, accurate knowing of what is happening – all people have this (definition is based on the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn (beginning in 1979 – MSBR)
– understanding the mind-body connection is important to manage stress
– lot of research about mindfulness
– greater self-awareness & knowing what your body is communicating, noticing what your thoughts are doing, noticing what your emotions/feelings are
– it is known that the stress reaction depletes certain brain chemicals making a person more prone to depression & anxiety
– MSBR reduces cortisol, stress reaction, chronic pain & reductions in depression & anxiety
– MBCT – mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for moderate to severe depression
– neuroscience studies show benefits of meditation after 8 weeks of practice; areas of brain gets thicker/larger as a result of meditation
– mindfulness is a human capacity – the quality of knowing – for e.g. Feeling sun on face or knowing that you are feeling grief at the death of a loved one
– mindfulness is about being more awake in your life
– there is formal (meditations) & informal (in the flow of your daily life) practice everyday
– See Jon Kabat-Zinn speak on Youtube

Meditation
– sit straight up & be alert – do something comfortable with your hands
– close eyes or park eyes in a soft gaze
– put down the idea of doing it right – it cannot be done wrong
– it is just about being not doing
– putting down all the business
– just drop in on awareness
– notice your body
– contraction/expansions
– notice sounds – let them go
– notice thoughts – don’t judge – if they drift away, that is mindfulness because you have noticed them
– notice the feeling of clothes on your skin
– notice the feeling of the chair on your body
– notice your breath – in & out
– feel the breath coming in to the body
– notice the chest, the belly
– feel the breath leave
– be kind & patient to yourself – notice the breath
– notice the thoughts – let them go & come back to the breath
– & when you are ready, re-enter the room

Source: CBT RADIO | WNC | Podcast date: 18 October 2010

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