Thursday, January 19, 2012

Knots in your stomach, angst in your head

Try this the next time you have any anxiety and repeat it daily; it takes ten minutes and it will change your life. It's called Mindfulness Meditation.

Sit in a chair or upon a Zafu (a cushion, like a pillow for meditating). Close your eyes and focus soley on your out in and out breaths. YOu may say a gatha (short verse) like breathing in I am calm; breathing out I release all concerns all anxiety. or simply focus on your breath. When a thought comes acknowledge it but let it go; like the water in a stream.

In the Buddhist tradition and in Contemplative Psychotherapy training, we nurture mindfulness through the practice of sitting meditation. There are many different kinds of meditation. For example, some are designed to help us relax; others are meant to produce altered states of consciousness.

Mindfulness meditation is unique in that it is not directed toward getting us to be different from how we already are. Instead, it helps us become aware of what is already true moment by moment. We could say that it teaches us how to be unconditionally present; that is, it helps us be present with whatever is happening, no matter what it is.

    You may wonder what good that is. After all, don't we want to suffer less? Aren't we interested in tuning in to this natural wisdom, this brilliant sanity, that we've heard about? Aren't those changes from how we already are?

Well, yes and no. On the one hand, suffering less and being more aware of our inherent wakefulness would be changes from how we experience ourselves right now, or at least most of the time. On the other hand, though, the way to uncover brilliant sanity and to alleviate suffering is by going more deeply into the present moment and into ourselves as we already are, not by trying to change what is already going on.
The sitting practice of mindfulness meditation gives us exactly this opportunity to become more present with ourselves just as we are. This, in turn, shows us glimpses of our inherent wisdom and teaches us how to stop perpetuating the unnecessary suffering that results from trying to escape the discomfort, and even pain, we inevitably experience as a consequence of simply being alive.

3 comments:

  1. Graet advice, Pam. We can all do with a healthy dose of relaxation and meditation.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent. I learned through the breathing techniques during a massage just how rejuvenating this meditation can be. There's a lot to be said about the powers we have within ourselves and what we are capable of. Good post.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you


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    ReplyDelete

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