Once perceived as flaky or new-agey, meditation is becoming mainstream. There has been an explosion of interest in meditation among doctors and other medical practitioners, neuroscientists, psychologists, and mental health care providers of all stripes.
All consciousness involves awareness in the sense of a knowing or experiencing of an object. But with the practice of mindfulness, awareness is applied at a special pitch. The mind is deliberately kept at the level of bare attention, a detached observation of what is happening within us and around us in the present moment.
Last week, the MindSpace Clinic had the pleasure of running a professional mindfulness training for staff at a new private addictions treatment centre opening in Montreal.
Our phone vibrates with a Twitter notification and we do a stealth check even though we’re in a business meeting. Our heart speeds up at the sight of three new ‘likes’ on our latest Facebook status. We can’t get through the first course of our dinner without Instagramming our plate.
I just came back from a 7-day retreat with Jon Kabat-Zinn and his colleague Saki Santorelli. They were teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for healthcare professionals at the Omega Center in Rhinebeck, New York.
Grab a medium-sized object—water bottle, cell phone, book—and grip it tightly, making your hand into a fist around it. Then, without opening your fist, use that same hand to try to pick up another object. What happens? When I tried this exercise, my fist knocked uselessly against the second object and I couldn’t pick it up without opening my hand and letting go of the first object.
These three audio guides offer an excellent place to start your Mindfulness training. Simply click on the link below to play the audio and start meditating!
Research has shown that mindfulness reduces the extent to which we react to emotional events, which is reflected not only in the way we perceive these events but in the way our body physically responds to them.
We usually perceive everyday people and situations without appreciation or awareness, and through the lens of what we think we already know or understand about them. In contrast, beginner’s mind means experiencing people and situations as though for the first time, without the filter of history and established beliefs. There are several advantages to consciously cultivating beginner’s mind. Here are two ways to avoid mindlessness and increase mindfulness in everyday life.