Mindful Meditation

 

 

 

What is mindfulness meditation?

“Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to things as they are” (Williams, Teasdale, Segal & Kabat Zinn, 2007). When we are mindful we are intentionally paying attention to the basic components of our experience; how things actually are in the present moment, not how we want them to be. Mindfulness meditation is a form of mental training that cultivates non-judgmental observation, non-striving, patience, trust, open-mindedness, self-compassion and non-attachment.

Why Meditate?

Over the past decade many research studies have demonstrated that mindfulness practices can have a significant positive impact on personal well-being. Specifically, mindfulness practices may have the following benefits for students:

  • Decreased feelings of pressure and stress
  • Improved focus and academic performance
  • Increases in positive emotion
  • Greater self knowledge
  • Better sleep

Facts about meditation:

  • Meditation is not a religion. Mindfulness is simply a method of mental training.
  • While we will sit to do our mindfulness meditation practice, you can bring mindful awareness to any activity you do. You can meditate more or less anywhere.
  • Meditation doesn’t necessarily take a lot of time. Research shows that individuals can get benefits from simply meditating 10 minutes / day. Many people find that the benefits they receive from practicing meditation far outweigh the time they spend on practicing.
  • Meditation can be difficult but it is not complicated. It is not about success or failure, it is just about being.
  • The goal of mindfulness meditation is not relaxation, but rather awareness.

While beginners often find it helpful to get support in developing a mindfulness practice of their own, it is not necessary to join a group. There are many excellent (and free) resources on the internet that can provide information on mindfulness meditation, recommendations for practicing and guided meditations. Here are a few of our favourites:

Start here:

http://www.smilingmind.com.au

www.getsomeheadspace.com

www.happify.com/hd/skeptics-guide-to-meditation-infographic-dan-harris/

www.greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition

Great info:

www.soundstrue.com

mindful.org

drdansiegel.com

www.yogajournal.com

happify.com

http://self-compassion.org/

Meditation in our Community:

spiritinmotionyoga.ca

www.presentmoment.ca

Watch the following videos:

https://www.ted.com/talks/andy_puddicombe_all_it_takes_is_10_mindful_minutes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqoxYKtEWEc

http://www.mindful.org/category/video/

http://ted.com/playlists/204/slow_down_enjoy_life

http://my.happify.com/hd/mindfulness-is-a-powerful-weapon-against-depression/

http://my.happify.com/hd/how-mindfulness-empowers-us-sharon-salzberg/

http://my.happify.com/hd/why-mindfulness-is-a-superpower-animation/

https://www.ted.com/talks/pico_iyer_where_is_home?language=en

http://www.drdansiegel.com/resources/video_clips/

Downloadable Meditations:

www.mindfulness-solution.com

www.buddhanet.net

http://www.mindfulselfcompassion.org/meditations_downloads.php

http://www.centerformsc.org/meditations

tarabrach.com

http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22

www.korumindfulness.org/guided-meditations

http://sittingtogether.com/meditations.php

http://elishagoldstein.com/ecourses/basics-of-mindfulness-meditation/resources/

Listen to these podcasts:

http://www.onbeing.org/program/pico-iyer-the-art-of-stillness/7615

http://www.onbeing.org/program/ellen-langer-science-of-mindlessness-and-mindfulness/6332

http://www.onbeing.org/blog/pema-ch%C3%B6dr%C3%B6n-on-quieting-our-racing-minds-and-powering-down-video/6128

Books that may be helpful:

The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle

Self-compassion – Kristin Neff

The Mindful Path to Self-compassion – Chris Germer

The Mindful Way Through Depression - Williams, Teasdale, Segal and Kabat-Zinn

Mindsight – Daniel Siegel

Brainstorm – Daniel Siegel

Mindfulness: An 8 week plan for finding peace in a frantic world – Mark Williams and Danny Penman

Full Catastrophe Living – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Wherever You Go There You Are – Jon Kabat Zinn

Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the present moment and your life – Jon Kabat Zinn

Mindful Compassion – Paul Gilbert and Choden

Meditation isn’t only for certain talented or already serene people. You don’t have to be an ace at sitting still; you don’t have to wait until you are uncrazed and decaffeinated… you can start right now. If you can breathe, you can meditate.

– Sharon Salzberg