“With regular practice, yoga teaches us how to develop a greater awareness of both our physical and psychological states, which in turn increases our ability to cope with everyday stresses and situations, enabling us to step back and assess our reactions and coping mechanisms.” Prashant S. Iyengar
|Meditation & Mindfulness|
|Written by Blooming Lota|
|Thursday, 15 April 2010 19:16|
Often times when people think if meditation they think of empty mind meditation, attempting to clear the mind of all thoughts and simply sitting there, supreme bliss of oneness with all. This misconception is troublesome because when people attempt to do this right away, attempt empty mind upon early meditations, people often get frustrated and think, “I just can’t do it.” However, there are many other types of meditation that are extremely useful and beneficial on various levels. All of which also give us glimpses of ‘empty mind’.
Mindfulness meditation is one of the most basic and yet helpful tools we can all nurture in ourselves. Mindfulness can help us come to know our bodies, our reactions to acute and chronic stress, observe our triggers and where our minds go when we are triggered, or when we are frustrated, angry, sad, content, hopeful etc.
One of the most straightforward definitions of mindfulness I have encountered is by Jon Kabat-Zinn, in Full Catastrophe Living “… mindfulness does not involve trying to get anywhere or to feel anything special. Rather it involves allowing yourself to be where you already are, to become more familiar with your own actual experience moment by moment” (23).
In my personal twenty-years of meditatio n practice I began with simple mindfulness and body scans, similar to those described by Kabat-Zinn, to support me in my goals of dealing with insomnia. I found these techniques to be very helpful and my sleeping improved.
I have since also practiced Tong Len, completed Shambhala’s level one through three weekend meditation intensives and engaged in various moving mindfulness techniques (in addition to yoga) via the dojo where I study. I have also had the good fortune to study various forms of meditation under Stephen K Hayes. In May of the past three years I have attended dharma teachings by both His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Boston, Four Noble Truths in 2009 & Bloomington, IN, Heart Sutra in 2010, and teachings in Washington DC in July of 2011) and the teachings of His Holiness the Karmapa in Boulder, CO in 2008.
As with all my services, I consult with the client first and assess what their goals are and create a meditation or mindfulness practice to meet their needs.
Lama Surya Das on 'The Spiritual Warrior'...
|Last Updated on Sunday, 11 November 2012 01:06|