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Inner Radiance Blog

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mindfulness One Moment at a Time

I went on a walk this morning and I was absolutely filled to the brink. For me, walking is meditation. Although I love going for walks with the dogs, there is something different when it is just me in the middle of nature. As I write this, I suppose it's not me at all; walking around Seward Park or through the forest, I feel connected to all that is. I feel inspired and energized.

Over the years, I've seen how powerful meditation can be. It's amazing what comes up when you take the time to stand still, even for a moment. I've also seen meditation take many forms--sitting in Zazen, breath work, or taking a day of silent meditation.

Having lived in Asia for many years, it's no wonder to me how Buddhist concepts and principles of mindfulness are found in so many healing modalities, especially therapy. I like that there are enough forms of meditation and approaches to meet various needs.

Meditation can work wonders. It is one of the best treatments for anxiety. It can also give power to visualization and help you access your intuition and guidance.

I've heard many people say that they can't meditate. But meditation does not have to mean sitting for long periods of time. According to the authors of Wildmind, "Meditation involves a principle of awareness that you can practice in every moment of your life."

You can stop in the middle of your day and listen to your breath. You can practice being aware of your thoughts as they come and go.

Do you meditate? If so, what works for you?

There are many wonderful resources for those looking to incorporate meditation into their lives. Many of these resources are free of charge, while others require small investments and come with high rewards: inspiration, a sense of calm, self-acceptance.

Meditation and Mindfulness Resources

  • Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique--Free weekend intensive and day-long trainings on meditation using a technique developed by Amma.

  • Walking Meditation--Wildmind offers information on walking meditation and daily tips for living mindfully.

  • "Wherever You Go There You Are"--Jon Kabat-Zinn has both a book and an audio CD that can help anyone incorporate mindfulness and meditation into their llives.

  • "Meditation for Beginners: How to Start a Meditation Practice"--This audio CD by Jack Kornfield is great for beginners and has tips you can start to use right away (available from Soundstrue.com).

  • "The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are"--Author Dan Seigal is considered an expert on mindfulness research and the field of interpersonal neurobiology. The Mindsight Institute offers a wealth of information on mindfulness and brain science.

  • Meditation Classes in Seattle--David Tucker offers free meditation classes in true Zen style.


Or, you could do what I do and go out for a walk.

2 Comments:

At January 19, 2009 at 1:56 PM , Blogger Courtney Putnam said...

Elizabeth,

I love what you say here: "But meditation does not have to mean sitting for long periods of time. According to the authors of Wildmind, 'Meditation involves a principle of awareness that you can practice in every moment of your life.'"

That's such a good reminder that living with awareness in everyday life can be so powerful. And that having that awareness IS a form of meditation. Thank you for saying that!

When I feel anxiety or stress, I have a special technique of lying down with my neck and knees supported, my arms and palms open, facing the ceiling, and I listen to music for 30-45 minutes. I breathe deeply in that open heart, open body position and let the music flow into me. I usually listen to music that I play for my clients when I give them massages, for this reminds me, too, that I need to take care of myself. And sometimes I play Bellaruth Naparstek's CD "Meditations to Relieve Stress."

Courtney

 
At February 5, 2009 at 12:06 PM , Anonymous Bed and Breakfast Dave said...

I really enjoyed your post, Elizabeth.

I find it good to meditate in different ways.. for instance, a long walk heals as I walk and give thanks for the good things in my life.
I cycle in the same way, too.
But my favourite practice is to sit myself down and practice Autogenic meditation where I make contact with my inner self.
I always feel refreshed afterwards.

But, for me, it is important to be able to choose the type of meditation I practice on a daily basis.

I believe we all have it within ourselves to make contact with what is within - we simply need to allocate time to do that.

 

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