Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Nov 10, 2022

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One of the activities we cultivate on our retreats is a meditation practice. After using meditation and studying different modalities I was drawn to the practicality of MBSR. Instead of focusing on a mantra or something outside of ourselves mindfulness enhances our awareness of our inner self. By being present in our own bodies, minds, and hearts we cultivate a state of being that is much more capable of dealing with the stresses of our day to day lives.

Mindfulness based stress reduction is a practical, self-awareness training. We learn to let go of negativity, calm our minds, and relax the body. MBSR combines meditation with the practice of mindfulness of the body and the breath, and mindfulness of the present moment.

We do this by being aware of our senses: feeling, hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, and thinking. Being fully grounded and open to “this moment” we can acknowledge and accept our thoughts, feelings, and sensations as best we can with a non-judging attitude.

In the practice of mindfulness, you begin by concentrating the attention in calmness, then recognizing what thoughts and emotions are present. When thoughts and feelings come up in your mind you do not ignore or suppress them, you do not analyze or judge them. Rather, you simply note any thoughts as they occur, observe them intentionally moment by moment, as events forming in the field of your awareness.

By observing your thoughts and emotions as if you had taken a step back from them, you can see more clearly what is actually on your mind. As you see your thoughts arise and recede one after another you can note the content of your thoughts, the feelings associated with them, and your reactions to them.

The key to mindfulness is not so much what you choose to focus on. But the quality of the awareness that you bring to each moment. It is very important that it be nonjudgmental – more of a silent witnessing, a dispassionate observing of your inner experience.
Observing without judging, moment by moment. Helps you see what is on your mind without intellectualizing or over-thinking. Accepting your thoughts and feelings for what they are.

Acceptance does not mean passivity or resignation. On the contrary, by fully accepting what each moment offers, you open yourself to experiencing life much more completely. Practicing mindfulness makes it more likely that you will be able to respond effectively to any situation.
It has been observed that as little as 12 minutes of meditation daily can reduce stress, improve health, and increase happiness. Give it a try!

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About the Author

Mani has studied various meditation techniques. She has become certified in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR), which is a blend of meditation, bodily awareness, and mindful movement. As she leads guests through MSBR meditation, they can gain awareness of how their bodies handle and resolve stress neurologically.

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