Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

MBSR is not a quick fix!   Mindfulness is a universal human capacity that can be cultivated, sustained and integrated into everyday life by a daily practice of observing the breath meditation.   Breathing is what we do mostly unconsciously all day and every day to keep us alive and lively!

By spending 20 minutes (or more) each day, sitting quietly and actively being aware of one’s breathing one can change one’s grasshopper mind with its chaotic thoughts to a mind that is more peaceful and tranquil.

The other tools for helping to achieve this gentle self-accepting and non-judgemental way of life are the Body Scan, Walking meditation and gentle yoga stretching exercises.   Focusing on all five senses with intention also helps train and calm the mind through listening, hearing, observing, seeing, tasting and smelling.

Practising Mindfulness makes daily life much more meaningful.    With motivation and commitment one is able to deal with emotional issues,  pain, fear, despair, grief and traumatic events and live a more complete, compassionate and joyful life.

Mindful practice enhances living in this moment; being aware of our Self and conscious of our surroundings including other living beings; right here; right now. Not dwelling on the past, nor worrying about future events. Being….being happy and contented!

‘”Student, tell me, what is God?”   “It is the breath inside the breath”.’ [Kabir]

“Breathe! you are alive!” [Thich Nhat Hanh]

“Our true home is the present moment.  The miracle is not to walk on water.  The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment”. [Thich Nhat Hahn]

From the one eternal breath comes all life and mind, and the senses of all life.   From the one eternal breath comes space and light, air and fire and water, and this earth that holds us all….Where all the subtle channels of the body meet, like spokes in the centre of a wheel, there the one breath moves in the heart and transforms the one form into many.   One who knows all and sees all …. dwells as the eternal breath in the region of the human heart.  When we know this presence in both immanence and transcendence, the ties that have bound the heart are freed and we move beyond the patterns of our karma….  In truth the eternal breath is All.    From the Mundaka Upanishad

Being mindful, we become the observers and experiencers of life, rather than its victims.   We become witnesses to the ever-changing flow of the inner life instead of being carried away by the currents of our minds or the reactions of our bodies.

Mindfulness is available to each of us.   It is a basic human capacity.   Mindfulness is an awareness that arises as we pay attention on purpose, non-judgementally, to unfolding experience in the present moment.   The way of paying attention is crucial.   Mindfulness is sensitive, warm, friendly, compassionate, and allowing.   Mindful attention does not try to change what is happening.   Instead, it reflects – accurately and precisely.   Being mindful means being a witness to, and connecting consciously with, whatever elements of our life that are present now, in this moment.    [Jeffrey Brantley, MD MBSR Programme.   from Grieving Mindfully by Sameet M. Kumar, PHD