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Jon Kabat-Zinn was at the core of the modern-day popular development of Mindfulness. He says: "Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally and then I sometimes add, in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.” Jon Kabat-Zinn is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kabat-Zinn was a student of Buddhist teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh and Zen Master Seung Sahn and a founding member of Cambridge Zen Center. His practice of yoga and studies with Buddhist teachers led him to integrate their teachings with those of science. He teaches mindfulness, which he says can help people cope with stress, anxiety, pain, and illness. The stress reduction program created by Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness-based stress reduction, is offered by medical centers, hospitals, and health maintenance organizations. (Source YouTube Notes)
General Introduction to Meditation. Skills Notes 1. Mindfulness meditation is available to anyone of any faith or none. The Buddha did a lot to give some particular order, and direction to what is done, and may be accomplished, but you do not have to be a Buddhdist to meditate. Definitions Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon the breath, a sound, object, visualisation, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth. The most widely used definition of "mindfulness" comes from Jon Kabat-Zinn: "Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.". Mindfulness and different forms of mindfulness-based interventions has been investigated scientifically since the late 1970's. Kabat-Zinn says that awareness is of the present moment. This means not being caught up in memories of the past or fantasies or fears about the future. Awareness is observing whatever is happening right now. Awareness of the present moment should be non-judgemental. This means trying to remain as open as possible to whatever is happening without putting an extra layer on top of it. Once awareness has settled it becomes possible to reflect on what is sensed and responses delivered. This is how change takes place. Avoid reactions at all times as these maybe ill-judged. Now to Meditate. Set up a daily 20 minute date with yourself for a meditation practice. Do your best to stick to it. Work slowly through all the guidelines, on others pages also, a little at a time. Use the pattern of meditation suggested until you have a firm, daily, foundation of meditation. Make the time for practice regular, around the same time daily, and, when you are fresh and fully awake. Do not get discouraged because "expectations" have not been met. More important is to get back and try, try, and try again. Gradually set up a meditation place. Dedicated meditation space will depend on how much space you have where you are living so adjust accordingly. If possible chose a place which is relatively private and peaceful and where you can easily be quiet. Make the area clean and uncluttered, as far as it is possible, and keep it so. Provide yourself with seating, a chair, a stool, cushions and a blanket in which it always feels good to be wrapped. (See later on about how to sit and posture to meditate.) Work to be comfortably warm when meditating, not too hot, not too cold. Draughts are no fun either. This seating space can be outdoors, weather permitting. Indoors have a plant, or two, to make it look and feel good. You can also decorate the area with objects of faith, love or beauty. You might consider some form of aroma to suffuse the area provided by meditation sticks or even a more sophisticated electronic difusser. Enjoy gentle lighting and electronic candles, they are safer, and are recommended if they are wanted. Talk to everyone who shares your living area and suggest that you are going to meditate and could they silence audible electronics and be considerate about theirs and others noise. If you wish to compose some sort sets of words, to put you in the mood, so that. Meditate with others, if it is at all feasible, when you can. Take your practice off the cushion applying mindfulness (knowing what you are doing) and being aware of what is happening and being consciously aware of what is sensed). Reflect on your values and make responsive changes rather than reacting to what is sensed. Be patient ... and persistent.
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Be Mindfully Aware
A programme of guided audio meditation, supporting notes and guides to learn and encourage a daily programme of meditation.