Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind.
To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all. -Buddha
Meditate09 : Timothea Goddard from Openground introduced participants to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction through her presentation ‘Emotions in Meditation and in Life’ and also gave us this lovely quote (above) from Buddha, which speaks about how life is often ill-balanced .. although Timothea’s words were ‘life sucks and sings’ which drew much agreement and laughter from the audience.
Some of us are naturally optimists (that’s so me) and others quite obviously lean towards pessimism (hmm I can nominate a few people here) .. but it is the realist that sees the world as just ‘the world’ .. neither sucking nor singing .. but abounding with untold flavours.
The Buddha reflected that a state of balance and wholeness is in fact our natural state .. and if we can learn to connect to this core of serenity no matter what is going on around us .. then this small shift in thinking can give us deep peace throughout our daily lives.
Mindfulness Meditation is as an intentional, non judgemental focused awareness in the present moment. Mindfulness is about making what you are doing now the most important thing in the world, interrupting the ‘automatic pilot’ and inviting a sense of intense curiosity for the subtle flavour of every experience as it arises .. without trying to change anything.
To many people it is often a profound ‘ah ha’ realisation : that our emotions are impermanent .. and don’t define us.
Mindfulness training can assist in seeing and understanding the automatic habitual ways that we often react, see situations more clearly, develop mental and emotional resilience and find stability in the face of complex life situations.
Timothea also referenced:
Jon Kabat-Zinn who established the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts and author of numerous scientific papers on the clinical applications of mindfulness in medicine and health care, and several books including Full Catastrophe Living : Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness (1991), Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life (1994).
Dan Siegel ‘The Mindful Brain’ (2007) who describes mindful as being ‘aware, of being conscientious, with kindness and care’. And whose book reviews the scientific evidence that meditation and the mindful state not only produce improvement in well-being, but also detectable physical changes in the brain, such as a thickening of the middle prefrontal lobes.