WHAT IS MINDFULNESS? (from Mary Ann Evans, 28 W. Arrellaga Street, Santa Barbara, California 805 689 0849)
“Mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally”. (Jon Kabat-Zinn)
Mindfulness allows one to experience each moment with clarity and serenity, no matter how difficult or intense the situation. This practice allows one to directly connect with what is happening moment by moment by gathering our attention around an object or sensation in order to be in touch with our experiences. By learning to pay attention to what is going on and starting with what “is”, then we can refine our attention in order to develop a relationship with what is happening without judging or expectations. It is not about what is happening, but about how we are with what’s happening. We develop the sensitivity to respond mindfully rather than react in an automatic fashion. Mindfulness gives us space to be with our experiences, to understand, accept and thoughtfully respond. This practice allows everything to come alive in the midst of our daily activities.
Benefits of mindfulness:
Feeling stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, facing a life crisis or illness or just longing to find a place of rest form the pace of modern life? If so, give yourself the gift of experiencing the peace of the present moment, deep states of relaxation and awaken to enjoyment of life’s simple pleasures. This is the gift of mindfulness. It reduces Stress, improves concentration, eliminates fatigue, enhances relationships, increases tolerance, increases creativity, reverses effects of aging, increases fullness of living.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS BASED PSYCHOTHERAPY?
The most common forms of psychotherapy utilize discussion about life circumstances, emotions, beliefs and suffering. The therapist attempts to help the client understand the events of the past and how these effect current and future challenges. This approach may be effective for some people; but for many others it becomes very helpful to incorporate a practice of mindfulness with cognitive therapy. By utilizing mindfulness practice in psychotherapy the client learns how to increase awareness, bolster mood, reduce stress and find inner peace. By attending to the present moment the anxiety about the future and rumination of the past are reduced and life becomes fully, more joyful and meaningful. This approach, when used in psychotherapy, teaches skillful ways of navigating one’s inner landscape, which may produce stress, inattention, anxiety and depression. Using a variety of methods including meditation, cognitive therapy, body awareness, and group process, participants learn to train their minds and achieve deep levels of relaxation, self observation and emotional regulation.
AUDIO FILES BY DR. MARY ANN EVANS – LIVING FULLY IN THE PRESENT MOMENT
- Welcome to the Present Moment
- Awareness of the Present
- Mindful Eating
- Mindfulness of Ordinary Moments
- Rumi ‘The Great House’
- Breathing in the Present Moment
- Awareness of the Breath
- Sitting Meditation
- Mindful Moment
- Mindful Poetry
- Mindful Listening