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Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation

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Published by amit tiwari

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Published by: amit tiwari on Aug 04, 2012
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05/23/2013

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 By Jim Hopper, Ph.D.
(last revised 2/3/2012)
 
I am a researcher and therapist with a doctorate (Ph.D.) in clinical psychology, aClinical Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School, and an independentconsultant in several areas. (For professional information about me, please seemy home page.)Most important here, I have studied and practiced meditation for more than 20 years,and my ongoing efforts to cultivate mindfulness and kindness have greatly benefittedmy personal and professional lives and relationships.I created this web page to share some of what I've learned, with anyone who mightfind these perspectives and resources helpful.
Table of Contents
 
Introduction
 
 
 This will orient you to this extensive webpage, via some opening comments and brief descriptions of each section.
Opening Comments and Suggestions
 Is this page for you? You'll have to see, but some of the people I'm hoping to reach andbenefit:People who are curious about mindfulness, but have read little or nothing about it andnever tried meditating.People seeking new ways to overcome childhood hurts, depression, addiction, andother all-too-human problems.Beginning meditators.Meditators interested in the insights of a fellow meditator who happens to be atherapist, clinical psychology and psychiatric neuroscience researcher, as well as ahusband and parent.Therapists interested in bringing mindfulness and meditation into their clinicalpractices.A message to those who will begin reading and find themselves thinking, "I can't seemyself doing mindfulness meditation practices, so I might as well stop reading now andnot bother coming back to this later":Simply reading this page (whether you try meditating or not) will introduce you to new,and potentially very transformative and healing, ways of thinkingabout, experiencing andresponding to your own emotional and other mental and brainprocesses. Just learning these concepts and perspectives (without ever meditating),has proved extremely helpful to many people, including those struggling with a greatdeal of emotional suffering. I can't guarantee that will happen for you, but I would liketo encourage you to take the time, at some point, to find out for yourself.A suggestion: If you discover that you are really interested in what you're reading,print the entire page. At 34 printed pages, it's too long for most people to read on thecomputer.
Descriptions of Each Section
 What is Mindfulness? defines mindfulness by expanding on an often-quoted definition of Jon Kabat-Zinn. My elaboration speaks to struggles that we all have, with overcoming'bad habits' that cause problems and suffering in our relationships, our work, and themost private parts of our lives. My definition also addresses common misconceptionsabout mindfulness by clarifying what it is not.How Could Mindfulness Help Me? describes several ways that mindfulness can helppeople overcome habitual and automatic ways of responding to experiences that areeither strongly unwanted (from emotionally uncomfortable to traumatic) or stronglywanted (including addictive). These include loosening the grip of habitual responses
 
that cause suffering, quieting and calming the mind, and fostering greater awareness,enjoyment and cultivation of healthy positive experiences.How Can I Cultivate Greater Mindfulness? begins with a few comments aboutmeditation and Buddhism, followed by instructions for a standard mindfulness of breathing meditation. It then discusses some key issues, including the distinctionbetween concepts and skills, daily versus intensive mindfulness practice, and formalpractice versus weaving mindfulness into daily life. It ends by addressing somecommon questions and concerns about the cultivation of mindfulness in daily life andrelationships.Caution: Mindfulness Includes Pain, and Requires Readiness is a very importantsection, particularly for those who can become overwhelmed by unwanted emotions. Itdiscusses the need for a solid foundation of self-regulation skills before practicingmindfulness meditation, and how this is essential for people who struggle with certainproblems.Kindness - An Essential Companion of Mindfulness explains why cultivating mindfulnessis necessary but not sufficient, and how cultivating kindness promotes acceptance,peace, freedom, and happiness. It also includes some simple but very effectivepractices for cultivating key aspects of kindness.Resources for Learning To Be More Mindful provides very specific advice for how andwhere you can learn to become more mindful. It has immediately useful informationabout books, tapes, online mindfulness meditation courses, and meditation centers. Italso includes suggestions and resources for those who need more help cultivating self-regulation skills, or for whom more movement-oriented practices such as yoga or TaiChi will be most effective.Recommended Books, CDs/Tapes/MP3s, and Articles includes recommendations foreveryone as well as therapists in particular.Links to Other Resources on Mindfulness and Meditation has a small number of highlyrecommended sites.
What is Mindfulness?
 
Psychologist and mindfulness meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn has simplydefined mindfulness in this way:
 
"paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, andnon-judgmentally."
 
This sounds simple, but mindfulness is a skill that takes practice to cultivate

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