Becoming fully aware of what is, also on a subtle level is what mindfulness is all about.
Having “open and caring attention to oneself” is what makes mindfulness a healing meditation exercise.
This practice is very known by the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen Teacher, peace activist, exile and poet during the Vietnam war. He chose mindfulness as a door to enter Zen Buddhidm and he introduced it in the West.
Jon Kabat-Zin was a student of a Korean Zen master and took mindfulness out of its Buddhist context in 1970. He launched the stress reduction and relaxation program (MBRS) at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center to help people with chronic illnesses.
This is why today it is scientifically studied and recommended to decrease stress and heal physical and mental pain.
What are the central ideas of mindfulness meditation?
We all have the experience that aspects of ourselves or of our lives are unsatisfying. Sometimes things are not as we want them to be; that is inevitable and natural.
When this happens, it is very common to search for change. Sometimes we use a lot of energy to fight against or to run away of the situation.
When things are unsatisfying we might have the tendency to ignore them or to simply not pick them up at all.
On the contrary when we like an experience we will do our outmost best to keep it alive, to cling to it.
By practicing mindful meditation we discover that those human tendencies induce discomfort in our lives and instead of believing that the outer events are the cause of our ailments and unhappiness; we start to understand our own role concerning our reaction to these events (stressful reactions).
Once we know we can start to choose how to approach life. If we are willing to open up to our experiences with a mindful consciousness (open and caring) that can really help us to heal. It means that we can be free in any situation.
Mindfulness invites us to look at our natural tendency to automatically create a bond with our experience. It encourages us to explore the possibilities not to react out of habit or instinct.
Applying mindful meditation exercises we learn to see things clear and develop competences to respond in a meaningful way.
Mindfulness meditation helps us to stay in the direct experience.
This is the reason why it helps stress relief
When under stress we practice:
“What is happening now? “
“How is it now in my body, mind and breathing?”
“What is really going on?”
How can I bring this back to its essence and respond from there?
The core teaching is, to go to your body reactions and breathing
that is where the added value regarding stress relief lies.
Typical practices include:
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