Thursday, March 24, 2011

THE MINDFULNESS REVOLUTION

¡Viva la Revolución!

Barry Boyce, senior editor for Shambhala Sun magazine, has edited a wonderful book appropriately entitled The Mindfulness Revolution … for there is indeed a revolution in consciousness taking place at the present time. Even boring old lawyers are in on it!

The evidence for the efficacy of mindfulness is abundant and very strong indeed. Since 1967 over 1,500 studies worldwide have been conducted by over 250 independent research institutes and centres showing mindfulness meditation to be clinically effective for the management of, among other things, stress, depression, anxiety and panic disorders, chronic pain, substance abuse, eating disorders, obsessional thinking, impulsivity, strong emotional reactivity and a wide array of other medical and mental health related conditions.

Anyone interested in mindfulness should obtain a copy of The Mindfulness Revolution. The book is a collection of the best writing on mindfulness from leading figures in the field. Selections include:

·         Jon Kabat-Zinn on the essence of mindfulness, stress reduction and positive change
·         Daniel Siegel MD on how mindfulness benefits the brain
·         Thich Nhat Hanh on the power of mindful breathing
·         Michael Carroll on mindfulness in the workplace
·         Pema Chödrön on developing compassion for ourselves and others
·         Daniel Goleman on a mindful approach to shopping and consuming
·         Jan Chozen Bays MD on mindful eating
·         Steve Silberman on being mindful online.

In one chapter of The Mindfulness Revolution Norman Fischer, principal meditation teacher at Google’s mindfulness program, makes the following suggestions to maintain mindfulness throughout the day:

Take three conscious breaths – just three! – from time to time to interrupt your busy activity with a moment or two of calm awareness.

Keep mindfulness slogan cards around your office or home to remind you to “Breathe” or “Pay Attention” or “Think Again.”

Train yourself through repetition to apply a phrase like “Is that really true?” to develop the habit of questioning your assumptions before you run with them.

Whenever you get up to walk somewhere during the day, practise mindful walking—noticing your weight as it touches the ground with each swing of your leg and footfall.

Institute the habit of starting your day by returning to your best intention, what you aspire to for yourself and others when you have a benevolent frame of mind.

Sound advice.


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