Recently there have been a lot of articles on the effectiveness of meditation and mindfulness in the healing journey. On our Weekends of Recovery, both mindfulness and meditation are important skills that receive attention. As Jim Struve, co-chair of the weekends says:

Mindfulness and Meditation are both useful tools for the journey to heal from sexual trauma. Explained in the simplest terms, “mindfulness” is the skill of perceiving reality exactly as it is; “meditation” is any practice of intentionally experiencing uninterrupted mindfulness. Breathing is the fundamental building block for both mindfulness and meditation. Meditation practices require the skills of mindfulness and a goal is to achieve un-intruded quiet reflection for an extended period of time (perhaps 15 or 30 minutes). In contrast, mindfulness is a moment-by-moment experience that does not require the more extended practice of meditation. Meditation can be a frustrating enterprise for survivors of trauma, as it may be difficult to overcome feelings of anxiety and inner messages of fear and shame that are necessary to achieve extended calmness. Unsuccessful attempts at meditation are often experienced as failure. Because mindfulness only requires that we focus on our authentic experience one moment at a time, there is no failure - only opportunities to learn from whatever we experience one breath at a time. As we deepen our ability to be mindful, we can expand our awareness, enhance the depth of our emotional and intellectual expression, and regulate our responses to internal and external stimuli. We may then choose to pursue meditation or we may just cherish life moment by moment as a more mindful person.

In this month's From the Executive Director's Desk I share the story of how I've started using juggling as a method for practicing my mindfulness. In this thread, share with the other members of the community in what ways you practice mindfulness. Also, please feel free to post about the challenges you face in trying to find a practice of mindfulness that resonates for you. Remember, there are a million ways we can be mindful. The point is not to try and become a monk, it's about trying to find a way to stay in the present so that we can continue to do the hard work of healing. [quote][/quote]

Edited by Chris Anderson (07/03/13 06:49 PM)
Please note, as of September 2016 I am no longer Executive Director. However due to a bug in UBB software that is still unresolved this label can't be removed.