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The Mindfulness Summit

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by mike2014, Sep 10, 2015.

  1. MatthewNJ

    MatthewNJ Well known member

    Practice Practice practice. Use the meditations they provide in the 31 day challenge. When you find one you like, or a few you like, stick with them and do one every day. Another option, if this program does not suit you are the following free programs that teach mindfulness

    MBSR

    Nishpatti foundation Free Meditation

    I have trained with Swami Brahmanada Saraswati of the Nishpatti Foundation and he is wonderful

    One other suggestion is to pick one activity you do every day and do it mindfully. Such as brushing your teeth, or showering or walking or eating (mentioned above). For instance, when you brush your teeth, focus completely on that one activity and nothing else.
     
    mike2014 and Forest like this.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi everyone, if you are listening to some of the mindfulness interviews but not others, I think that today's is definitely want you don't want to miss.

    Dr. Rick Hansen is a psychologist and the best-selling New York Times author of The Buddha's Brain and 3 other books. He is also a senior fellow at the very prestigious Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

    He 1st came to my attention via a wonderful member of our forum named Plum who recommended Buddha's Brain in one of our threads. I love the way that he presents well-established scientific results in books that are engaging and immediately applicable to daily life. It's an easy read, but definitely worth it:
    https://www.amazon.com/Buddhas-Brai...nce-Happiness/dp/1572246952/ref=cm_lmf_tit_15

    As with the other interviews, the topics in this interview are wide ranging. One of my favorite parts, was when he talked about the effects mindfulness on the brain. He mentioned that:
    • People who are more mindful tend to be happier, more mentally healthy, resilient, and empathic.
    • Meditation increases the thickness in
      • the prefrontal cortex (the portion of the brain specializing in advanced functions),
      • the insula (the portion of the brain specializing in emotional awareness),
      • and the hippocampus (a portion of the brain that helps put things in perspective).
    • In contrast, meditators tend to have smaller amygdalas (the amygdala is the portion of the brain that is associated with anxiety and fear).
    • Meditation tends to lead to a healthier immune response.
    • Meditators also tend to have greater activation in the left prefrontal cortex, a portion of the brain associated with happiness and emotional regulation.
    • Meditation even helps our DNA via our telomeres
    To sum up, he said, if the big pharmaceutical companies could patent meditation and make money on it, we would see ads for meditation on the TV all night long because of how effective it is.

    The above is just a summary of a couple minutes of the interview, but I thought it was particularly interesting.

    Here's the link:
    http://themindfulnesssummit.com/sessions/rick-hanson/

    I definitely encourage people to give it a listen! Here's the audio:
     
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  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey, Summit folks, I'm moderating the Saturday chat tomorrow - unless there's someone attending who needs help, we could discuss the Summit, that might be cool.
     
    MatthewNJ likes this.
  4. MatthewNJ

    MatthewNJ Well known member

    Kalo, the key is to observe it be ok with it, the chatter doesn't really go away. Although it does calm down some what
     
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  5. MatthewNJ

    MatthewNJ Well known member

    BR, how has your mindfulness practice going?
     
  6. MatthewNJ

    MatthewNJ Well known member

    oreos work! I used chocolate and hazelnut truffles once.
     
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  7. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Matthew

    Thx for asking I practice it as soon as i wake up...when I make my coffee, my breakfast when I take dog for a walk...I stop medatating per say and try to live as aware as possible.
     
  8. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    A bit late to the party I signed up to the summit on the fourth day after dithering about how likely it would be for me to listen to every minute of every interview. I like how Rick Hanson set himself the goal of meditating one minute a day. In the same vein if I manage to catch some but not all of the interviews, it will still be worthwhile.

    Thank you, Matthew NJ, for posting the links to the free online courses. Someone I know would like to give MBSR a try but she wasn't willing to go to an actual group. This person had a car accident earlier in the year resulting in a severe brain injury. Her physical recovery has been nothing short of amazing, cognitive recovery not so great. It's too early to say what long term or permanent damage has been done. Although I am realistic I do take heart when I hear about the advances in neuroscience. There is one aspect of her injury that I find fascinating. This person is in a perpetual state of mindfulness. Take her for a walk outside and it's like she has a superpower of awareness, noticing and appreciating every detail in nature. So it will be interesting to see what she thinks if she opts to download one of the courses as she's naturally so far advanced in this area already.
     
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  9. MatthewNJ

    MatthewNJ Well known member

    That is AWESOME! We all could take a lesson from that. That is what I try to practice everyday too. Except my mediation is rarely first thing in the morning. This is the cure to TMS and to living a happy life!
     
  10. MatthewNJ

    MatthewNJ Well known member

    YB, I think this quote is quite apt! I have commented on this above as I believe trying to listen to all of this is as distracting as trying to read every book. I really like Walt's comment on how to practice. That is the KEY, not endless reading and listening to "how to" , but "doing it"! The bit about trying to meditate 1 min a day is excellent. Start small and build up. That is how I started and now I meditate 25- 40 minutes 6 out of 7 days a week.

    I know I sound a bit skeptical, but I having "studied" this stuff for years and meditated for 7 years now. I find, like most TMS stuff, most of what these folks is saying is the same. Doing it every day is what made a difference for me. As Dr. Sarno says, you have to "do the work".

    I am sorry to hear about your friend. My (ex 2 b) wife had a non traumatic diffuse brain injury back in February due to metabolic causes. It is a real challenge to see those changes in someone you care about. Lucky for my ex2b, she has about 95% back and seems to have only small deficits. They say that could take 2 years to resolve, if it resolves. deep sigh.

    Matthew
     
  11. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Jan, thanks for posting about Mark Williams and his "Three-Minute Breathing Space."
    I've watched it and like it a lot.

    MM seems to be mainly deep breathing and focusing the mind on how the breath feels in different parts of the body.
    I'm not sure I am doing it right, but it does relax me very much. It's amazing that most of yoga, Buddha, etc. and MM
    is on breathing and breathing deeply.

    Here's something else on Mindful Meditation that I like:

    Calming the Mind: A Meditation Exercise
    Mindful meditation through breathing

    An excerpt from 'Buddha’s Book of Sleep'

    by Joseph Emet from GAIAM LIFE

    Calming the mind is a most appropriate goal, and a good way to do it is by paying attention to the breath. When we are daydreaming, the breath follows the rhythm of our thoughts. That rhythm can be irregular, because we are going from thought to thought, from one thing to another. As we continue to follow thebreathinstead of our thoughts, the breath gets into a steady, regular rhythm.

    Usually we follow our thoughts without anyattention to the breath. Here, we reverse that— we follow our breath. At the beginning, we treat our thoughts a little bit like the way we treat the radio in the background. As we do other things, we are aware that the radio is playing, but we do not follow it actively. For example, when the announcer says, “Go and buy that car right now, because it is so amazing,” we do not drop everything and rush out to buy it. We have learned to take an attitude of sophisticated detachment with regard to the radio. Now we cultivate the same detached attitude toward our thoughts.

    Our work in meditation right now is concentrating on the breath. This means staying with the breath and the sensations of the breath continuously. I don’t know if you have ever followed a single breath from end to end and paid attention to all the sensations that occur. One single breath can make you aware of your posture, of how tight your belt is, and of any tensionin your abdominal muscles.

    The breath is like a swing on the playground. As you breathe in, first it accelerates. Then it slows down near the end. Then it comes to an unstable stop and starts going again in the other direction. The speed is always changing. To notice all this, you need not only awareness, but also concentration. You need to concentrate so that you are not only aware during brief moments of this cycle, but you are continuously aware of it during the whole cycle, cycle after cycle.

    I Can Feel My Breath in a Number of Ways:

    · I can feel it in my diaphragm.

    · I can feel my clothes adjusting as my diaphragm changes shape.

    · I can feel the rush of air in my nostrils.

    · I can also feel a coolness around my nostrils as I breathe in.

    If you have trouble noticing that last item, put your finger horizontally against your nostrils for a few seconds. You will feel the change of temperature as you breathe in and out.


    By concentrating on the breath, we are offering the mind something other than thoughts to chew on. This works better than fighting with it to get it to slow down.


    Within a few minutes, something different starts to happen: the breath finds its natural rhythm. In normal wakefulness, thoughts are zipping through the mind, and the breath is irregular and staccato. Now the breath follows a more regular rhythm, like that of the waves on the beach. Like the waves, the breath comes from somewhere we don’t know. Then it goes inside, and gets lost, like thewaves that get absorbed into the sand. Some of the water gets returned back to the ocean, but it is not exactly the same. Now it has cleaned the beach and is carrying back some debris and also the warmth of the sand with it. The breath has also just cleaned the body, and the out breath is warm and full of carbon dioxide. You can let yourself be guided by this mental imagery. Involve all your senses and now bask in the sunshine on that beach for a few minutes and enjoy thewhishshof the waves.


    Another metaphor: What is happening in the mind at this point is also a little bit like the difference between city driving and long- distance driving. In city driving, there is much stopping and starting and emotions like impatience or irritation. When you settle intolong-distance driving, all those calm down. The rhythm changes.


    During this breathing exercise, you may find that, after a while, concentration comes naturally. At the beginning, concentration required effort. Now this natural rhythm of the breath takes over. Thoughts lose their urgency at this stage.

    Meditation exercise to calm the mind
    Read this and other meditation texts slowly, with a short pause between instructions.

    The past has already gone and the future is yet to come.
    I am concentrating on being peaceful, happy, and free in this present moment.

    Now I’m concentrating on being aware of each breath.
    My attention on the breath is continuous.
    I follow the breath as it begins, and my abdomen starts to expand.
    I continue to pay attention as my abdomen rises and falls with each breath,
    like a child going high and low on a swing.

    Like a swing, my breath slows down at each end.
    I follow it all the way as it slows down, and starts again.

    I embrace my breath with all my care and attention,
    like a mother holds her baby.
    I do not drop the baby.
    Thoughts stay in the background.

    I enjoy the rhythmic rise and fall of my abdomen;
    I enjoy staying in the here and the now.
    I have stopped running forward and backward.

    My mind keeps producing thoughts; that is its nature.
    I do not follow the thoughts.
    I concentrate on my breath.

    I’m comfortable and at ease.
    With each breath, I let go of tension somewhere in my body and mind.

    I’m aware that thoughts can bring tension to my face.
    With each breath, I relax my face muscles and smile.

    There are sensations in my body, I accept them. I am aware of my posture.
    I am aware of the rush of air around my nostrils as I breathe in.

    If there are sounds, I do not react to them.
    I just notice them and let them go.
    I continue to enjoy my breathing peacefully.


    A river of feelings and thoughts is flowing, but I am not drowning in it.
    The concentration on the breath is like the anchor that
    prevents the boat from drift ing.

    Focusing on my breath keeps me from getting lost in thought.
    I notice sounds and skin sensations without reacting to them.

    I smile at disturbances such as memories, little itches, and noises.
    Smiling relaxes me. I feel content.

    With each breath I arrive in the here and the now—
    I’m sitting upright, breathing comfortably.

    My mind is peaceful, my body free of tension.
    I am calm and rested.
    I feel free. I feel at home.
     
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  12. angelic333

    angelic333 Peer Supporter

    Today's society thinks more is better. I don't believe that. To grasp onto " I meditate X amount of hours per day" is self grasping, it doesn't matter to anyone, and, most likely, makes the other feel inadequate. You do what you do and that is great for you. Boasting doesn't land well on others. Pride comes before the fall, IMO.
    Sorry , Matthew, don't particularly like this.
     
  13. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wow! Those Mark Williams audios on MM are awesome. I fell asleep twice listening to his soothing voice.
    I'll watch them again at bedtime.
     
  14. Fabi

    Fabi Well known member

    I got this link from someone who commented on the summit
    http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22
    And someone also mentioned Binaural Waves, for falling asleep. I downloaded the free version in my phone and I have been giving it a try for the past 2 days.
    Walt, your routine is excellent, but I prefer to have a guided recording, it helps me immensly!
     
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  15. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Excellent, I posted the UCLA meditations a few weeks ago, but thanks for sharing them again as I don't think anyone saw them.
     
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  16. Fabi

    Fabi Well known member

    mike, they are fantastic, as I wrote before I need audio, I highly depend on audio for practicing
     
  17. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I agree, I need guidance for my practice too.
     
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  18. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Today's Summit interview with Shamash Alidina is my favorite so far. He makes practicing mindfulness sound fun and easy. For the first time, while listening to him I felt a shift from thinking that practicing mindfulness is something I should do, to thinking it is something I want to do. Following the interview, I immediately went and purchased his audio version of Mindfulness for Dummies (my kind of title)--Audible version only $6.95 at Amazon.
     
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  19. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I find the free Guided Mindfulness Meditation videos on Youtube very helpful.
    With the eyes closed, they're like an audio session.

    I had a busy mind in bed last night and couldn't sleep, but MM and deep breathing and
    concentrating on how parts of the body felt finally got me to slumberland. Counting to 10
    also helped take my mind off thoughts that were troubling me.

    It's amazing how many people are looking for relief from back or other pain and anxiety.
    TV commercials and talk shows are full of them, as are ads in magazines.
    And this is worldwide... people buying books, CDs, videos, supplements. I wish everyone
    knew about Dr. Sarno and TMS, and now Mindfulness Meditation. Pain and anxiety are
    so common in this hectic, scary world. We at TMSWiki are learning and sharing to help each other.
     
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  20. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    The Mindfulness Meditation Summit helped me get through a bad dream last night.
    I dreamed about my abusive stepfather and it shook me when I awoke in the early hours before dawn.
    I reminded myself that it was only a dream, focused on my breathing and how my body felt, and got back to sleep.
    Now I don't remember the dream in detail. I guess I need to do more TMSing about him and forgive him. (again).
    I thought I already had forgiven him, mentally because he is long gone.

    The dream put me in the past, but MM got me back into the present.
     
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