The union between psychology and meditative practices is a new paradigm that is everyday more integrated into therapeutic approaches, for our need to turn to ourselves, slow down the pace and increase self awareness. Integrating Western knowledge with Eastern practices also gives us the opportunity to balance our hemispheres, and above all, realize how our mind works, creating suffering by itself.
This combination of western techniques with ancient traditions sucha as Buddhist psychology gives us the opportunity to put into practice techniques of mindfulness and meditation, which allow us to increase awareness of the present moment and receive it with acceptance, as it is right now, with no need to change. That in itself allow some equanimity, satisfaction and joy and can set us free from most of the psychological suffering we unnecessarily create for ourselves.
Differences between mindfulness and meditation
The goal of meditation is simply being. There are dozens of Buddhist, Hindu or Taoist techniques, among other traditions, inviting us to take our minds to the present moment, watching and letting go of whatever arises. This, in itself, is the goal of meditation: to learn to be in the present moment and to disidentify ourselves from the random content which arises in the mind, including conceptions about who we are, and about everything that goes through our consciousness: thoughts, feelings, emotions ..
Mindfulness is an english term that translates the word sati, of buddhist origins, which implies awareness of the present moment with acceptance. This concept was developed in the 70-80,s in the US by psychologists and researchers as Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ronald Siegel or Jack Kornfield, who made an adaptation of these ancient practices designed by Buddhist psychology to understand the workings of the mind and free us from the suffering it causes.
Mindfulness is thus a kind of meditation also known as vipassana or open monitoring. The aim is to understand the workings of the mind observing and maintaining an attitude of acceptance of whatever arises in the field of consciousness. This allows us to remove ourselves from the tyranny with specific and adapted to each situation techniques.
Mindfulness can be applied within any therapy as a complementary tool and is therapeutic in itself, since it helps us to see the automatic behavior and unconsciousness of most of our actions and be in charge of our mind instead of being carried by it.
There are two types of techniques used mindfulness meditation:
– Concentration. Training the mind to keep focused on a point or object of attention (preliminary practice).
– Mindfulness per se – To keep an open monitoring, be attentive to all that is arising in the field of consciousness without being drawn by the contents: neither by thoughts nor feelings nor emotions that may arise, just paying attention to the passing phenomena, identifying ourselves with awareness.
– Ability to cultivate a greater awareness of the present moment with acceptance.
– Know the workings of the mind and its tendency to permanent dissatisfaction.
– Disidentification with thoughts, emotions and moods (which are not facts but variable and changing phenomena)
– Release of automatic and unconscious patterns.
As a result:
– Increased capacity for concentration and mental effectiveness
– Increasing equanimity, security and trust
– Increased feelings of satisfaction and wellness
– Increased level of energy and vitality
– Increased oxygen in the body and metabolic functions
– Strengthening the immune system
– Reduces the need of rest
– Keeps the balance of the blood pressure
– Increased resistance to wrong habits: excessive food, snuff, alcohol in large quantities ..
– Stress Reduction
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More about meditation
“Being silent is the world’s most simple art. It is not an action, but a non-action. Just be and contemplate. To be is a non-doing and to observe is also a non-doing. Watch, be as an observer in a mountain looking at what happens in the valley. It’s a matter of practice. All you need is a little patience. Old habits will persist, the ideas will continue plunging. And your mind is always like rush hour, in the traffic jam. Your body is not accustomed to sitting in silence, you will move and change positions. Don´t worry. Simply note that the body is moving and spinning, the mind is troubled, full of ideas (consistent, inconsistent, futile), fantasies, dreams .. Stay in the center, watching. “Osho
“When our mind is calm, our psyche is in harmony with the structure of the universe.” Carl Jung
Self-observation is the essence of healing. Thanks to the observer self-awareness blossoms, we come into contact with our own body, we relax and allow ourselves to feel how we are, what we feel, who we are.. then, little by litte we can detach ourselves from our concepts, and we access deeper questions and answers from our being. By developing a meditative consciousness we rest in the center of our being, and to access that we need to allow it, letting go of control and entering that space in which nobody is there to force anything, and everything flows naturally.
The job is just to relax, to access deeper layers of our body, beyond all the mental noise that bombards us continuously .. Upon contact with ourselves, we enter a more inclusive consciousness, we become more aware of everything happening around us and within us. In acquiring this not focused awareness, first we feel the body, then our breath, our feelings, emotions and everything else. Little by little, we also get access to our patterns of thought and behavior, developing a detached awareness that allows us to act with less rush, taking into account information of our entire body and all the possibilities. Our physical, mental and emotional body balance and calm down, we are more in touch with the totality of who we are, and from this place there are new answers to what we are living, freeing us from our old patterns.
Giving us the space to be ourselves, being aware and being present is meditation.
“There comes a time when you become meditation, you do not need it anymore. Then you can be active, and even in this activity there will always be a passive observer. Then you will not be an actor anymore: you have become the observer.”
“Meditation is not a job, but a game .. It’s not something you should do to achieve one goal: to be at peace, feel joy .. but something to be enjoyed as an end in itself. You realize you are again fresh and innocent. The festive dimension is the most important thing to understand, and we´ve completely lost it. Festive means being able to enjoy moment to moment all that comes. ” Osho