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“Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally. We are simply allowing anything and everything that we experience from moment to moment to be here because it already is.”

~Jon Kabat-Zinn, Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare and Society


The practice of mindfulness dates back to early Buddhist and Eastern traditions of practice, focused on insight, awareness, and concentration. Jon Kabat-Zinn pioneered a movement more than 30 years ago, bringing these practices to the modern mind and collective. Mindfulness is considered a complementary alternative to supplement traditional treatments for PTSD, depression, anxiety and addictions. Practices such as meditation, yoga, breathing routines and other forms of movement help to focus the mind. They help to develop awareness about emotions, thoughts, the body, and how we relate to stress.

While some clients begin the journey of mindfulness with an intention of “I’m here to relax,” many find that mindfulness does not guarantee that — its purpose is to purely engage with whatever experience is actually happening.  The experience is a reality check that can be overwhelming for some — provocative, shocking and helpful all at once. The challenge of concentrating in the moment, free from repetitive stressors, negative thoughts and habitual unhealthy ways of being in the body is a proven contributor to healing many mental health concerns.

Mindfulness is the cultivation of awareness in the present moment without judging or reacting; curious observation and investigation of somatic, affective, cognitive and behavioral patterns; moving towards acceptance.  Mindfulness practice involves inquiry and skills-based practices which can enhance one’s intrapersonal relationship to oneself and interpersonal relationships with others.

Research supports the effectiveness of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to help reduce stress, alleviate pain and promote general psychological health in patients with various medical and/or psychiatric illnesses: chronic pain, anxiety, depression, trauma, stress, body image concerns, emotional regulation.  It is also a natural part of EMDR preparation and closure.  

Mindfulness Practices:

Meditation: a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object ,visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation and enhance personal and spiritual growth .

Mindful Breathing: a common component of many forms of meditation that involves bringing attention to the physical sensations of the breath as it flows in and out.

Body Scan/Somatic Awareness: one type of mindfulness meditation which promotes greater awareness of the physical body. It uses physical sensations and visualization as an anchor to root the mind in the physical body and in the present moment.


Mindful Eating:  using mindfulness to reach a state of full attention to your experiences, cravings, and physical cues when eating. This involves eating slowly and without distraction; listening to physical hunger cues and eating only until you’re full; distinguishing between true hunger and non-hunger triggers for eating; engaging your senses by noticing colors, smells, sounds, textures, and flavors; learning to cope with guilt and anxiety about food; noticing the effects food has on your feelings and; and appreciating your food.

Mindful Walking:  an opportunity to literally just ground and root ourselves in our own bodies by feeling the feet on the floor. Consciously slowing yourself down through movement using breath or counting.  Purposefully transitioning from lying to sitting, and sitting to standing, and then standing to walking, as a way to stay in the body, and use each lift, move, and place as an opportunity to stay in embodied presence.

Emotion and Thought Regulation:  learning how to mindfully initiate, inhibit, or modulate one's state of being in a given situation – one’s feelings, thoughts, physiological states and behavior.

Compassion and Non Judgment:  the art of leaning into the heart of compassion and challenging the duality of judging all experience as good or bad, right or wrong, fair or unfair, important or unimportant, urgent or non-urgent and so on.  Transcending duality.

Mindfulness of Physical Discomfort:  learning how to challenge the mind’s conceptualization of discomfort or pain as being a “thing,” and to give it a degree of solidity, permanence, and coherence that it doesn’t in fact have. Noticing the presence of sensations such as “tingling,” “pulsing,” “throbbing,” “heat,” “cold,” “aching,” or “tightness” without judging them as “bad” or trying to push them away.

Mantra:  melodic, mathematically structured meters, believed to be resonant with numinous qualities. At its simplest, the word ॐ (Aum, Om) serves as a mantra, it is believed to be the very first sound which was originated on earth. Aum sound when produced creates a reverberation in the body which helps the body and mind to be calm.

Beginner’s Mind:  having a beginner’s mind means having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and freedom from preconceptions when approaching anything. Beginner’s mind is actually the space where the mind does not know what to do. It is that delicious state when you are sure of nothing, yet completely fearless, totally available to the moment.
Non-Attachment:  Expectations no longer rule your life.  Emotions arise, but you have space.  You have perspective.  Emotions don’t catch and torment you every time. You relate to the world as it is rather than to your thoughts about it, which never bring lasting happiness.  You have a clarity of mind so you’re able to see through to the truth of things.  You’re not bothered by much, but that doesn't mean you tolerate harmful behavior.  The problems of this world evoke compassion rather than anger.  You don’t chase after happiness.  The sense of spaciousness and freedom you feel bring a genuine contentment that can never be found in temporary experiences.

Guided Imagery:  the use of one's imagination to promote mental and physical health. It can be self-directed, where the individual puts himself into a relaxed state and creates his own images, or directed by others. When directed by others, an individual listens to a therapist, video, or audiotaped exercise that leads him through a relaxation and imagery exercise. Some therapists also use guided imagery in group settings


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