MINDFULNESS IS NOT FREEDOM FROM PAIN AND SUFFERING BUT FREEDOM TO BE WITH PAIN SUFFERING

MINDFULNESS IS NOT FREEDOM FROM PAIN AND SUFFERING BUT FREEDOM TO BE WITH PAIN SUFFERING

There are only two ways to be free of pain and suffering. Death and coma. And that is not what mindfulness is about. Mindfulness is not about a silent and peaceful mind. Loss of a loved one, your job, a relationship or your health is difficult. There will be sadness, grief, anger and pain. Mindfulness will not change that. But what it can do is to allow you to hold your pain without fighting and resistance. One holds the suffering with wisdom and compassion.

Dr. Philip Blustein

THE ABCDE OF BREATHING

THE ABCDE OF BREATHING

Learning how to breathe properly is one of the most effective tools you have for stress relief. How do you do it?

AWARENESS!

Our breath is under automatic and conscious control. Bring your awareness to your breath.

BREATHE CALMLY

Breathe in a conscious slow, deep and smooth manner through your nose.

DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING

Belly rather than chest breathing with the inhalation and exhalation supports relaxation.

EXHALATION

Exhalation is the parasympathetic or relaxation response while inhalation is the sympathetic or fight or flight response. Breathe out by at least 1 second longer than what you breathe in. Ultimately aim for slow breathing with an in-breath for a count of 4 and an out-breath for a count of 6. Put them all together and you have the capacity to put out the fire of acute stress or lower the simmer of chronic anxiety.

Dr. Philip Blustein

WHAT IS NON-JUDGMENT?

WHAT IS NON-JUDGMENT?

From an interview with Jon Kabat-Zinn in MINDFUL magazine he explained: “And nonjudgmental, by the way, does not mean that you won’t have any likes or dislikes or that you’ll be completely neutral about everything. Nonjudgmental really means that you’ll become aware of how judgmental you are and then not judge that and see if you [can let go], for a few moments at least, the restraining order that filters everything through our likes and dislikes or wants or aversion.”

IS NON-JUDGMENTAL  HAVING NO PREFERENCE 

FOR YOUR PREFERENCE TO HAVE NO PREFERENCES?

 by Dr. Phil Blustein

PAIN IS EXPECTED SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL

PAIN IS EXPECTED SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL

I lose my keys.

There is the pain of having to get someone to come and pick me up and go and get another key made. However, I don’t stop there. I add to this pain with my mind saying: “I am so stupid and careless! How could I have lost my keys? This is terrible!”

The Buddha said: “PAIN IS EXPECTED SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL.” There is the initial event that causes us pain. However, we then like to amplify what has happened. We make up stories about our experiences and our self-worth. Value is not inherent to what we experience, but from what we interpret it to be.

Suffering does not come from the event but what we superimpose on it.

Your mind has a mind of its own

Your mind has a mind of its own

If you have ever tried to meditate, you will notice how crazy your mind is; How many thoughts and distractions you have.

Following the S’s of meditation may help your AIM TO SUSTAIN focus.

  • SET the intention. It may be: “May I have sustained awareness of the breath.
  • SHUT your eyes. This helps to shut out external distractions.
  • SPINE for position. Have an upright spine, feet flat on the floor, hands on your lap and your buttocks higher than your knees.
  • SCAN the body. Ground yourself in the present moment by bringing attention to the sensations of your body.
  • SPOT to focus your awareness of the breath. The tip of the nostrils is a very sensitive spot for attention.
  • SENSATIONS – Be aware of the physical sensations of the breath at the tip of the nostrils.
  • SPONTANEOUS breathing. Allow the breath to move spontaneously.
  • SEGMENTS of the breath. Follow segments of the breath individually. Inhalation, Pause, Exhalation and Pause
  • SWITCHING of attention. Attention works by being FOCUSED on the breath, MONITORING when you have drifted and RECENTERING the attention back to the breath.
  • SECONDS – Count your breaths to help your focus.

Dr. Phil Blustein