Mindfulness & Meditation

Meditations and Mindfulness Practices

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Vipassana meditation translates into “Insight.”  In practicing vipassana meditation we apply insight into our thinking.  We observe the pondering’s of the mind by applying a reflective awareness in the process of focus. We become mindful of our thoughts while creating an awareness of the felt sense body, which is like an antenna taking in information. We become mindful of our thoughts while creating an awareness of the felt sense body, which is like an antenna taking in information. Utilizing reflective insight we become more aware of our thinking and its relationship with the correspondent feeling tones within the body and how we are responding to the world out side of ourselves and to the thoughts created within the mind.

Scientific evidence reveals that reflective insight utilizing experiential body awareness will change our thinking patterns.

Insight Mediation is a participatory observation of the mind that is adding reflective awareness into the meditation practice. We become more aware of our own internal process; how we sense, think and feel through participatory awareness and observation.

We all seek joy and happiness, yet typically we will employ the same analytical process over and over believing this will end our pain and discomfort.  Scientific evidence reveals that reflective insight utilizing experiential body awareness will change our thinking patterns.

Insight awareness allows us to see the extremes our minds create around desires, dislikes and confusions. 
What are you observing?…Your looking at yourself. What you see depends on how you look.

Insight awareness allows us to see the extremes our minds create around desires, dislikes and confusions. What are you observing?…Your looking at yourself. What you see depends on how you look. Remember we are not the same, our experience of life is uniquely different from others. So the journey of a vipassana meditation practice may look different from someone else’s.  You do not have to be someone else and they do not have to be you.

We are all different… rejoice in this awareness.
The silence is there within us.  What we have to do is to enter into it, to become silent, to become the silence.  The purpose of meditation and the challenge of meditation is to allow ourselves to become silent enough to allow this interior silence to emerge.  Silence is the language of the spirit. —John Mains

ScienceDaily (Mar. 27, 2008) — Can we train ourselves to be compassionate? A new study suggests the answer is yes. Cultivating compassion and kindness through meditation affects brain regions that can make a person more empathetic to other peoples’ mental states, say researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This study was the first to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to indicate that positive emotions such as loving-kindness and compassion can be learned in the same way as playing a musical instrument or being proficient in a sport. The scans revealed that brain circuits used to detect emotions and feelings were dramatically changed in subjects who had extensive experience practicing compassion meditation.

Between the stimulus and response, there is a space and in that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. —Victor Frankl

The core skill you learn about “mindfulness” is a new way of paying attention, on purpose and non-judgmentally, to what goes on in the present moment in your body, mind, and the world around you.

Mindful Awareness will enable you to see things differently, undoing mental and physical knots, tensions and anxiety. It will increase your sense of personal confidence in having more options and more strength to face the different challenges in your life.

  • Mindfulness becomes the bridge that allows for calm to arise and anxiousness to dissipate.
  • Mindfulness develops the potential to experience each moment, no matter how difficult or intense, with greater serenity and clarity.
Mindfulness teaches us how to approach life and stress related anxieties skillfully. —Jon Kabat-Zinn, Founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program

Definition of mindfulness:

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way. On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.

Mindfulness is moment to moment awareness. Paying attention, noticing all of what is happening and not adding in any filler. We are consciously directing our attention. Noticing what it is and not falling into a trap of adding in a narrative of rights or wrongs, good or bad, any judgements…seeing things as there are. Not how I wish or want it to be or how I do not want it to be.

It’s like having an observer observing what is happening to you in your experience. If the mind wanders you are aware it’s wandering and you bring it back to what is happening. If we are observing the breath, we are aware of this and when the mind wanders off into thoughts of the past, future, planning, emotional feelings, we notice this and gently return our attention back to the breath. The breath within the body is a grounding, an anchor. Being mindful affects our life and changes how we respond to life.

A moment by moment awareness of what is happening in our present moment experience. A non-polluting of the experience through thoughts of personal concepts, belief’s, should be’s and should not be’s on the experience.

It would be similar to noticing a bread box, just seeing that. Not figuring out what’s inside the box or what needs to be in the box or not in the box. Keep the moment of experience aware to what is happening honestly. A soft voice inside could be saying “I’m seeing this, I’m noticing this feeling arise, I’m aware of how my body responds, here is what’s being expressed, I’m noticing how others respond (not judging how they should respond) if I do judge, I’m aware that I’m judging and return again to what is happening.”

Foundations Of Mindfulness Practice, Illuminating The Wisdom Within

The practice of mindfulness is like cultivating a garden. A garden flourishes when certain conditions are present. Holding the following 7 qualities in mind, reflecting upon them, cultivating them according to our best understanding—this effort will flourish, support and strengthen our practice. Keeping these attitudes in mind is part of the training, a way of channeling our energies in the process of healing and growth. Remember too that they interdependent. Each influences the others; and working on one, enhances them all. Seven qualities of mind we look to develop in a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course.

  1. Beginner’s Mind
  2. Patience
  3. Non-Judging
  4. Acknowledgment
  5. Non-Striving
  6. Trust as Self Reliance
  7. Letting it be

Rik facilitates an 8-Week MBSR/Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course 3 times a year. We begin with a Program Orientation that starts the week before the 8-week Course.

The course is designed around the work/methods of Jon Kabat-Zinn and Rik Center’s mindfulness and trauma background, work and trainings. Participants will learn mind/body awareness techniques that allow for more ease in dealing with daily stress, anxieties, physical ailments and emotional symptoms due to unresolved trauma and/or illness.

Participants of this program report an increased ability to cope with stressful situations and less anxious. Bringing awareness, thoughts, emotions and our nervous system into alignment. Increase your ability to cope with stressful situations, improve self-esteem, feel more alive, calmer and renew your enthusiasm for life work.

Course Content:

Experiential exercises, group discussions and somatic mindful awareness teachings. Participants learn about habituated reactions to stress related anxieties and how to change their response. The MBSR/Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course was featured on the Bill Moyers’ special, “Healing And The Mind.”

Class Schedule

8-Wednesdays:
7:00 PM-9:30 PM
One Daylong Session:
9:45 AM- 5:00 PM

Next Course

Please visit the Mindfulness Care Center calendar to find the next upcoming MBSR/Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course.