What is Mindfulness?
“Mindfulness is the awareness of moment -to- moment, direct experience of what is happening inside and outside the self, without judgment.”
Mindfulness is about awareness, about presence. Without awareness, we are not able to skillfully respond to life. Through the intentional practice of mindfulness skills, we can-
- Increase the capacity to experience beauty, love, pleasure and vitality.
- Increase the resilience and ability to cope with the unavoidable pain of being human.
- Grow the ability to listen to one’s innate wisdom and knowing.
- Increase Compassion and Kindness toward oneself and others.
- Activate one’s natural inner healing resources.
- Discover self-limiting beliefs, perceptions and patterns, and expand personal potential.
- Increase the ability to Respond skillfully to stressors, rather than React out of automatic habit patterns.
- Learn to notice activation of the stress reaction in the body, and to grow capacity to shift into a state of calm – the state in which healing and inner peace can happen.
Cultivating true presence and awareness is the basis of mindful responding to all the challenges of life. Those who practice mindfulness report feeling less stressed, report greater enjoyment of daily life, more harmony in relationships, improved self care and health measures. Benefits often extend into family and work relationships. Positive results are confirmed by researchers around the world.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction- the “Gold Standard” of mindfulness training, developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn (and others) at the Center for Mindfulness. Teachers at Brown University have recently added further refinements to the curriculum to include a trauma sensitive focus throughout, with the full support of Jon Kabat-Zinn. This is an 8 week series designed to help participants gradually strengthen their mindfulness “muscle” through a variety of practices in class and in daily life. Practices include awareness of breath, sitting meditation, the body scan, walking meditation, mindful movement through yoga, mindful eating, mindful communications with others, learning to respond vs react to stressors. Paula Coyne has been teaching MBSR since 2001, and has engaged in decades of personal practice as well as professional training through the Center for Mindfulness and Brown. She is fully Certified as an MBSR teacher and is also able to offer Mindfulness trainings including MBSR for Continuing Education credits to Mental Health professionals and Social Workers for this and other trainings and retreats. Shambhala Meditation Center in NE Minneapolis is the current location for Paula’s MBSR offerings in the Twin Cities. (Or on Zoom due to pandemic precautions.)
“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.”
– Pema Chödrön