A consistent mindfulness or meditation practice can bring about distinct and profound physical, mental, and interpersonal benefits. While these techniques have been practiced in monasteries and communities around the world since at least 500 BCE, they have seen an exponential rise as topics of research and application in Western medicine, psychology, public health, and behavioral sciences since the 1960s. Benefits to mindfulness or meditation practices tentatively confirmed include (but are not limited to): decreasing stress; strengthening the immune system; increasing grey matter in the insula, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex; improving psychological functions like attention, compassion, and empathy; lifting mood; helping with a variety of medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, asthma, PMS, type 2 diabetes, and chronic pain; alleviating symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, phobias, addiction, and eating disorders (for a full reference list, please feel free to contact Jo!).

Mindfulness and meditation were originally a part of a spiritual framework of ethics and complementary practices imparted to liberate people of the delusions, attachments, and aversions that create suffering. That being said, folks in modern times are often drawn to secular mindfulness and meditation to simply live happier healthier lives.

Meditation

In these classes, participants will be welcomed with a brief accessible explanation about the upcoming meditation. This will be followed by a guided meditation, and an opportunity to share our experiences and explore questions. The amount of time we spend on each part of the class will be customized for your requested class. Many forms of meditation exist, each with their own benefits; if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of each form of meditation and which might be right for your session, please contact Jo.

Benefits of a regular meditation practice abound, though it should not be approached as a quick nor an easy cure-all. Many practitioners experience distressing challenges in meditation, such as physical discomfort or painful memories. Seated meditation may be contraindicated for practitioners who have experience with certain forms of trauma, though everyone unique. Please contact Jo if you are interested in learning more about a meditation class or series of classes.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is intentionally paying attention to the present, observing with openness, curiosity, and non-judgment. It can be practiced formally or informally, as a seated meditation, or as a way to engage in activities like mindful walking, or mindful breathing. While engaged in a mindfulness practice, such as eating a raisin mindfully, we are are participating in an activity that focuses our awareness and trains our minds around the attitudinal foundations of mindfulness: non-judging, patience, a beginner’s mind, trust, non-striving, acceptance, and letting go. As with meditation, the empirical research on mindfulness in the last several decades has produced substantial evidence of its benefits (the infographics from various sources below do a good job of illustrating some of these findings). Please contact Jo if you are interested in a mindfulness class or series of classes.

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