All of us at Rejuv at Work wish you Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year! The holidays provide an amazing opportunity to take stock of our lives and set new intentions and goals. We are here to partner with you every step of the way. We hope you enjoy this article about mindfulness meditation, and learn more about this dynamic practice and it’s capacities to support personal growth and reduce anxiety and stress.
What is mindfulness meditation?
Simple yet profound, mindfulness meditation practice invites participants to bring their complete attention into the experience of the present moment, without evaluating or judging it.
In a mindfulness meditation session, practitioners simply observe their thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and the environment, letting everything be exactly as it is. If the mind drifts into moments of rehashing the past or anticipating the future, practitioners gently guide themselves back to the present, letting their thoughts float by like clouds in the sky, greeting everything experienced with a sense of hospitality and acceptance. Sometimes meditators choose one aspect of consciousness, such as the breath, as an anchor. When thoughts arise, practitioners abstain from labeling them as “good” or “bad” and simply continue to focus on the breathing process. In fact, the practice involves knowing that nothing needs to be changed. Mindfulness meditation practice invites practitioners to be curious and willing to learn, like an astronaut exploring inner-space. The more one practices, a sense of awareness, insight, and calm focus emerges and integrates into the experience of daily life.
Why is this practice so compelling in 2017?
Life can present all kinds of unexpected twists and turns, and meditation helps one to cultivate a calm internal oasis of stability regardless of external circumstances. Here is a sampling of the many challenges that meditation practice can help to address:
· Stress Induced Illness
In particular, during these fast paced modern times, even though we have so many amazing medical advances, people continue to get sick due to stress-induced illness. Anxiety can creep up in subtle ways, or it can strike acutely, especially during times of major transition such as a job change, the ending of a relationship, or an expected health issue. Meditation allows people to get a grip on stress, finding the balance between suppressing unpleasant emotions and lashing out.
Another common obstacle to wellbeing and happiness can be striving for perfection or comparing one’s own life to an unrealistic idealized image of how life is supposed to be. These common mental afflictions leave us constantly chasing after something intangible and feeling unsatisfied. Meditation can help to dissolve the root of this challenge by addressing the original mental conditioning and setting it free, helping one to feel a sense of ease with life and its many unique imperfections.
· Searching for Community
In this information age, news from all over the world travels fast and we are exposed to inconceivable suffering. This can be overwhelming and leave us with a general sense of malaise. It also seems like the more we utilize digital communication in this time of technological advancement, the more isolated and lonely we feel. In the past, it was common in many socieities to remain in one village or town for one’s entire life. Nowadays, people move frequently and often have family members living all over the world. All of these factors can leave us feeling fragmented or alienated.
Meditation practice can be helpful, allowing practitioners to cultivate a home within themselves, and an open heart that builds bridges that connect with others in an authentic manner.