So much can be cured by mindfulness meditation. It boosts our mental wellness and reduces stress, nervousness, depression, and can help with chronic pain, as well as help to heal, improve and even fix relationships. A new study suggests that for individuals with tempers or anxiety, mindfulness for healing relationships programs might be beneficial even after just one session. Based on Michigan Technological University physiologist John Durocher, who introduced his work during the yearly Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, California, meditation might be able help with stress reduction even more than we know, and is indeed, the key to health and even… enlightenment! Included in the study, Durocher and his co-workers encouraged participants to focus on calm, repeated breathing through the nose which activates the parasympathetic nervous system, as well as be mindful of thoughts, by the use of a repeated sound, mantra, intention or affirmation.
Open and Free to All!
It’s kind of old news, we’ve all heard the hype, mindfulness has been the new trend for the past five years, or more. Meditation and mindfulness centers have been popping up all around the world and it’s even been introduced into some schools, with great benefit to our youth. However just because it seems like a new, new age trend, we should not underestimate the power and efficacy of this ancient, powerful and transformative tradition, rooted in Buddhism and martial arts training. Mindfulness is defined as the process by which we slow down, open up to our world and experience things directly. When we slow down and open up we can begin to see how beautiful the world is. If we’re experiencing any stress or any pain and we are generally much more awake into the feeling of what is. It’s a simple practice and philosophy actually that can be of benefit to anyone of any tradition it certainly doesn’t really belong to any one religion.
What happens when we are mindful versus when we are not mindful is the difference between happiness or misery in a human life and the difference between delusion and enlightenment. Enlightenment is not some grandiose accomplishment of spiritual attainment. It’s actually a simple synchronicity of mind, heart and body when were fully integrated, fully present and fully awake. For instance if we feel “triggered” by politics or family or stressed at work we might react in a way that is defensive or angry and that’s kind of the natural stimulus response mechanism that human beings are locked into. Mindfulness provides a slowing down alternative to our reactivity so we respond in touch in in a different way than we normally react, and it’s actually counter-intuitive.
Mindfulness with Children and Partners
So for instance, if a child mindlessly spills something our normal reaction might say angrily “oh Tommy you have to be more careful.” The child who is quite young and feeling nervous about what they had just done is going to feel worse about themselves. We all remember these moments in our childhood where someone was a bit insensitive and really hurt our hearts and we had no ill intent. These are the building blocks of what can create damage to a small-developing child’s mind. If we were mindful we might speak to our child differently with gentleness and compassion and maybe even a tad of humor. We might say something like “oh Tommy look at that milk, whoops-y!” and maybe even smile with reassurance during a difficult moment. Then we might proceed to ask him a question “hey what do you think we should do the cleanup with, should we use the sponge a paper towel a mop?” and make it kind of fun.
Mindfulness will bring the slowness of our heart, authenticity, natural well-intention into our lives into our relationships which can turn situations that would normally be really stressful and painful into teaching moments for everyone involved with this practice. Mindfulness can be said to be really, the difference between a happy life or not happy life. It could be the difference between happy relationships and unhappy relationships. In marriage it all too often happens that people get into reactive anger and frustration with each other especially if they been together for a long time. We can all admit that it’s inherently annoying to be around any human being, at times! Sometimes with that reactivity, we can go so far away from the original love and appreciation that brought people together. Mindfulness, gentle and compassionate speech that really gives a voice to your heart and sees their heart can do wonders in a marriage with jobs and even bring down our stress levels.
Using Mantra and Mala Beads
Mantra meditation using the mala beads that we offer can be a practice tool to train the mind to develop more mindfulness “muscles” so that we can remember that calm, open hearted way of feeling and have that become established as a regular part of our personality. Our suggestion is to choose a mala bead set that calls to you that makes you feel inspired to do a few minutes of meditation and intention practice every day.
Wake up to our natural mindfulness, feel what is in us, be it sad, bittersweet or bliss, that is the real you… Welcome!