Meditation is the act of focusing on a chosen experience. Mindfulness is a capacity of the mind to focus. Contemplative practice is the field of knowledge, views, and practices that include meditation and mindfulness as parts of the whole endeavor.
Meditation and mindfulness training has been advocated by healers and teachers for thousands of years across a wide range of cultural, contemplative, and spiritual traditions. It has recently been adopted in medical settings after proving its effectiveness for:
From the first session, you will be introduced to the basic skills of mindfulness practice, including muscle-tension awareness, breath awareness, and the proper use of introspection (quality control).
As you gain skill and confidence, you will apply these skills to diffuse tension automatically throughout your day, improve sleep habits, deepen the skill of appreciation, learn to dwell in stillness and joy, and cultivate and maintain clarity and equanimity in the face of life’s many challenges.
There is nothing especially difficult, religious, or exotic about mindfulness practice, as taught in Western medical settings. It does not require belief in any religion or creed. It is simply training the mind to pay attention, without wandering too much, and without judgement or interference by involuntary thoughts.
In Contemplative Biofeedback™, mindfulness builds the internal tools—stability and clarity of attention—that helps you get the most of the external tools offered by biofeedback (sensors and displays). Both are needed.
Once the mind can focus, it becomes a powerful tool for observing the moment-by-moment sensations in the body that signal rising or falling levels of tension, stress, and unease. We avoid disease by changing patterns of unease before they harden into habits and do damage to basic systems.
With increased self-awareness and sensitivity, you will more quickly learn to adjust your internal mindset and physical responses to reverse the stress response and sustain relaxation, ease, clarity, and calm. This alone moves you towards a healthier balance in both mind and body.
When meditation is combined with the immediate feedback provided by biofeedback’s hi-tech monitoring of your bodily systems, you will gradually learn to control these basic systems, which are the keys to optimum health and self-regulation. These systems include respiration, heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, skin temperature, immune responses, and sweat gland activity.
Modern medicine’s surge in interest in mindfulness has been justified by the many findings on its unique effectiveness. It has been called “the missing piece” in self-care, because it was overlooked in our zeal to impose fixes from the outside, using pills and surgeries.