Mindfulness, Meditation and Compassion.
Exciting results have emerged from studies involving mindfulness and compassion. They show that these practices can actually change the way we receive, process and respond to new and old information. We can grow our spontaneity and be more skillful in our responses. Mindfulness meditation has been reported to produce positive effects on psychological well-being that extend beyond the time the individual is formally meditating.
I have expanded my approach to psychotherapy through a continuing practice of meditation and study of Buddhist Psychology. I study “Innate Compassion and Wisdom Practices” with John Makransky, professor of Buddhism and Comparative Religions at Boston College. I also a student of Tsoknyi Rinpoche, a meditation master in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Susan Morgan is my vipassana meditation teacher.
My experience convinces me that meditation enhances conventional therapeutic approaches. [Read more…]While Buddhist principles embody both compassion and mindfulness, meditation enhances psychotherapy by helping the mind and body to relax deeply. Here we can begin to make contact with something more than our “narratives” – the stories we tell ourselves over and over. We can begin sense the innate experience of our mind/heart as it was before we worked so hard to pattern and constrain it.
Though adapted from Tibetan traditions my practice applies to people of all backgrounds and faiths. Some of the meditation practices that you might learn with me are:
- Mindfulness of body, breath and mind
- Compassion for self and others
Compassion is a concept receiving a great deal of attention these days. I cannot even talk about mindfulness outside of the context of compassion. Mindfulness fosters an accepting stance towards living. By itself, this is compassion. Compassion has much to do with the way we respond to distress, whether the distress is felt by another or by ourselves. It shows itself in the desire to alleviate the distress.
This is, however, only re-discovered truth.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” — Dalai-Lama