If you are centered, you can move freely.
“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent... Caring for myself is an act of survival.”
"In a nutshell, meditation can and will include all aspects of who we are and of what our lives are actually made of."
I like to think of meditation as the practice of making friends with ourselves. When we sit and meditate, we slow down, dial back and, ultimately, return to a heartfelt sense of our innate capacity for curiosity, compassion and connection. We place our bodies in a comfortable seat, we notice our natural breath and we practice allowing our thoughts to come and go. Meditation is less about changing who we are and more about remembering who we already are.
Just as a runner needs time to tone and train to run further distances, the mind needs a practice for learning to abide more peacefully in the present moment. In our busy world we are constantly putting more and more stress and demands on the mind. We assume we should be able to handle this but, inevitably, we become overwhelmed, moody and unhappy. When we practice meditation, we are creating new pathways for the mind to become more stable, strong and clear.
Meditation helps build mindfulness; an ability to abide in the present moment, on purpose and without judgement. When we practice mindfulness, we feel more whole, connected and better able to see more clearly who we are and how we are showing up in our lives.
Research shows that meditation:
- Helps to reduce stress
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves memory, attention and focus
- Helps regulate mood and anxiety
Mindfulness meditation has been a part of my personal wellness plan for almost 6 years. I received my meditation teacher certification with David Nichtern through Metrowest Yoga in Worcester, MA. David has been my formal meditation instructor for the past three years and is my main touchstone for questions concerning both meditation in general and the challenges that come up in my own seated practice.
In addition to teaching mindfulness meditation both privately and in larger groups, I co-taught two twelve- week meditation based programs at the Concord Medium Security Prison in Concord, MA. This program, Path of Freedom, is a mindfulness-based emotional intelligence (MBEI) model for at-risk and incarcerated youth and adult prisoners developed by Kate Crisp and Fleet Maull.
More information: https://www.prisonmindfulness.org/projects/path-of-freedom/
The Wisdom of no Escape, Pema Chodron
Turning the Mind into an Ally, Sakyong Mipham
Awakening from the Daydream, David Nichtern
Buddha’s Brain, Rick Hanson, PH.D.
A Path with Heart, Jack Kornfield
All books by Thich Nhat Hanh
Mindfulness Meditation Instruction
For those looking to build a personal meditation practice. Like any new habit, resistance will appear. I like to support people by offering ways to cultivate a practice, slowly, and in a way that dovetails with their work/life schedule. Each 45 min session includes guided meditation, discussion, and strategies for managing common pitfalls that can arise in a seated meditation practice. Sessions are available via ZOOM, FaceTime, or in person when possible. Students are encouraged to email me between sessions with any questions and for additional support towards maintaining a strong, yet gentle personal practice.
Sample Meditation Technique