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Introduction. Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight Ancient Wisdom For the Modern World Session 1 The basics of meditation Instructor - Stanley Merrill. Foundation for class Meditation and Psychology. Academic Background - Math, Physics and Computer Science

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Introduction

Introduction

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight

Ancient Wisdom

For the

Modern World

Session 1 The basics of meditation

Instructor - Stanley Merrill

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Foundation for class meditation and psychology
Foundation for classMeditation and Psychology

  • Academic Background - Math, Physics and Computer Science

  • Professional Background – Application development consultant

  • Tibetan Buddhism

    • Powerful Techniques for coping with stress

    • Targeted for Tibetan NOT American Culture

  • Personally experienced the power of meditation

    • Wanted to help others

  • MBSR

    • Accessible to Americans – culture – way of life

    • Effective teaching methodologies

      • Guided meditations, focus on key concepts, reasonable expectations

  • Jung Center

    • Depth psychology

    • Understanding of why we do the things that we do

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Brief introductions
Brief Introductions

  • Name

  • Experience in Meditation

  • What you wanted from the class

  • Hobbies or interests

  • Profession

    Any or all of the above!

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Website for handouts http www beingmindful com
Website for handoutshttp:www.BeingMindful.com

  • Download PowerPoint Presentations

  • Guided Meditation

    • Play MP3 format.

    • Scripts for each meditation

  • Reading list

  • Quotes and Prayers

  • Must register to access downloads and mp3’s

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Start with the goal in mind
Start with the goal in mind!

Personal

History

Complexes

Expectations

Thoughts

Dramatization

Regrets

Fears

Woe is Me

Anxiety

Reactivity

Negative

Actions

More

Problems

Negative

Circumstances

Awareness

Objective

Observer

Understanding

Insight

Mindfulness

In the moment

Equanimity

The Goal:

Equanimity - Balance, Calmness and Clarity in spite of circumstances.

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Equanimity
Equanimity

  • To a sincere student every day is a fortunate day. Time passes but he never lags behind. Neither glory nor shame will move him ..Zengetsu (zen master)

  • Characteristics

    • Compassionate

    • Calm

    • Open hearted, open minded

    • Centered

    • Balanced

    • Rational – make good decisions

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Analogy
Analogy

  • An adult watching a child throwing a temper tantrum

    • The child’s perception is his reality.

    • Can observe with great compassion.

  • As adults we can watch the “child within us” go through emotional responses

    • Our perceptions are our reality

    • Can observe ourselves with great compassion

  • With insight we can transcend the emotional roller coaster ride.

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


The path is the goal
The path is the Goal

  • The Goal

    • Moment to moment awareness, mindfulness and equanimity.

  • When we experience emotional turmoil

    • Do not suppress your emotions

    • Observe with insight

      • Your experiences in this moment.

      • Watch your breath

      • Enable your body to slow and relax

      • Gain a sense of calm and then you will be able to respond in a rational effective manner

  • Present moment experience can become a habit

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Key points fear and anxiety and heart rate
Key PointsFear and Anxiety and Heart Rate

  • We DO NOThave to have negative emotional and physiological responses to negative circumstances.

  • Second Arrow - Sometimes our responses to negative situations cause greater damage than the circumstances themselves.

    • Physiological damage to our bodies

    • Depression

    • Revenge

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Negative circumstances
Negative Circumstances

  • Examples

    • Losing at tennis

    • Bad line call

    • Red Lights

    • Bad Grades

    • Terminal Illness

    • Loss of love ones

  • Ever evolving process - Eventually

    • Small things trigger little or no response.

    • More things are put in proper perspective.

    • Larger Things

      • Quicker recovery time

      • Less likely to react in a self defeating manner

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Maintaining equanimity
Maintaining Equanimity

  • Easy to understand difficult to implement

  • Serenity Prayer

    • G-d grant me the courage to change the things that I can, the serenity to accept the things that I can not change and the wisdom to know the difference.

  • Skills we need to maintain equanimity

    • Meditation – Cultivates the mental discipline to be mindful

    • Mindfulness – Implementation of awareness in daily life

    • Insight

      • Broad and open perspective

      • Objective and realistic

      • Supportive attitudes – letting go - compassion– gratitude -

      • Understanding psychological forces of us and others

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Class philosophy approach
Class Philosophy / Approach

  • Motivational

    • Know the benefits so that you will want to meditate

  • Practical

    • You will be changing the way you perceive and act

  • Understandable

    • Not esoteric or theoretical

    • How and why meditation accomplishes what it does.

  • Non Sectarian

    • Psychological insights not religious beliefs

    • Meditation as an exercise that impacts our psychology and physiology

  • Set Reasonable Expectations

    • Long slow never ending process

    • Immediate positive changes

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Meditations taught
Meditations Taught

  • Diaphragmatic Breathing

    • Easy, quick, use any time during the day

    • Before and after stressful situations

  • Need a quiet secluded place

    • Mantras

      • When you are really stressed and intellectual understanding fails to alter your emotional state!

    • Body Scan

      • When you want a good nights sleep

    • Sitting Meditation

      • Cultivate deep relaxed state of mind

    • Compassion

      • Alters perspectives and attitudes

  • Mindfulness – Equanimity

    • Goal – 24 x 7 being in the moment

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Motivation
Motivation

  • Why is it important to meditate.

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


The problem is stress
The problem is Stress

Life becomes a juggling act with work, family, job. Any change can throw us off balance.

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


The impacts of stress
The impacts of stress

  • Fight or flight response triggered constantly

    • Produces adrenaline

  • Scientific studies show that prolonged stress

    • Heart rate and blood pressure increase

    • Impacts our sleep

    • Negative impacts to the immune system

    • Decrease in the ability to concentrate and think clearly

    • Increases aging

    • Clogs arteries

  • Meditation is the “medicine” for stress without side effects.

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Mindfulness and meditation exercises
Mindfulness and Meditation Exercises

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Strange object exercise
Strange Object Exercise

  • Look at these objects with new eyes

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Questions
Questions

  • What was your direct experience?

    • What did you see, smell, taste, feel

  • Were you surprised by anything?

  • Did the exercise inspire you to want to do any things differently?

  • What were the differences between this and your normal eating experience?

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Common observations
Common Observations

  • Slowing down and paying attention changes the experience

  • Unconscious -- We are often lost in thought, on autopilot most of the time and not really experiencing what is happening

  • When you focus, you notice things you weren’t normally aware of

  • The mind can easily wander

  • Mindfulness can have a calming effect

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Mindfulness
Mindfulness

  • Awareness – Fully Conscious

    • you are conscious of what you are doing

    • There is an observer that is you seeing yourself

  • Non Judgmental – No Drama!

    • Equanimity

  • In the present moment

    • Continually Bringing the focus back to this moment

  • Doing one thing at a time

  • Attention

    • Single point of focus

  • Intentionality

    • You choose the point of focus

  • Beginners mind

    • Look at everything with fresh eyes

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Mindfulness vs meditation
Mindfulness vs. Meditation

  • What they have in common

    • Focus, intentionality, awareness, present moment, concentration, discipline

  • Differences

    • Meditation

      • protected environment

      • Controlled posture

    • Mindfulness can be done during every waking moment

  • Mindfulness is the goal, meditation develops the skills needed

    • Being present to each and every moment

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Meditation postures
Meditation Postures

  • Regardless of whether you are on a chair or are sitting on a pillow

    • Eyes closed

    • Back Straight

    • Head slightly down

    • Mouth slightly open tongue on roof of mouth

    • Hands on thighs or may use hand mudras

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Postures continued
Postures continued

  • Sitting on a chair

    • Use a pillow between your back and the chair to keep your back straight

    • Feet flat on the floor

  • Sitting on the floor

    • To increase comfort

      • Sit on a pillow

      • Put pillows between your knees and feet

      • Take Yoga Training

    • Preferred method BUT -- Don’t do it if you feel pain

  • Lying Down

    • Good for body scan meditation particularly if you want to lie down.

  • Whatever is comfortable for you!

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Guided meditation diaphragmatic breathing
Guided MeditationDiaphragmatic Breathing

  • Close your eyes

  • Tense and release foot – calves – thighs torso

  • Bell – Dedication – May all beings have happiness… Body Position Erect and dignified posture

  • Listen first and the do it

  • Breathing

    • Breath in slowly First from the stomach Second from the rib cage

    • Breath out slowly First from the rib cage Second from the stomach

    • Focus your attention on the bodily sensations - Stomach and rib cages rising - Notice the skin stretching

      • Notice the air coming through your nostrils

  • Now begin with your breathing

  • Quality of awareness open and non judging

  • Constantly be aware of the body sensations of breathing in and breathing out

  • Breath naturally - Your mind will wander but gently bring attention back to your breath

  • Non judgmentally – be kind to yourself – it is a life long process doesn’t expect to be perfect in a day, week, month or year.

  • This is it! You are in this moment. No regrets of the pass or fear of the future. You are here now.

  • Eyes closed – ring bell – Move your toes, fingers, gently stretch out, open your eyes.

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Diaphragmatic breathing opportunities to practice
Diaphragmatic BreathingOpportunities to practice

  • Take advantage of any seconds and minutes you have!

    • When get up in the morning or going to sleep

    • Before or after each activity

      • Meals

      • Tasks

  • While waiting for anything

    • Red lights

    • Shopping lines

    • During the commercials when we are watching TV

  • Most Powerful and Simple and practical of all the meditations you will learn.

  • For people who do NOT have time for formal meditation practice there are always “gaps” in a busy work day that allow for Diaphragmatic Breathing.

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Questions1
Questions

  • What did you experience?

  • Anyone able to feel the air coming in through the nostrils?

  • How did you feel afterwards?

    • More relaxed?

    • Able to think more clearly?

  • Did your mind wander?

    • Were you aware of wandering while you were wandering?

    • If you can’t control the mind who or what is causing it to wander

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


What is awareness
What is awareness?

  • There is a doer and an observer

    • Observer is a an objective perspective

    • Gives the time for insight before reaction - Diffuses anger

    • When you are questioning your own anger it is different than being driven by it.

  • Non Judgmental

  • Intentionality

    • Not reacting out of instinct and behavior patterns

  • Conscious

    • Aware of the consequences of what you say and do

  • It is a discipline that takes time to develop and meditation cultivates it.

  • By this definition most people are unaware for most of their lives.

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Guided meditations options
Guided MeditationsOptions

  • HAPS CD’s

    • Guided meditation for each week.

  • Jon Kabat-Zinn

    • Guided Mindfulness Meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn (Audio CD - Sep 1, 2005) – Audiobook - $20 on Amazon

  • Option

    • Download scripts

    • Modify to your values

    • Develop your own guided meditation

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Homework guidelines
Homework Guidelines

  • They are designed to help you

  • Find balance

    • Challenge and stretch yourself

    • Don’t stress yourself and hate the practice.

  • Choose what you can do and do it

    • This develops self discipline.

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Homework
Homework

  • 10 minute guided diaphragmatic breathing meditation

    • Before going to sleep, After waking up

    • Extra Credit

      • Slowly build up this week from 10 minutes to 40 minutes

      • MBSR program at UMASS Medical school starts out with 40 minutes once a day.

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Homework contd
Homework (contd)

  • Become aware of the times that you become have emotional suffering. You may feel agitated, frustrated, annoyed, inadequate etc. Evaluate what is happening and answer these questions to yourself:

    • Are my thoughts exaggerating the impact of the situation?

    • Are the thoughts that I have helpful in solving the problem or are thoughts only perpetuating the emotional suffering.

    • Are the actions that I want to take self enhancing or self defeating?

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Extra credit
Extra Credit

  • During the day, between activities or when you are waiting try to take several diaphragmatic breaths as many times as you can

  • Take one activity each day and do it mindfully

    • Be aware of what you are doing

    • Observe if your mind wanders

    • Observe what emotions arise if any

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


History meditation was not taken seriously naval gazing dropping out
History Meditation was not taken seriouslyNaval Gazing – Dropping out

Your father and I want you to know that we are behind you 100% should you decide to go back to being a dope addict.

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Meditation is a science
Meditation is a science!

Meditation - New age mumbo jumbo?

Not for millions of Americans who meditate for health and well being

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Scientific approach to stress reduction
Scientific approach to stress reduction

  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction MBSR

    • University of Massachusetts Medical School

      • Jon Kabat-Zinn Program started 27 years ago

      • Based on ancient meditation techniques

      • Modified for Americans - Non Sectarian

    • Physicians referred patients

      • When modern medicine failed

      • The pain and stress from the physical ailments

    • Significant and measured results

      • Improved sleep, calmness, clarity and physiological changes and sense of well being

    • MBSR is the foundation used for this class

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Scientific approach to depression
Scientific approach to depression

  • Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy

    • Depression is an epidemic

    • Cognitive Therapy – standard treatment

      • Questioning our own thoughts.

        • Are the valid? Are they helpful?

      • Segal, Williams, Teasdale leaders in Cognitive Theory

    • Needed a group treatment approaches

      • Rumination key indicator of recurring depression

      • Merged MBSR approach with Cognitive Therapy

    • Scientifically shown to be helpful in decreasing the reoccurrence of depression

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


The trend merging psychology and meditation
The trendMerging Psychology and Meditation

  • Psychologists using Meditation techniques

    • Segal et al Mindfulness Based Cognitive Theory

    • Psychologists using breathing techniques to calm patients

  • Meditation experts using Psychological frameworks

    • Cheri Huber – Living Compassion

    • Namkai Norbu – describing socialization process

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Competing forces within
Competing Forces Within

  • Conditioned Self

    • Instinctual

    • Reactive

    • Ego Center

    • Wounded

  • Observer / Wise old man

    • Non Judgmental

    • Spiritual Perspective – broader view of life

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Conditioned self symptoms
Conditioned Self - Symptoms

  • Judgmental of self and others

    • Condemning

    • Over Simplifying complex issues

    • Black and white world

  • Hatred and Anger

  • Blames self and others

  • Self righteous

  • Gets tired and bored

  • Meditation will make you much more aware of this part of yourself!

  • Learning to own and accept this aspect without judgment is the hardest task!

    • Condemning this part of your self is training yourself in condemnation

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Observer wise old man
Observer / wise old man

  • Non Judgmental

    • Does not condemn, blame, demonize or diminish self or others

  • Compassionate

  • Forgiving

  • Thoughtful

  • Patient

  • Calm

  • Full of Insight

  • Strategic decisions

  • Internal gyroscope

  • Voice of Conscious

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Why postures are important an experiment
Why Postures are important an experiment

  • Posture 1

    • Slouched in chair, fist clenched, scowl on face, all muscles tightened

  • Posture 2

    • Back straight, feet on floor, gyan mudra, relax head, chest, feet, legs

  • Just sitting up straight can increase your ability to focus and change your state of mind

    • Maintaining that posture takes discipline and awareness

  • Mind body connection

    • Breathing slowly changes attitude

    • Attitude can change your postures

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


Sitting meditation postures
Sitting MeditationPostures

  • Hand posture - Gyan Mudra

    • Fingers of thumb and index finger touch

      • Receptive to external energy

      • Wholeness of a circle

      • Circle of life

    • Imparts happiness, the intellect develops, memory is sharpened.

Meditation, Mindfulness & Insight


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