208 Summit Ave
Summit NJ 07901
Free Introductory Talk
Wed. Sept. 30
For more information about our
courses, click here.
328 Amboy Ave
Metuchen NJ 08840
to be announced.
Diane Handlin, Ph.D.
Founder and Executive Director
NJ Lic.#3306 NY Lic #015840
We hope you have been having a good
summer. We want to stay in touch and let you know about our Fall
course with the free introductory talk on September 30. We are
also including an article by Dr. Diane Handlin that appeared in the May
2009 issue of New Jersey Life magazine.
The Perfect Present
by Diane Handlin, Ph.D.
from NJ Life magazine, May 2009
Most of us have experienced moments of mindlessness - a loss
of awareness that results in forgetfulness, separation from self, and feeling
like a machine. Our fragmented,
technology-driven culture can force us to live in a way that diminishes our
capacity for finding deep fulfillment.
In addition, our ingrained, habitual patterns of thinking and ways of
relating to society tend to distort how we interpret events, view others, and
experience ourselves. The practice of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
helps people differentiate between the experience of pain (which is inevitable)
and the experience of suffering (the stories we tell ourselves about what our
pain means). Distinguishing between the two can be liberating.
Mindfulness - the practice of paying attention moment by
moment without judgment and with affection - is a method of learning how to
relate directly to whatever is happening in your life so that you can
experience greater vitality in the present.
MBSR was developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Stress
Reduction Clinic of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and
Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, to help people cope
with pain, stress, anxiety, and illness.
MBSR training teaches students techniques such as sitting or reclining
meditation, and mindful yoga, as well as guidance in informal practices, such
as mindful eating and walking, that can help them expand their awareness of the
"MBSR opened my mind in a different way of looking at
things and fostered exploration," says Jane Dobson, a Bergen County
corporate attorney. ''When I am mindfully present, time seems to expand. I
relax, freed from thinking about the next place I have to be or the next thing
I have to do. I have discovered that if I hold off, I usually do not act along
the lines of my first reaction. I've also rediscovered my 'happy me,' what I
remember from so long ago, and that is really wonderful."
Numerous studies have validated MBSR's role in
promoting practitioners' management of their own health. The National
Institutes of Health is currently funding more than 50 studies on the effects
of mindfulness on health and healing. In one study, 85 percent of people who
completed MBSR training reported lasting decreases in physical and
psychological symptoms. Other findings included significant decreases in
anxiety, depression, and hostility; significant reductions in pain and an
increased ability to cope with pain; increased long-term and short-term stress
management; greater ability to relax; enhanced self-esteem; increased energy
and enthusiasm for life; and a greater
sense of peace and self-acceptance.
To explore some of the informal practices of MBSR, follow these steps
1. In the morning, take a few moments to experience your
breath, the miracle of being alive, and the reality that you can intentionally
approach your day.
2. Tuning into your breathing, try to inhabit your body as
you prepare for the day. Before turning
on the radio, take time to be with yourself as you relate to the physical
reality of your life in that moment.
3. Connect with your body.
Where is there tension? How are you carrying yourself at that moment?
Care for your body by being present to it, letting go of tensions as
best you can. Visualize carrying yourself with true dignity.
4. Make an
appointment to meet yourself once an hour to experience your breathing and to
take a snapshot of your physical self at that moment.
5. Use physical reminders in your environment to focus on
your body, acknowledging tensions and striving to let go of them. Notice your
feet touching the floor when you get out of bed or the water flowing over you
in the shower.
6. Pause to really see the significant person or pet that
you are leaving in the morning and coming home to at the day's end.
7. Most important:
Pause to be with yourself. Remember that the power of true renewal lies
in attending to the smallest details of being alive in each moment.
- Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and
Mind to Face Stress Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
- Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindful Meditation in
Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
- Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Heal Thy Self: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine by Saki
- Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by
Myla Kabat-Zinn and Jon Kabat-Zinn
The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself From
Chronic Unhappiness by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon
| Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Center of NJ
Visit us at www.MindfulnessNJ.com