Sometimes in the crazy swirl of life, it feels like there’s no time to stop. But that’s just what Sharon Salzberg teaches people to do. Salzberg is a New York Times best selling author, a teacher of meditation and mindfulness and one of the co-founders of the Insight Meditation Society at Barre, Massachusetts. She explains how best to practice mindfulness here:
Q: OK, mindfulness seems to be all the rage right now, but why do it? Why meditate? Why be mindful? What does that do for us?
Salzberg: Mindfulness has a lot of benefits. One is simply connecting with our lives as we live them. If you drink your coffee while reading your paper, and checking your emails, with the TV on, that can lead to you feeling perpetually disconnected and unfulfilled. You may think, you need to get different coffee, or grind it differently, and that would make you feel more satisfied, instead of realizing, ‘Maybe the first step is really actually inhabiting our life and really connecting to it every once in awhile.’ Sometimes, just drink the cup of coffee and experience it fully.
Mindfulness is simply the perception of what’s fully happening in the moment not distorted by bias, playing old stories, usually that have something to do with regret, over and over and over, or anticipating future events that most likely will never happen.
Mindfulness helps relieve anxiety and can give us a real sense of connection and fulfillment, as well as insight and understanding. The idea is, by developing a different relationship with our experience, we get to see it differently. If an emotion comes up, and we start fighting it, there’s not a lot of learning going on. If we fall into it and become overwhelmed, there’s not a lot of learning going on. Mindfulness helps us develop a different, kinder relationship with ourselves, to see much more deeply into all of our experience. Continue reading >>