Meditation was introduced to me by a friend in the summer of 1997. The practice was immediately interesting to me and I diligently applied myself. Since then, I have had the opportunity to meditation in many different places including India and Nepal. Through this practice I continually learn the unique way that mindfulness allows us to work with our emotions. Furthermore, a significant amount of scientific research demonstrates that mindfulness is a powerful tool use for anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorder, and other struggles.
Myself and a colleague, Rebecca McCracken, PhD teach an 8 week course on Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy which is one of the main applications of mindfulness for anxiety and depression. Please call for further information.
Meditation is the practice of sitting mindfulness. While there are many ways to meditate, here are the three basic components that I start working on with clients almost immediately -
1) Sit Still
2) Sit Straight
3) Focus on Breathing
Calmness comes from not doing too much or moving too much, but being very aware while we do this. If we sit still our body is doing very little. If we sit straight, we are able to be very still and very focused. This allows for very deep focus on the physical experience of the breath. Feel the breath enter the body and exit the body. One breath at a time. As best you can, do not move even an inch. With all the awareness you can muster focus on the physical experience of the breathing going in and out of your body on its own.
If thoughts arise or emotions arise, just notice them. Try to smile to them, be friends with them, and then come back to the physical experience of sitting still, straight, and breathing. Your mind may wander again and again. Emotions may arise one after the next. This is fine. Once you notice you have become distracted, smile to yourself. It is ok. Being aware of being distracted is just as pure an awareness as awareness of breathing. We just focus on the breath initially to strengthen our muscle of constant awareness, constant mindfulness practice. So just sit still, sit straight, and focus on your breathing. You may find there is a lot more space in your mind and calmness in your heart than you realized!
For more information about mindfulness based cognitive therapy or meditation, please call or email.
Psychiatric medication management and coping skills that are holistic, personalized, and science based.
RVA Psychiatry and Wellness, LLC
2901 Hungary Spring Road, Suite C
Henrico, Virginia 23228
P: (804) 203-2855 F: (804) 509-0538