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The Many Variations of Mindfulness Practice

The Art of Mindfulness ©

The Origin of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is used in various disciplines: for health and wellness such as in psychotherapy to reduce stress and anxiety and to create a sense of awareness of somatic or body sensations and in medicine to reduce chronic and acute pain, for instance. However, mindfulness has been around for centuries, and it goes way back to the teachings of the Buddha.  Buddhist meditation, as it is actually called, is preserved and practiced in various countries, and, at the most basic explanation, the aim is to alleviate suffering and to attain a state of transcendent peace. Today, in the West, Buddhist meditation has morphed into a word many of us recognize as mindfulness that many incorporate into our daily activities to create awareness of our thoughts, body sensations, and movements, breath, and anything else that surrounds us or is within our environment. 

I am not a Buddhist monk and neither do I profess to understand the entire history of Buddhism.  I have read about it during my leisure time and practiced it on my own accord. However, I practice many things to center and ground myself and to create a deeper sense of awareness of who I am, why I am here, and what I am to do.   

Meditation Forms I Practiced
During the years of my healing process, I read and practiced many different forms of mindfulness meditation; many but not all, being quite rigid in their mannerisms of practice. Some included Buddhist meditation, mantra meditation, Zen meditation, Kundalini meditation, and transcendental meditation (via yoga). I also completed the yoga teacher training program with Prana Yoga College when Shaki Mhi was located in Vancouver, B.C.

A Few Ministerial Readings
When I wrote my ministerial thesis, however, I was interested in the Bhagavad Gita (simplified by Eknath Easwaran), A Course in Miracles, Carl G. Jung, Deepak Chopra, Klaus Heinemann, Peter Spink, Earnest Shurtleff Holmes, Joel S. Goldsmith, J. Krishnamurti, Osho, Edgar Cayce, and Helen P. Blavatsky (besides a few other teachers). Interestingly enough, I never included Dao De Jing. 

The Art of Mindfulness
In any event, what I learned from my array of readings is, why study one discipline or only one teaching? I learned so many valuable lessons from all of them that I believe I learned the art of mindfulness that fits me.  I also found so many of the same threads of information weaving throughout the words of all.  At times, when I continued to practice mindfulness medication, though, I sometimes felt like I was forced to choose one over the other, but over time I let go of that rigidity, and I now do my own thing; my own practice with what worked in the present moment.  By doing this, I learned so much about what the concept of meditation and mindfulness really is and I realized that I did NOT need to practice any one particular form in detail to get the most beneficial results. By being mindful of your needs, you can determine what works for you.

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