Om Acupuncture Center
What is Meditation? What is Mindfulness?
A useful working definition for mindfulness is provided by Jon Kabat-Zinn,
Meditation is the intentional self-regulation of attention. In other words, mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.
Mindful moments may occur at times throughout the day, where we become open to and aware of what we are thinking, feeling and experiencing with our senses. Mindfulness can be practiced inside or outside of formal meditation practice, but to be really useful and if you really want to experience the full benefit of mindfulness, a regular meditation practice becomes important. Meditation is a technique for practicing mindfulness in a structured setting; it's a way of training your mindfulness 'muscles'. So why is mindfulness so important? Because we can begin to learn to pay attention, again and again, to what is really happening here and now - not being carried away by the chatter and noise of our thoughts and stories, or to be hijacked by the energies of our emotions. We recognize our innate capacity to choose, to respond appropriately. This becomes profoundly important in how we relate to pain, conflict, fear, worry, anxiety, and so on. And we can more fully engage with the present moment, with our lives as we are living them.

Health Benefits of Meditation
In addition to the practice of building our capacity to be mindful and present, there are a number of other associated benefits to meditation, especially with regard to health. Numerous studies are being published describing the benefits of meditation as it relates to neurological health, to dealing with chronic pain, to reducing stress, to the treatment of psychological conditions such as anxiety and ADHD, to the treatment of stress-based skin conditions like psoriasis, to alterations in immune function, to cardiovascular health, and on and on. The benefits of meditation are now being recognized and adopted more widely in our society - at schools, hospitals, military, corporations and government.

Guided Mindfulness Meditations

Here are a few good guided meditations and instructions:

»Mindfulness Meditation Taster- A short and very simple guided mindfulness meditation video with Dr John Kabat-Zinn.
»Sitting / Breathing - Guided Mindfulness Meditation- Guided mindfulness meditation video with Florence Meleo-Meyer of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.
»Be Present- A Guided Meditation with Lori Granger from the Center For Mindfulness in Fresno, California.

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