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Mindfulness in an Indianexperience…“Happiness and suffering are in our minds”Buddha.Dr Caterina VicensJune 4th 2013
DharamsalaIndia:•Capital: Delhi•Population 1,160 million;the second largestpopulation in the world.•Government: Democracy•28 states.•Oficial language: Hindu,English is largely spokenespecially in business.With 23 oficial languagesalso has a lot of dialects(1,652)•Religion: 80% Hinduism,12% Muslim, 2% Christian,1% Buddhism
Dharamsala, near the Himalaya mountains, a Tibetan refuge.
Inside the temples… always a photoof the Dalai Lama
The Tibetan library. Audience with the Director of the library.
Not the same healthy dietrecommendations as ours:•Meat - monthly•Sweets - weekly•Fish - weekly
The process of manufacturing Tibetan pills……No FDA controls!!!! We were given a sample!
Mindfulness• Eric Fhrom wrote Zen budism and psychoanalysis introducing for the firsttime buddhist concepts into the western world.• In the Sixties, with the Hippy movement, some psychotherapists began topractice Zen meditation ,and in 1977 the APA recommended theevaluation of the efficacy of meditation.• In 1979 Jon Kabat-Zinn created The Mindfulnes Center at the Universityof Massachusetts Medical School.• In 1990 Mark Williams, John Teasdale and Zindel Segal developedMindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for the treatment ofdepression• Then Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy is now recommended forpreventing the relapse of depression (NICE 2009)
What is Mindfulness?• Paying atention or being aware in the presentmoment without making judgements and withoutthinking about the past or worrying about the future.• Most of us are rarely in the present moment.• We focus on past experiences and emotions.• We are constantly thinking about what might happennext and what the future may hold.• We are often unaware of what we are doing, we areon “auto-pilot”.
How can it help us?• Mindfulness is of potential value toeverybody to help find peace in a franticworld.• It teaches us a way of BEING rather thanDOING.• It allows us to step back from automaticbehaviour and habitual thoughts patterns andsee things more clearly.
Research studies demonstrate• Neuroscientific studies find– Changes in those areas of the brain associated with decision-making,attention and empathy in people who regularly practice Mindfulnessmeditation– That meditation increases the area of the brain linked to regulatingemotion, and that it improves people’s attention, job performance,productivity and satisfaction– That meditation increases blood flow, reduces blood pressure, andprotects people at risk of developing hypertension. It also reduces therisk and severity of cardiovascular disease, and the risk of dying fromit.• People who have learned mindfulness…– Experience long-lasting physical and psychological stress reduction– Discover positive changes in well-being;– Are less likely to get stuck in depression and exhaustion, and arebetter able to control addictive behaviour.
Be aware• It sounds simple, but it is remarkably hard to do.• Especially in our modern task-focussed lives we don’tknow how to pay wise attention to what we are doing.• So we easily get caught in over-thinking - damagingour well-being and making us depressed andexhausted.• People who have learned mindfulness are less likely toget depressed and they also experience positivechanges in well-being
Thirdly, even though it isnearly 10 years since NICEfirstrecommended MBCT andeven though the 2009NICE updateidentified the therapy as akey priority forimplementation, thereis a substantial gapbetween the efficacyresearch andimplementation in routinepractice settings. A recentsurveysuggests that only a smallnumber of mental healthservices inthe UK havesystematically built MBCTinto their depressioncare pathways.
Protocolstudies of twosystematicreviewscomparingmindfulnessvs. othertherapies ortreatment asusual.
Protocolstudies of twosystematicreviewscomparingmindfulnessvs othertherapies ortreatment asusual.
• 3 minutes meditation with Mark Williams• http://oxfordmindfulness.org/learn/resources/#au
How to practice Mindfulness• Mindfulness is a simple form of meditation• Consists of focusing your full attention on your breath as it flows in andout of your body.• Focusing on each breath in this way allows you to observe your thoughtsas they arise in your mind and, little by little, you stop struggling withthem.• You come to realise that thoughts come and go; that you are not yourthoughts. You can watch as they appear and they disappear, like a soapbubble.• You come to the profound understanding that thoughts and feelings(including negative ones) are transient. They come and they go, andultimately, you have a choice about whether to act on them or not.• Mindfulness is about observation without criticism; being compassionatewith yourself. When unhappiness or stress appear, you learn to observethem with friendly curiosity. It begins the process of putting you back incontrol of your life.
Mindfulness is not….• Meditation is not a religion. Mindfulness is simply a method of mental training. Many people who practisemeditation are themselves religious, but then again, many atheists and agnostics are keen meditators too.• You don’t have to sit cross-legged on the floor but you can if you want to. Most people sit on chairs tomeditate, but you can also practise bringing mindful awareness to whatever you are doing, on buses,trains or while walking to work. You can meditate more or less anywhere.• Mindfulness practice does not take a lot of time, although some patience and persistence are required.Many people soon find that meditation liberates them from the pressures of time, so they have more of itto spend on other things.• Meditation is not complicated. Nor is it about ‘success’ or ‘failure’. Even when meditation feels difficult,you’ll have learned something valuable about the workings of the mind and thus have benefitedpsychologically.• Meditation is not about accepting the unacceptable. It is about seeing the world with greater clarity sothat you can take wiser and more considered action to change those things which need to be changed.• Meditation helps cultivate a deep and compassionate awareness that allows you to assess your goals andfind the optimum path towards realising your deepest values.
Mindfulness can be also useful…• Mindfulnes is now being used in a variety ofsettings including: Hospitals, Business, Prisons,Courtrooms, Colleges, Universities…• It can be practised by anyone at anytime• Is for people who want to be fully aware• To improve their quality of life and “LIVE life tothe full”
Thank you!!!The endless knot… we are allconected in this world……