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Archive for January, 2016

I welcome the courage and honesty in the January 23, 2016 Guardian article Is mindfulness making us ill?  Meditation is a way of training or developing mindfulness, also called awareness, being attentive to what is. In my teaching, we have always stated that nothing works for everyone.  

For many people, self-help books may be fine to feel grounded. But as we have seen over the years, experienced guidance is often critical. There are numerous types of meditations and techniques. Whatever works for you is the one that is best for you. Mindfulness-based methods, insight meditations are challenging for some and something like Yoga Nidra could work well. Others may find they don’t like the guided meditation. How much time should be spent? Experienced, in-person guidance may be essential to find what works. Over time, the practice needs to evolve and change. And as various emotions and moods surface, guidance is needed in resolving them.

Then there is honesty–an experienced teacher is secure and honest in saying this is not working for you. Perhaps try another teacher, method, or try something else to relax and feel grounded–dance, listen to or play music, sing, swim, walk, run, knit, write, even drink a glass of wine! Perhaps the person needs psychiatric help and not mindfulness. A good teacher knows that it is not about her ego but what is best for the person. A good teacher does not delude herself into thinking that mindfulness is the perfect elixir for everyone–sometimes even a teacher needs to know when to take break from mindfulness and meditation. For the person, it does not mean that she is doing anything wrong.

Meditation can aggravate depression, trauma, and other mental conditions regardless of all the virtues being cited–one needs to be honest and objective without being attached to a preconceived outcome.

Do no harm.

 

 

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