Archive for March, 2012

March 20, 2012

Mindful Sip: Black & White

by mandy lipka

“A thousand days and a thousand, thousand going-through-the-motions, and one day it all changes and the wide-eyed lover wonders how the world had ever seemed so black and white.”
/
 Dr. Willard Evans

March 19, 2012

Week 8: The End!

by mandy lipka

To open our final class we started with a short silence a little standing yoga and then moved into a body scan. From there, we did a 20-min silent sitting meditation. And then A opened the floor for reactions about our last week of practice or how we were feeling today. She does a great job of keeping us at bay when we want to be talking about the “big stuff.”

Several of us shared how we literally take our practice with us — on the train, to the doctor for a long appointment, in the car. Others said they find solace in the idea of always being able to begin again (myself included). Some folks mentioned it’s much easier to integrate into their daily lives when they take 2-3 minutes to meditate a few times per day. And then others said being in the classroom feels like being at home. Those who attended other classrooms said they don’t have the same warmth or connectivity that we do and it comes as a concern. Will it still feel like home when we leave?

A moved us on to a guided reflection before we filled out our end-of-program forms. Once we finished, we got to take a look at our mid-course forms to compare. The difference was pretty surprising. For me, many of the symptoms I had been feeling disappeared. I’m now nearly symptom-less. In the beginning of class, I expressed a whole lot more judgment toward myself and that too melted away. I’m much more compassionate toward myself and others now. It feels great. Another test revealed that I was previously much more nervous and stressed, feeling like at times things were getting out of control, or that I was less on top of things. Now, I’m more secure, relaxed and present.

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March 19, 2012

Mindful Sip: Be Patient

by mandy lipka

This quote has been dear to me since I was in high school. I keep it posted at my desk to remind myself daily.

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are written in a foreign tongue. Do not seek the answers, which cannot be given you, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer.” / Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

March 19, 2012

Mindful Sip: Compassion and the True Meaning of Empathy [Video]

by mandy lipka
March 18, 2012

Mindful Sip: The Guest House

by mandy lipka

A read this post during our closing meditation after Week #4 and I couldn’t get it out of my head. Enjoy!

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all:

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

/ Rumi

March 10, 2012

MBSR: Week 7

by mandy lipka

Though many of us were dying to share our experiences from the retreat, we opened with a silent sitting meditation. As you can imagine, several folks felt the moments of silence was torture, while others experienced peace and comfort. A dear friend of mine in class described his experience in the retreat and in class as being like a moat. The moat is filled with thoughts and he used the breath as a vehicle to go deeper and pass over the water. Others described their thoughts throughout the day as nats. For me, it was quite peaceful. But I must admit, other people’s restlessness kept me alert. I did feel empathy for them especially as my own foot started to fall asleep, but I breathed through it. Practicing Loving-Kindness meditations we learned on the retreat helped, too.

A reminded us that this is a life-long practice and that it doesn’t just end with next week’s class. It’s too easy to forget, but we must pick up and start again. She then guided us into a quick reflection on the retreat before we moved into pairs to discuss and practice “committed listening.”

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March 9, 2012

Open Yourself to Vulnerability

by mandy lipka

My gift to you is a quote from a very close to home elephant journal post:

You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip, or you talk with Richard, and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. / Anais Nin

March 5, 2012

MBSR: All-Day Retreat

by mandy lipka

What an exciting day! Luckily, I found a spot near some familiar faces in a sea of about nearly 200 strangers.

The agenda was as follows:

  • Opening meditation (8-15 min)
  • Standing yoga
  • Full body scan
  • Walking meditation
  • Sitting meditation
  • Walking meditation
  • Image meditation (mountain)
  • Reflecting meditation (perfect biscuits)
  • Lunch (1 hr)
  • Walking meditation (more random/faster pace/ended with big clump in center of room)
  • Loving kindness meditation (To: you, benefactor, loved one, neutral person, difficult person, the room, all beings)
  • Attention to detail and big picture (hand to room to outside)
  • Peer-to-peer discussion
  • Group discussion
  • Silent meditation
  • Full circle – end with one word
March 3, 2012

Mindful Sip: Failure

by mandy lipka

In terms of meditation practices, failure is not an issue. There is no way to fail because you are not trying to get anywhere or feel anything in the first place. As long as you are willing to breathe and be in the state you are already in, you are practicing mindfulness. If you stay with it, you will no doubt notice that the mind changes, the body changes, everything changes. Meanwhile, you just sit, or do the body scan, or practice yoga. In time, both mindfulness and concentration deepen, and with this deepening comes more reliable access to relaxation, inner calmness, and sustained awareness. This can be accompanied by new insights concerning who you are and how you relate to the world.” / John Kabat-Zinn – Mind Body Medicine