Archive for ‘meditation’

February 3, 2012

MBSR: Week 1

by mandy lipka

I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend my first eight-week MBSR intensive course at the center established by the MBSR founding father, John Kabat-Zinn. This is my first formal foray into Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and needless to say, I’m pretty excited. It’s coming at a very timely point in my life and I finally feel ready to start simultaneously working on aligning my mind, body and soul, instead of working on these parts individually.

Immediately, from the day of orientation, I felt this soothing connection with our instructor (I’ll call her A). She knows exactly how to get a varied group of minds on the same wavelength, or at least open to being on the same wavelength. She and JKZ define mindfulness as the act of paying attention to our lives with self-care and on purpose, without judgment. It’s the practice of cultivating a quality of awareness in our daily lives and a quality of attitude we use to do this so that our challenges become workable. Ideally, we want to come to the practice with an attitude of experimentation and the understanding that we’re not getting rid of these challenges, but rather, we’re changing how we face these challenges. After all, there will always be things beyond our control. Mindfulness helps us make those things feel less overwhelming.

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October 19, 2011

Relational Meditation: A Bolt of Lightning

by mandy lipka

Lucky for me, a few weeks months ago I weathered a tornado-threatening storm to attend a special meditation event—a large leap in my latest endeavors into the world of psychotherapy. Not wanting to leap into the relationship dialogue alone, I demanded (while withholding all details) a dear wolfish friend join me.  Sometimes you have to see if inquiring minds will simply leap without looking.

It worked.

The experience was yet another unforgettably empowering moment for the two of us. It all unfolded magically.

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April 29, 2011

Om Mani Padme Hum

by mandy lipka

Tonight, I used a freebie on a restorative class and it absolutely did the trick. Our practice was completely devoted to our Sahasrara, or crown chakra. This chakra, located at the very top of the head, is devine wisdom, our spirit, our Oneness with the Universe, our Unity and our spirituality. This aura-center is also known as our “Thousand-Petaled Lotus.” The lotus encompasses our light.

Despite being able to hear the wheels of cars pass through the damp streets, my practice was very focused on my mind and my breath. Between the face-down frog and the Supta Baddha Konasa (reclining bound angle pose), my mind, body and soul synced. As I repeated my personal mantra for the day, “I am content, I am transitioning,” I freed my thoughts. I attempted to throw out the tension from an old haunting event from my past.

For those 90 minutes, I did exactly that. Freed an 8-year-old moment of my past that had me shackled and welcomed the possibilities of the future. As we repeated our mantras, I became fully aware. Finally, we ended our restorative practice by repeating the mantra, “Om mani padme hum.” It’s often called the most important mantra in Buddhism as it is the six-syllable mantra of the Bodhisattva of compassion Avalokiteshvara. In English, it loosely translates to Praise to the Jewel in the Lotus.

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April 21, 2011

Wiping Cobwebs

by mandy lipka

I’m kicking off the dust of this blog and kick-starting it for real this time. It’s time to celebrate! I just completed my first step toward a new adventure in mindfulness by signing up for a two-day course from Harvard Medical— Meditation & Psychotherapy! And wow, am I (pun intended) psyched.

Immediately, it’s breathing much-needed new life into my day-to-day that I allowed to get incredibly stagnant as I let my mind go to feel what this transition phase would truly bring on my latest adventure toward continued happiness. I’ve learned in the last few years more than ever that life is so incredibly precious and limited. More importantly, that we’re silly not to live our lives limitlessly.

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