Language I use in guidance is something I have pondered, reflected on, and studied. My curiosity lead me to read Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, by Marshall Rosenberg, several decades ago, which informed my language in both my personal presence and professional life.
I continue to ask for and receive feedback from those I lead and guide in mindfulness practices over the many years I have been teaching, as well as observe how my language is received.
My current teachers are the participants of MBSR Courses (OSF Little Company of Mary Medical Center, the community of the southwest side of Chicago, the community of Cincinnati, OH) as well as Veterans that receive Mindfulness-Based Resiliency Training (MBRT) as part of the Road Home Program at RUSH.
My language has also been informed by ongoing trainings with David Treleaven, author of Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing. Trainings I have taken with David include:
- Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness Omega Institute June 24-28, 2019
- Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: The Practitioner’s Guide to Recognizing Trauma, Responding Skillfully, and Preventing Re-traumatization, Presented Online October 2019
- Advanced Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Widening the Window of Tolerance and Supporting Trauma Recovery Presented Online March 2020
Mindfulness Recordings with Choice, recorded at home, rather rough, are currently available to students currently enrolled as well as the graduates of the MBSR Course:
Anchor of Choice Meditation
Body Scan incorporating choice, touch, and movement
Silence with Singing Bowls
Chair Yoga has been added to support those that may have challenges accessing the MBSR lying down or standing yoga, offering an alternative practice in the chair, a seated yoga practice.
My intention is to continue to add to the Mindfulness Recordings, to be of support, offer practices as we navigate the peri/post pandemic world.
MBSR Course Formal Practice Recordings: Participants are assigned and encouraged to engage in daily formal mindfulness practices throughout the 8 weeks of the course. These formal practices are introduced during class sessions. The recordings are a means to support your daily practice. Listening to the recordings allows you to explore and engage in practice, noticing which practice(s) you feel a connection to during and after the completion of the course.
The body scan guides your attention to areas of the body, noticing sensations, in a gradual, systematic sequence from the feet to the top of the head. The intention of the body scan is to practice noticing your body, being with your body as it is, moment to moment, without the need to change anything. In this practice we will be focusing attention on the sensations arising in the body, moment to moment, bringing a quality of kind welcome to whatever is present.
Read a full description of the Body Scan practice by Jon Kabat-Zinn from his book Coming To Your Senses:
Meditation Awareness of the Breath: Guided to the breath as your focus (anchor or object) of your attention, becoming aware of the experience of breathing, the sensations of the flow of the breath and the expression of the breath in the body. Allowing the breath to be as it is, as you rest your awareness there, and coming back to the breath as you notice the mind wandering off into thought.
Expanded Awareness Meditation: In this practice you have the opportunity to expand your awareness to explore the breath, body sensations, sounds, thoughts, and emotions happening as they arise and change, moving into the foreground of your awareness, and then fading into the background of your awareness as you allow your awareness to expand. Then as you are ready, to open to all of them, to the full range of experience, happening moment to moment as they arise and change, appear and dissolve in your awareness.
Mindful Movement – Lying Down Yoga
This is the first guided gentle yoga sequence practiced lying down. As with the body scan, listening and following along with the recording, referencing the yoga illustrations in the course manual as needed, affords you an opportunity to connect deeply with yourself and enhance your health and well-being. Approach this yoga practice with gentleness, learning to dwell at the boundary of how your body feels each time you practice, investigating what feels right, moment to moment.
Mindful Movement – Standing Yoga
This is the second guided gentle yoga sequence practiced standing. As with the body scan, listening and following along with the recording, referencing the yoga illustrations in the course manual as needed, affords you an opportunity to connect deeply with yourself and enhance your health and well-being. Approach this yoga practice with gentleness, learning to dwell at the boundary of how your body feels each time you practice, investigating what feels right, moment to moment.