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Monday, March 29, 2010

Stress Management and Mindfulness Meditation


A year ago I attended a class on Stress Management by the Penn Program for Stress Management http://www.pennmedicine.org/stress/. One of the first statements the instructor made was he can’t guarantee that the program will lower blood pressure, alleviate anxiety and stress or all the other wonderful things that participants have stated happened to them. Like the instructor I can’t tell you how, but I know it works. I do mindfulness mediation every day and have noticed that along with eating right, exercising and meditation my stress level has lowered. I also attend the Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW) a spiritual community teaching and practicing Vipassana mediation. Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India’s most ancient techniques of mediation. It was rediscovered by Gautama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for illnesses. 
In the Stress Management class we were told to purchase Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book Full Catastrophe Living-Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness. This is one of my favorite books. I read sections of it the other day as I was feeling anxious about the release of my new book, Secrets Unraveled. I was worried that I couldn’t handle all that I needed to do for the release and promotion of the book. In Full Catastrophe Living, Kabat-Zinn states that no matter what circumstance we may face in life, we need to believe in ourselves enough to know that we can deal with the situation, and we don’t have to judge it or ourselves.  The key is to be aware of how you feel or what’s going on in your body. At that moment, I knew everything was in divine order as the song, Don’t Stop Believing, by the group Journey blasted from my iPod.   

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