A couple of years ago, I completed a two-day MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) training and participated in an eight-week MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) program. Learning mindfulness was beneficial for me; it opened my eyes to how I can help my clients and allowed me to self-reflect on my personal and professional life. I continue to practice mindfulness daily, but it’s not easy. One thing to keep in mind is the more I practice; it became easier for me. Let me tell you what mindfulness is all about! Mindfulness is about staying in the present moment and slowing down, as well as practicing acceptance and letting go. Also, be able to practice acceptance and let go. It’s easier said than done. In my session, I often lead a mediation to help my clients to feel at ease, because they have difficulty letting go as their thoughts tend to jump into the future. They believe something happened in the past; therefore, it will happen again in the future. I’ve always taught my clients that “We can’t change the past, but we can stay in the present presence to work on ourselves, so we don’t make the same mistake again in the future.” It is part of acceptance and letting go. I always ask them, “Is it worthwhile for you to be thinking about the future constantly, especially when nobody knows what will happen? Also, it’s not healthy for you to think about it; instead, maybe we can practice mindfulness together to offset those thoughts.” One thing mindfulness has taught me is to slow down and be aware of my surroundings with my five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Mindfulness meditation is a non-judgemental practice, and it enlightens me to be kind and patient with myself. When I first started meditating, my mind always wandered, and I always told tell myself that it’s okay. I’ve been practicing with a 45 minutes body scan guided meditation at night time as it helps me to fall asleep. I prefer the guided meditation as I found the person’s voice can be calming. You can start with the 3-10 minutes of guided meditation to see if you like it or not. If you do, I will encourage you to incorporate this practice into your daily routine, whenever you prefer. I enjoy doing a mini one in the morning before I get out of bed because it helps me feel grounded. I will do a 10-15 minutes session one to help me stay grounded when I’m having a bad day. Remember, there is no right or wrong when you are practicing mindfulness meditation.
Here are the websites that offer free guided meditation that I use daily:
1. UCLA – also has a free meditation app that you can download.
2. I found Jon Kabat-Zinn’s voice is very soothing and he is the grandfather of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.
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