Mindfulness meditation is an approach to training our mind with remarkable potential for increasing wellbeing and health. Enabling a more settled state of mind to develop, it enhances our ability to manage stress, our immune system functioning and our body’s natural capacity for healing. It is also shown to improve our concentration, peace of mind, mood and sleep. Mindfulness meditation is also a foundation practice for development of understanding and insight by various philosophical and spiritual traditions.
Through both scientific studies and clinical practice, it is shown this practice is an effective strategy in prevention and treatment of numerous conditions. Practising mindfulness meditation is a valuable skill and would be beneficial for anyone who has an interest in improving concentration, relaxation and wellness.
Mindfulness definition: “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment & non-judgementally.”
– Jon Kabat-Zinn
Engaging in the practice of Mindfulness meditation teaches our minds to be more present with what is happening here and now. We re-learn how to let go of trying to achieve or change things and just be present with a process of ‘being’ or doing, a bit like we did when we were children.
Some benefits of mindfulness meditation:
- Meditation is a direct way to generate relaxation of mind and body. It helps change unhelpful mental habits and habits of allowing various situations to trigger a stress reaction in us.
- Brings our body into a more balanced state. Through relaxing mind & body, meditation creates space for healing to occur. This helps reverse an over-active stress response, which creates imbalances in our physiology that do not support health at a cellular level.
- Brings our mind to a more balanced state. An overactive stress response also creates disturbances at a psychological level, narrows our focus of attention, and can lead to excessive thinking, anxiety and low mood states. Reducing stress facilitates psychological health.
- Creates space for learning to know our self more deeply & understand how our mind works,
- Through becoming more aware of our mind we have opportunity to change our mind, rather than being driven by habits that may not be so healthy. Habits limit our choice in how we think, feel and behave. Awareness opens our mind to new options in how we perceive and respond to situations.
- As busyness of our minds settles, we become more sensitive to our own needs and needs of others, we are able to notice more of what is happening both within us and around us.
- Slowly our understanding of both ourselves and of others deepens and we are able to make wiser choices in how we live, how we think and how we behave.
- We become more patient, understanding and compassionate towards ourselves and others.
- We become more in touch with our deeper wisdom and feel more balanced in how we experience life.
Julia teaches Mindfulness-Based Stillness Meditation to individuals and groups.
As well, she offers Mindfulness meditation sessions for small groups such as work teams and community groups and periodically runs public workshops in Melbourne, in regional centres and interstate.
When indicated, she incorporates simple meditation techniques in an individual Feldenkrais lesson to either assist with pain management or simply to enhance your process of learning.
In Awareness Through Movement classes, David & Julia both intentionally weave mindfulness strategies into the fabric of their lessons and Julia has been developing lesson series where Feldenkrais and Mindfulness are more overtly interwoven.
David and Julia occasionally present weekend workshops bringing Feldenkrais and meditation together. People have found these ‘retreats’ especially valuable as the two approaches engage attention in both movement and stillness, are mutually supportive and enrich one’s quality of experience in both domains.