Monday, July 04, 2005

7 Principles of Applied Mindfulness

On 9 & 10 June 2005, I conducted a 2-day workshop for a group of 85 mental health professionals and nurses at the Brattleboro Retreat (now called Retreat Healthcare). The theme of the workshop was applying mindfulness in healthcare and I taught the 7 principles of applied mindfulness. Over the next 7 blog entries, I will present each of the 7 principles along with a poem that reflects the theme. I was heartened to see the number of people registered for this workshop – the biggest group I’ve trained thus far. I was also encouraged to see most everyone show up for the second day of training! The feedback for the training was very positive. There was a vocal minority that complained we spent too much time meditating. In fact, just more than 2 of the 12 training hours were spent in actual meditation. On the second day, I guided the group through an hour-long meditation on what I call the “obstacles to perfection.” Amazingly, the group was very still during this practice. After this mediation we went into role-playing mindfulness applications in clinical encounters. I shared with the group the primary underlying principle for applying mindfulness in psychotherapy and healthcare – be mindful yourself! Our own meditation practice is the primary intervention.

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