Thursday, July 21, 2005

Featured Exquisite Mind webpage: practices

Mindfulness meditation is a method for training attention to increase the capacity to live in the present. It does so by promoting concentration and a more accurate perception and acceptance of what is occurring at any given moment. The variety of mindfulness practices are psychological methods of self-inquiry. Mindfulness meditation practices themselves are not religion. These practice were developed in the East (India, Thailand, Burma, etc.) and are credited to the teacher known as the Buddha (approximately 2500 years ago). However, these practices do not make you a Buddhist. They requires no religious beliefs or affiliations. Religions such as Zen or Tibetan Buddhism incorporate mindfulness meditation into their religious practice. However, the practice by itself is a psychological technique for training awareness. It requires no religious rituals or rites, and can be practiced by people of any faith. We may naturally be in a state of mindfulness at times, but few of us have received any formal training (that is, we were not taught this in school; we were all expected to pay attention, but I have yet to meet someone who was actually taught how to do this). Another question that is often asked is if mindfulness is a form of hypnosis. In fact, mindfulness may be thought of as means to wake up from the trance that often characterizes existence. In this way, mindfulness is the opposite of hypnosis. Read more ...

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