As a person who has practiced silent teacher-led meditation retreats for decades and led them for about 14 years, I’ve been reflecting on this question a lot, trying to see it through “fresh eyes” and with a “beginner’s mind”. With my own experience and great mentors to draw from, I thought I would share some of my evolving thoughts and feelings about what a retreat should or could look like, in the hope that these things might interest or inspire people to participate in a retreat.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
Online Training for Teaching Mindfulness In Your Clinical Practice
When challenging or unwanted thoughts, emotions or behaviors arise most of us want to avoid or distract ourselves. We may use food, drugs, work or exercise to temporarily sooth, comfort or numb the difficult internal experience. Unfortunately, repeatedly coping in this way creates a habituated pattern that carries with it more shame and fear, and the hope of change slips further away into a seemingly endless out-of-control cycle.
Suffering is not personal, but in so many ways we are inclined to feel it in that way. Of course the feeling of pain and heartache is universal; it’s what connects us and also what can separate us. Mindfulness meditation practice encourages and supports us in developing a profound understanding about how we relate to pain and gives us choices on how we can respond. It took me some time and lots of practice to relax into appreciating this. What I became aware of was the more I could allow myself to show up and pay a kind and steady attention, without denying or pushing anything away or a
On the opening page of Mark Nepos’s book Seven Thousand Ways to Listen, he quotes an epigraph by Abraham Heschel:
[We] will not perish for want of information; but only for want of appreciation . . . What we lack is not a will to believe but a will to wonder . . . Reverence is one of [our] answers to the presence of mystery . . .
Few psychological interventions have engendered so much promise and delivered on that promise with such impressive clinical outcomes and research findings as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).
With the 10-year anniversary of the publication of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression nearly upon us, it is a good time to perhaps stop and reflect on where the field stands at this juncture.
Pre-order Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Anxious Children (due out in July) through our UCSD CFM Bookstore, and help support the UCSD CFM, and the wonderful work of Randye J. Semple and Jennifer Lee.