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healing ways


backgrounds. As a tool to develop aware- ness, it can enhance what you already believe and practice,” assures Diana Lang, the Los Angeles author of Opening to Meditation: A Gentle, Guided Approach and a spiritual counselor who has taught meditation for 37 years. For Jackie Trottmann, a Christian author from St. Louis, Missouri, there is no con- tradiction between a meditation practice and her faith; rather, they complement one another. For her, “Prayer is like talking to God, whereas meditation is listening to God. Before I came to meditation, I had been doing all the talking.” She came to meditation during a trying period working in sales and marketing.


Tips for Finding the Right Practice by April Thompson


MEDITATION THAT WORKS


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ore Americans than ever before are seeking the benefits of med- itation, which notably improves


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tions can be daunting for a new meditator, as is figuring out how to incorporate such a practice into a busy life.


Universal Appeal “Meditation is for people of all spiritual


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“When a friend gave me a meditation CD, I popped it in aſter a stressful conference call and felt instantly calmed. Ten years later, meditation has gone beyond quieting the mind; it’s sunk into my heart and spirit,” says Trottmann, who went on to publish her own CDs at GuidedChristianMeditation.com. “I came to meditation tired of habitual


suffering and stress, and wanting to be happier,” says Bill Scheinman, a coach in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which he refers to as “mindful- ness practice without the Buddhist jargon.” Te Oakland, California, instructor has taught mindfulness in settings ranging from corporations to prisons, drawing from a range of meditative disciplines and 23 years of intensive practice.


Begin Modestly


“Millions are seeking more mindfulness through meditation, but don’t know how to go about it,” says Sean Fargo, a Berkeley, California, meditation instructor and former Buddhist monk. “Te key is to take baby steps, like going to the gym for the first time. Start by practicing a few minutes a day; just pay attention to something such as the sen- sations of breathing, without judgment.” “Having taught meditation to tens of


thousands of people, I would say the most common issue is that beginning meditators don’t think they’re doing it right. It’s im- portant not to judge yourself or have loaded expectations about the experience,” notes Lang. She suggests starting wherever we are right now, adding, “Whatever book, class


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Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.com


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