IN A WORD: Living the Upbeat Life

Q: I’ve decided to take a meditation class, maybe study mindfulness, but am not sure what the difference is? Or the benefits? Thanks, E. M., SRs


A: I’ve come to regard ‘medi- tation’ as any practice entered into for the purpose of harmonizing Body and Mind, and in the Spirit of compassion- ate,

soulful living.

‘Mindfulness’ is the artful science of pay- ing attention to what is happening in my expe- rience, right here and now. It can be either a spiritual meditation practice,

or secular

form of therapeutic stress re- duction. But anything you are doing works best when your whole self, your presence, is brought to it. And both medi- tation and mindfulness tech-

ample? Yesterday morning, I made mindful,


to take filtered water to work --but then I got into the car without my bottle. I was dis-

How about an ex- mental

by Marcia Singer

niques cultivate ‘presence,’ awareness, and usually involve conscious breathing, exercises. Breath anchors us to Being Here Now. Both sacred and secular interests are served via conscious breathing, and a re- laxed alertness.

tracted by a myriad thoughts about other things --can you relate?! Fortunately, when I re- turned my focus to where I was at the moment, starting up the car, I remembered, “Water!” Mindfulness and mindlessness –both are natural mind states. When you purposely pay attention to –bear witness to – your mental states, you’re doing mindfulness –and perhaps meditation as well, if your motiva- tion is being a better hu- man being.

I might even morning ‘mindful

develop the discipline of spending 5 minutes be- fore leaving for work, just being present for the day ahead and make this my mediation’

practice. And since ‘energy flows where attention goes’ – I can anticipate a sweeter, more upbeat day ahead.

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