I regularly facilitate mindfulness in individual and group psychotherapy. Below is a selection of recordings you can use if you would like to practice at home. Home practice is often where the change happens and how we can bring a more full picture of our inner experience into our outward behavior (through mindful/wise mind decisions).
Mindfulness based stress reduction is not positioned as a clinical intervention, but rather as an educational program. It is not about training to remove something unwanted from your experience, but rather about learning to open up to all that you are from moment to moment, to live life to the fullest.
Formal mindfulness practices include body scan, sitting meditation (with focus on the breath), mindful Hatha yoga, sitting meditation (moving from focus on the breath to an expanded awareness of other objects of attention, i.e., body sensations, hearing, thoughts, emotions, and ending with an open awareness of all that is arising in the present moment), walking meditation, and eating meditation. Here is a selection of a few that I regularly utilize in my personal life and when I’m teaching mindfulness in my professional setting:
Bodyscan (MP3) / Body scan
Sitting Meditation Breath
Sitting Meditation Breath And Body
Sounds And thoughts
Mindfulness based stress reduction class time, apart from a very few didactic presentations on stress by the teacher, is divided between formal meditation practice, small and large group discussions, and inquiry with individuals into their present-moment experiences.
Class discussions focus on group members’ experiences in the formal meditation practices and the application of mindfulness in day-to-day life. Home practice is an integral part of MBSR. Participants are asked to commit to formal practice, supported by audio recordings that guide the meditations, once a day, six days a week.
Here is a description of working with pain by trusting it the mind “[H]ow does the mind absorb suffering? It discovers that resistance and escape — the “I” process — is a false move. The pain is inescapable, and resistance as a defense only makes it worse; the whole system is jarred by the shock. Seeing the impossibility of this course, it must act according to its nature — remain stable and absorb.
… Seeing that there is no escape from the pain, the mind yields to it, absorbs it, and becomes conscious of just pain without any “I” feeling it or resisting it. It experiences pain in the same complete, unselfconscious way in which it experiences pleasure. Pain is the nature of this present moment, and I can only live in this moment ….
This, however, is not an experiment to be held in reserve, as a trick, for moments of crisis …. This is not a psychological or spiritual discipline for self-improvement. It is simply being aware of this present experience, and realizing that you can neither define it nor divide yourself from it. There is no rule but “Look!”
~Alan Watts, a British-born philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience.