Frequently Asked Questions
People have many questions about the process of Mindfulness. Many are best answered through experience. I will answer a few here.
Q: My mind is going all the time. How can I practice Mindfulness if my mind is always running?
A: The goal of Mindfulness may be to have less mental activity and to be able to attend to the present moment but that is not a requirement for beginning the practice. As with lifting weights, for example, the goal may be to be more fit, lose weight or become physically stronger but the way to do that is through the repetition of lifting the weights. In Mindfulness, we pay attention to the breath. When the mind has wandered to a thought and is no longer paying attention to the breath, the mind is brought back to the breath. Each time the mind wanders, the focus is returned to the breath. This practice has residual effects in the same way lifting weights regularly can provide benefit.
Q: I’ve seen people meditating. They sit on the floor with their legs folded like pretzels. I can’t do that. How am I supposed to meditate if I can’t even sit on the floor?
A: The 8 week class is done sitting in chairs. We do not sit on the floor.
Q: Part of the course is a Day of Mindfulness. It’s 6 hours long. How am I supposed to complete the course if I can’t sit for 6 hours?
A: The Day of Mindfulness is 6 hours long but not spent sitting the entire day. Activity in the Day of Mindfulness changes every 15-30 minutes. Most people remark at how quickly the time passes.
Q: I am in chronic pain and cannot sit for any length of time. How am I supposed to practice if I cannot sit?
A: You can substitute lying in a comfortable position for sitting.
Q: I am a very busy person. I don’t have time for regular practice or the training.
A: Most people feel they are too busy, already. We start by finding small bits of time in your schedule, like 4-10 minutes at a time. Gradually, you will be asked to find longer periods of time for practice. Many people find mindfulness improves the quality of their sleep and immune function. The result can be a more rested, efficient you who spends less time being physically ill.
Q: So, what’s the bottom line? How long do I have to practice?
A: Outcomes are based on completing the 8 week training as asked then continuing a practice of 30 minutes each day. Remember, that does not have to be 30 minutes of continual practice. It can be broken up into smaller bits of time to fit into your day.
Q: Doesn’t sitting for a half hour each day get boring? Isn’t there some other way to do this?
A: There are four formal practices in Mindfulness: Sitting, Lying, Standing and Walking. The training explores all four. At the end of the training, you can choose among a variety of practices that suits your preferences and schedule.
Q: So, what are the benefits? What am I going to get if I do this?
A: Most people come to the training with expectations of what they would like to get from it. If you choose to participate in the training, you will be asked to set those expectations aside, take the training and notice what happens as a result. Here is a listing of what people have noticed as a result of taking the training:
- Improved sleep
- A more productive response to stress
- Improved work efficiency
- Increase in ability to focus
- Improved creativity
- Decreased anxiety
- Improved immune system function
- Decreases in blood pressure in people with hypertension
- A more productive relationship with chronic pain
- Improved ability to listen to others
- Decreased levels of anger and frustration
- Improved relationships with others including partners, children, customers, clients and employees
- A greater appreciation of life
Q: I am in poor physical health. Could I take the training?
A: Everything in the training can be modified to suit your current state of physical health. If you have any question about any part of the training, you are advised to consult your health care practitioner about how to participate.
Q: I am in a wheelchair. Could I participate in the training?
A: Certainly. However, my office is not accessible by wheelchair. I would be happy to conduct the training at a wheelchair accessible site with enough interest.
Q: If it’s so easy to learn, why should I take an 8 week training. Can’t I learn this on my own?
A: The training is helpful because it will give you group support. You will have people to check in with, a place to ask questions and talk about your experiences as you develop your new skill. The concept is simple, but not necessarily easy. The 8 week training provides support and increases the chance of successfully incorporating this into your life. It also explores parts of Mindfulness that many people are not aware of.
Q: What if I have more questions?
A: Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have about the training.
Phone: (484) 474-0984