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Starting a Mindfulness Practice

Posted Sep 23 2009 4:03pm

You can use the focus of your mind to increase your emotional and physical well-being and your relationships.

Daniel Siegel, MD- writes about in his book ‘The Mindful Brain’ the many benefits of practicing mindfulness in our everyday lives.

In particular, Dr. Siegel highlights an 8-week study that measured participants EEG patterns.  After 8-weeks of practicing mindfulness, there was a significant shift in energy patterns to the left side of the brain.  This energy shift was found in the pre-frontal middle cortex. The pre-frontal middle cortex is in charge of the following areas in the brain.

1) Body Regulation- regulating body temp, heart rate, stress reactors

2) Attuned Communication- Within relationships, there is increased internal attunement, where an observing self can tune into a warm, open, and accepting self to the other person.

3) Emotional Balance- regulation of mood

4) Response Flexibility- ability to not act impulsively, but evaluate all your options and then make a decision

5) Insight- Parents with more insight were found to be able to provide more loving and secure attachment to their children.

6) Empathy- being able to show compassion towards another and put oneself in another persons situation or experience.

7) Fear Modulation- regulating and attending to fear and/or anxiety.

8) Intuition- Being in touch with your body and the messages it sends.  The body brings messages from the body to the mind if one listens.  They come in the form of sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts (SIFT).

9) Morality- Thinking about the larger social good, not just thinking, but enacting these moral ideas, even when we are alone.

If you are interested in learning more about starting a practice of mindfulness.

There are many resources available to you: feuille zen

  • Find a weekly sitting meditation group

Spirit Rock-
Insight Meditation Center- /
SF Insight- /

  • Read Books

Jon Kabat Zinn- Mindfulness for Beginners
Thich Nhat Han- The Miracle of Mindfulness
Mark Coleman- Awake in the Wild- Mindfulness in Nature as a path to self- discovery (walking meditation)
Ram Dass- The Journey of Awakening

    • Attend classes- Intuitive Walking

    SF Walking Meditation Class

    This class starts in September 2009

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