Practice Approaches to for Mindful and Enhanced Emotion Regulation
Brought to us by way of The Eleanor R. Liebman Center for Secular Meditation in Monkton, Vermont
Mindful Approaches for Enhanced Emotion Regulation; here are some approaches to practice.
1)In some ways you could understand the progression from auto-pilot mind to greater stability and equanimity of mind by observing your own path in the sequence noted below. Your progress is 100% dependent upon the regularity and duration of your meditation practice, and your own preferences regarding which practices produce less resistance and more motivation in daily practice. Therefore, sitting or walking mediation, yoga, tai chi, and qi gong are all worthwhile practices in mind training.
- Practicing Attention on an object – breath,etc
- Reorienting Attention Back to the Object as the Mind Moves Away Over and Over Again
- (Dogen’s comments – this itself is realization
- Eventually Settling Down so You Can Better Focus YOUR Attention
- Concentration Skills Improve as You Do/Become Daily Regular Practice
- Eventually Single-Pointed Concentration Develops
- Now Mindfulness Comes Out of Your Regular Practice
- Mindfulness Practice Improves Your Awareness – First in Practice, Then in Daily Life
- Dramatically Improved Awareness is Now Your Norm in Both Formal Practice and Informal Practice
- You Have Arrived at the First Building Blocks of Practice, perhaps of Enlightenment
2) Some formats for practice attention:
• Counting breaths on the exhalation up to ten – start over if necessary
• Imagine images of the numbers as you count them 1 to 10
• When you count be sure to continue the internal speech all the way to the end of the exhalation – prevents other thoughts from distracting your attention
• With or without counting (whichever works best for you), focus your attention as your breath passes in/out of the nostrils
• Then move your attention to your chest as it moves with the breath
• Then move your attention to the lower abdomen as it moves with the breath
• Simply be with the sensation of the moving breath
• Select one location and practice with that for a while
Each step above adds aspects of the attentional training to your practice.
3) Once you have discovered which approach works best for YOU, practice that one method for a few weeks. You may also experiment with other practices/skills as you move through the skills training process.
4) As you continue your practice, be gentle but sure to extend the time duration – AND be sure to do some practice every day. no self-criticism!!
By Anthony R. Quintiliani, Ph.D., LADC
Author of Mindful Happiness
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