What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is awareness of the present moment that is free from judgment or interference. All judgments and interferences that happen are simply acknowledged and released. Mindfulness trains the mind to maintain clear, quiet alertness with open-heartedness and acceptance.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is the discipline of training the mind to focus on one thing at a time with the intention of promoting health, well-being, mental clarity, and personal development. Mindfulness is one of the intended results of meditation.
What type of meditation do you do at SFM?
At Studio for Mindfulness, we utilize several types of guided meditation. Our guided meditation classes involves a meditation instructor who will guide the student through a series of breathing exercises and meditations based on the topic of the class. Our guided meditations will be structured or unstructured, based on level of experience/depth of the class.
All classes will typically begin with structured meditations. Structured meditations have a clear and precisely defined activity that you are working towards. Breath counting is an example of a structured meditation.
In unstructured meditations, students will focus on a subject and explore their feelings about it. The subject can be an idea, a phrase, a concept, or a vision. An example of an unstructured meditation is exploring “How do I love?”.
Do you do Transcendental Meditation?
No. Transcendental Meditation is a specific, proprietary type of meditation that is offered at Transcendental Meditation centers.
Why should I be Mindful?
Everyone chooses to practice Mindfulness for different reasons and the reasons you practice will be special to you. Practicing Mindfulness can lead to a higher quality of life, better relationships with yourself and others, and a clearer sense of self. There are really no negative side effects of Mindfulness.
Why should I Meditate?
There are many benefits to meditation, including enhanced mindfulness, better rest and sleep, reduced anxiety, decreased mental and muscular tension, better mind-body awareness, better relationship with one’s self, less worry and more. The benefits will be unique to everyone, so join a class and see for yourself!
How can meditation help with my health?
The biggest way that meditate can help you health is by promoting parasympathetic nervous system dominance, or your nervous system’s relaxation state. Your body has two modes; sympathetic dominance (the body’s fight or flight mode), or parasympathetic dominance. (Please note that the term sympathetic has nothing to do with one’s ability to feel sympathy for someone. This term has a totally different meaning). When the body is in parasympathetic dominant state, it can function optimally. Since the nervous system affects every part of your body, it will have a positive effect on every system of your body. You can have more restful sleep, you can have improved digestion, elevated mood, improved circulation, and even improved memory.
How long does it take to learn how to meditate?
The amount of time it takes to learn will depend on how much effort and time you put into practicing. Learning meditation and incorporating mindfulness into your life is a continual and ongoing process. There is no destination to arrive at and there is no end point. It is a journey. That being said, you will always be learning to meditate in a deeper and more meaningful way!
The most important thing to do when learning is to keep trying. You may find it difficult at first as your mind, and ego, will try and fight you. Your ego like to keep things the way they are, in your comfort zone. We all know that whatever you seek is just outside your comfort zone, so you will have to be strong and break through these barriers. Keep trying and I guarantee you will succeed!
Is meditation a religion or spiritual practice? Will it interfere with my religion?
The practice of meditation and mindfulness is not a religion, although many religions do practice it, including Christianity and Judaism. Many people find meditation to be a spiritual experience as it brings them closer to their inner selves.
Why should I go to a class? Can’t I meditate on my own?
You can and should practice meditation on your own. However, participating in a guided meditation class can teach you how to meditate at a deeper level in new and different ways. You will also be part of a community of like-minded people who are on ta similar journey as you are. Being a part of a community of like-minded people can help you through hard spots and set backs, and you will be able to help others on their journey as well.
What should I wear to class?
Wear clothing that is comfortable to sit in for up to 45 minutes.
Should I eat before class?
Yes, you should eat no less than 30 minutes before class. Try to avoid coming to class hungry as an empty stomach may be a distraction to you (and other students!).