"You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf."
Jon Kabat- Zinn

 

 

Groups and workshops cover a wide range of topics to help you incorporate mindfulness into your daily life and in the workplace:

Introduction to Mindfulness

Mindful Communication

Stress Reduction and Resilience

Guided Meditations 

For more information or to schedule a workshop presentation or guided meditation session:

 

 

What is mindfulness? Why be mindful?

Mindfulness is really just a fancy term for living in the present moment and connecting with your life. It’s not a technique—it’s a way of being. Mindfulness doesn’t take any particular effort—only the intention to pay attention in the present moment, without judgment. The truth is that we are only alive in this moment, and it is only now that we can engage with the world, communicate, and make decisions that guide the course of our lives.

 

Do I need to  “practice” mindfulness?

Mindfulness is awareness of the present moment. It is not really practiced, although we do often have to remind ourselves to return to a state of non-judgmental attention. With "practice,” it becomes easier to recognize when the mind has moved into unhelpful thinking states (ruminative thoughts, fantasies about the past or future, fearful states), and return again to the present: the feeling of your breath, temperature of the air, something that is real right now. Through embracing the actuality of the mind, body, heart, and present relationship with the world, we find new freedom to make “real-time” choices that align with our highest goals and aspirations.

Why would I want to be mindful of the moment during times of difficulty?

People often ask why it would be helpful to turn attention to the moment when that moment is difficult or painful. Though it is true that mindfulness and meditation allow space for difficult experiences to arise, this creates an opportunity to relate to them differently, to practice not identifying with them ("I am an angry person"), and instead observe them with compassionate curiosity ("this is what anger feels like right now"). In this way, we can re-process “stuck” emotions with a new healing presence. Simply by attending, we learn how to begin again, to open up to whatever is happening, to have compassion for ourselves instead of judgment, and to relate to discomfort very differently. We always have the opportunity to make skillful choices in the present moment, no matter how difficult the experience may be.

How can formal meditation (i.e. “sitting on the cushion”) help me to be more mindful in daily life?

Just as the flower blooms when the soil and conditions are right, formal meditation practice facilitates the cultivation of effortless awareness (i.e., mindfulness) in daily life. Thus,  a regular meditation routine can be established to expand this capacity for awareness. Formal meditation practices include sitting, standing, walking and lying down. Each has a place at different times. For example, if you are feeling especially tired or low energy, it might be helpful to meditate while standing or walking, as opposed to sitting or lying down.

 

For more information or to schedule a workshop, presentation or guided meditation session, please contact me.

Groups and Workshops

Mindfulness Meditation Recordings

Awareness of Breath - Florence Meleo-Meyer
00:00 / 00:00
Awareness of Sounds, Thoughts, Emotions - Florence Meleo-Meyer
00:00 / 00:00
Body Scan Meditation - Alison Restak, LCSW, MT-BC
00:00 / 00:00
Floor Yoga - Alison Restak, LCSW. MT-BC
00:00 / 00:00
Working With Cravings - Judson Brewer
00:00 / 00:00

Recommended Reading

Kabat-Zinn, Jon, PhD:

Full Catastrophe Living, Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness

Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

Mindfulness for Beginners

Santorelli, Saki

Heal Thyself

 

Chodron, Pema:

When Things Fall Apart  

Start Where You Are  

The Places That Scare You

Salzberg, Sharon:

A Heart As Wide As The World

Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation, a 28-Day Program

Faith

Brach, Tara:

Radical Acceptance

True Refuge

Epstein, Mark

The Trauma of Everyday Life

Going on Being

Thoughts Without a Thinker

Goldstein, Joseph:

Insight Meditation – The Practice of Freedom

Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening

Sapolsky, Robert M.:

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers

© 2019 Alison Restak, LCSW, MT-BC    26 Court Street Suite 811 Brooklyn, NY 11242  (646) 868-5818   alison@renewmindfultherapy.com