I have created this page in the interest of sharing resources about mindfulness and meditation and practices associated with them. In the interest of full disclosure, I am probably best described as reluctant meditator. Several years ago, a friend suggested I sit in silence for one minute. I thought he was crazy but I did it and that one minute seemed very long. I continued to do it off and on. Shortly thereafter (about 4 years ago), I attended an 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) class and learned a lot but did not develop a consistent meditation practice at the time. I read a lot of books on mindfulness but didn’t meditate consistently and, as has been noted by others, reading about mindfulness is not the same as practicing meditation. In the past year, in response to a lot of stress I was experiencing, I began to meditate more consistently. I now try to meditate in the morning for at least 20 minutes and am trying to do a guided meditation in the evening a few times a week. My morning meditation has now become part of my daily routine and something I look forward to. More significantly, I incorporate awareness of my breath and the present moment into many of my daily activities: on the tennis court, when I’m driving, when spending time with others, when working, when students and others push my buttons, and when I am doing many other things. I recently realized how important meditation, or simply sitting with my thoughts, had become when in response to some upsetting news, I immediately thought “I need to sit and meditate with this for a while before doing anything.” More recently, after unexpectedly receiving recognition at work for my support of a particular population, I felt a lot of emotion and again thought “I need to sit with this for a while and let the feelings wash over me.” It is now hard to imagine my life without meditation and mindful action and thought. Below are some resources I have found helpful in my journey. I’m sure there are many more resources but the below reflect on those I have used and/or personally know some of the practitioners. If you click on the name in red, it will take you directly to the website for each of them or to the iTunes page for the iPhone app.
Central Arkansas resources:
Arkansas House of Prayer: “an interfaith haven set apart in nature, dedicated to contemplative prayer, meditation and quiet. All are welcome.”
Curatio Mindfulness Project: “[our] core offering is the 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) classes developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.”
Ecumenical Buddhist Society of Little Rock: “The purpose of the Ecumenical Buddhist Society is to provide a place where anyone can meditate with others on a daily or weekly basis, to bring Buddhist teachers, retreats, classes, and social events to the Little Rock area and to help provide ways to explore different branches and practices of Buddhist philosophy.”
Sat Nam/True Self Yoga Therapy Services, P-LLC: Courtney Frierson, LCSW, RYT-200, provides “consultation, private sessions, group therapy, customized home practice and yoga therapy to Central Arkansas.” She also teaches yoga in different locations throughout the central Arkansas area and is a wonderful teacher.
Y12SR: “Y12SR is a rich and powerful framework for integrating the wisdom of yoga and the practical tools of 12-step programs. Guided by it’s theme ‘The Issues Live In the Tissues”, Y12SR meetings are now available all over country and the curriculum is quickly becoming a feature of addiction recovery treatment centers across the United States.” There is a weekly meeting on Tuesdays at 7:30 pm at Blue Nyla Yoga in North Little Rock. The format is a topical 12 step meeting (with most people sitting on yoga mats) followed by a hatha yoga session. There is no charge for either. Contact Sara at email@example.com for more info.
Insight Timer: my favorite app and the one I use every day. Create an account and track/download your meditation progress. Lots of great resources including guided meditations and the ability to connect with others who meditate.
Cleveland Clinic Stress Free Now: free guided meditation apps.
Meditation App with Michael Stone: some nice guided meditations, can be purchased in a bundle with some of the other apps below.
MindBody Connect: great app for finding yoga classes and other wellness resources.
Mindfulness App: guided and silent meditations.
Mindfulness II App: more guided and silent meditations.
Sitting Still: mindfulness app for teens but helpful for anyone who meditates.
Stop, Breathe, & Think: a great app for beginners.
Elephant Journal: “dedicated to the mindful life;” a fantastic resource.
Center for Mindfulness and Justice: “facilitates personal transformation and professional development that fosters mindfulness, compassion, peace and equal access to justice for all.” Check them out. As I think about the next steps in my career, I would love to be a part of creating something like this in Central Arkansas.
UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center: many great resources on mindfulness and meditation including free guided meditations via the web and iTunes (see link below).
UC San Diego Health Center for Mindfulness: “a multi-faceted program of clinical care, professional training, education, research and outreach intended to further the practice and integration of mindfulness into all aspects of society.” Great audio resources for meditation at this link.
American Mindful Research Association: “…serves as a professional resource to the sciences and humanities, practice communities, and the broader public on mindfulness from the perspective of contemplative practice.”
F*CK That: A guided meditation: Lots of profanity but very humorous. Do not listen to this at work, with small children, or with those who have a low tolerance for profanity.
UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center guided meditations: 8 different guided meditations, all of which can be listened to via the web or downloaded via iTunes. Length of meditations range from 3 – 19 minutes and includes beginning meditations and body scans.
Tara Brach guided meditations: link to several pages of podcasts and meditations by Tara Brach.
Mindfulness quiz: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/quizzes/take_quiz/4
List of tools at American Mindfulness Research Association.