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Mindfulness Meditation Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Marc Abramson, DDS
Stress is an inherent component of a cancer diagnosis for the patient and the family. The minds' natural tendency to runoff into an infinite number of projections, each with its' own stress and fear, can be a cause of great strain on the individual that will adversely effect the body, mind and spirit.
Mindfulness is training in the practice of bringing the mind into the finite experience of the present moment. This training will allow a healthier relationship with ones deep feelings that arise in life. Mindfulness meditation training gives one the tools to live in the present moment, to bring soothing kindness to ones self and to walk through the unfolding of life one step at a time.
A cancer diagnosis can be seen as turning on a faucet and the hope flies whipping all over the place. Mindfulness can take hold of the hose directing the water to make our garden grow.
Meditation is as simple as bringing one's attention to one's breathing. We all know we are continually breathing. We know at the end of the day that we were breathing all day but we may have not actually felt one of those breaths. Meditation is feeling the experience as it happens. Breathing and feeling the body as it breathes. As we practice this simple body activity we bring the mind's focus into the present moment which settles the mind and reduces the stress reaction into a focused response.
Mindfulness practice doesn't require any special state of mind just a presence with ourselves that is honest and direct. We call this non-judgmental awareness; being with ourselves in the present moment as is. We are responding to ourselves inside and as the external world is. Even if we are anxious or scared, we are responding to ourselves in a soothing way. We can respond with our own kindness, concern, and even peace.
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