a making the experience a challenge rather than a chore and thus turning the observing of one’s own life mindfully into an adventure in living rather than one more thing one ‘has’ to do for oneself to be healthy.
b an emphasis on the importance of individual effort and motivation and regular disciplined practice of the meditation in its various forms, whether one ‘feels’ like practicing on a particular day or not.
c the immediate lifestyle change that is required to undertake formal mindfulness practice, since it requires a significant time commitment (in our clinic 45 minutes a day, six days per week minimally).
d the importance of making each moment count by consciously bringing it into awareness during practice, thus stepping out of clock time into the present moment.
e an educational rather than a therapeutic orientation, which makes use of relatively large ‘classes’ of participants in a time-limited course structure to provide a community of learning and practice, and a ‘critical mass’ to help in cultivating ongoing motivation, support, and feelings of acceptance and belonging. The social factors of emotional support and caring and not feeling isolated or alone in one’s efforts to cope and adapt and grow are in all likelihood extremely important factors in healing as well as for providing an optimal learning environment for ongoing growth and development in addition to the factors of individual effort and initiative and coping / problem solving.
f a medically heterogenous environment, in which people with a broad range of medical conditions participate in classes together without segregation by diagnosis or conditions and specialization of the intervention. This approach has the virtue of focusing on what people have in common rather than what is special about their particular disease (what is ‘right’ with them rather than what is ‘wrong’ with them), which is left to the attention of other dimensions of the health care team and to specialized support groups for specific classes of patients, where that is appropriate. It is in part from this orientation, which differs considerably from the traditional medical or psychiatric models, which orient interventions as specifically as possible to particular diagnostic categories, that the generic and universal qualities of mindfulness-based stress reduction stem. Of course, stress, pain, and illness are common experiences within the medical context, but beyond that, and even more fundamentally, the participants share being alive, having a body, breathing, thinking, feeling, perceiving, and incessant flow of mental states, including anxiety and worry, frustration, irritation and anger, depression, sorrow, helplessness, despair, joy and satisfaction, and the capacity to cultivate moment-to-moment awareness by directing attention in particular systematic ways. They also share, in our view, the capacity to access their own inner resources for learning, growing, and healing (as distinguished from curing) within this context of mindfulness practice.
quoted from: Jon Kabat-Zinn. “Mindfulness Meditation. What Is It, What It Isn’t, and It’s Role in Health Care and Medicine.” in Ishii Y, Suzuki M, & Haruki Y eds. “Comparative and Psychological Study on Meditation.” Eburon, 1996.
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