Our lap blanket really does exist! I am weaving in the loose ends, then the Maplesoft Therapeutic Knitting Group can present the finished product to their recently opened Multi-faith Chapel.
Weaving in ends in knitting and in life takes persistence, returning focus again and again to one object. In our fast paced lives many other distractions compete for our attention. I accept this work happily, knowing that the effort will benefit many. This is my meditation.
This 8 Week Mindfulness Program is intended to teach you the practice of mindfulness through meditation, so that you can ultimately develop a mindful awareness.
reduce overall levels of anxiety and depression
reduce harmful levels of stress
enhance your immune system’s performance
enhance clarity of mind and creativity
boost your quality of life
This Mindfulness Program is an 8 week introduction to mindfulness through practical instruction, meditation, mindful movement, direct observation and home practice. It is designed to help you increase your sense of well-being.
The program includes 8 sessions of 2 hours each, a full day of meditation at the mid-point of the program, guided meditation recordings, and supplementary materials to reinforce the weekly sessions.
Dates: Thursdays 10:30 am – 12:30 pm starting May 7 2015 through to June 25 2015 including a day-long Meditation Retreat on June 6 2015
Location: City of Ottawa Archives; James K. Bartleman Centre; 100 Tallwood Drive; Room 115, Ottawa, Ontario
Fee: $150 for 8-week course, 1 day retreat and all required materials [ec_addtocart productid=”248″]
Nicki Benton will facilitate this program with Francine Portenier’s assistance.
My first career in Systems Design Engineering focused on “making things better”. Now I focus upon communicating and being with people to help make their lives richer and fuller.
Francine founded Twin Willows Farm to initially offer Equine-assisted Therapy. She now facilitates the first Therapeutic Knitting Group in Canada and Meditation Practices, assisting in Mindfulness Programs. Francine shows you how to cultivate well-being as an individual and to boost resiliency – your ability to bounce back from setbacks.
Nicki Co-founded the Ottawa Peer Recovery Centre, and also facilitates recovery programs, empowering individuals to find their voice and walk their unique recovery path with confidence. She has been practising mindfulness in her own life for five years.
Nearly twenty years ago, I did a workshop with Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., whose first book “Full Catastrophe Living” and overall teachings have had a lasting influence on me. This book is a classic on the topic of mindfulness and it has played a spiritual role in both bringing this practice into the Integrative Medicine World as well as in developing the method we teach our patients on how to deal with stress.
I would like to share with you the Seven Essentials of Mindfulness Practice, adapted from this great book.
Be an impartial witness to your experience. Observing without judging helps you see what is on your mind without editing or intellectualizing it, or getting lost in your thoughts.
No goal other than to be yourself. It is not about achieving bliss, relaxation or anything else.
A willingness to see things the way they are. By fully accepting what each moment offers, you are able to experience life much more completely.
Of thoughts, ideas, things, events, desires, views, hopes and experiences, both pleasant and unpleasant. Allowing things to be as they are, without getting caught up in our attachment to or rejection of them. It means to give up resisting or struggling and allowing things to be as they are. Watching your breath as it goes in and out is an excellent starting place for this practice of letting go.
Free of expectations from past experience. Remove the attachment of the past and just be. Watch the moments unfold, with no agenda other than to be fully present. Use the breath as an anchor to tether your attention to the present moment.
Remembering that things must unfold in their own time. An alternative to the mind’s restlessness and impatience. Not letting our anxieties and desire for certain results dominate the quality of the moment.
In yourself and your feelings. A feeling of confidence that things can unfold within a dependable framework that embodies order and integrity.
We are all human beings and thus subject to the ups and downs of living – because not even the richest or the smartest or the most positive can avoid suffering.
Suffering is our reaction to what we perceive are negative events. Our reaction is often to run away from and ignore these negative events or thoughts in the misguided hope that perhaps they won’t follow us or will get bored and move on to someone more deserving. Unfortunately, these things seem to have the tenacity of toilet paper on the bottom of a shoe.
Once we turn around and acknowledge the negative event, and really look at it with curiosity, it can lose its hold on us and its ability to make us suffer.
Controllable versus Uncontrollable
Negative events can often be divided up into those that are largely controllable and those that are beyond our control.
Where we can exert some measure of control – then a problem-focused coping style is most effective. Thus if you tend to be late for work then doing something to solve the problem, such as getting up earlier, arranging your clothing and lunch the night before; is the most effective coping strategy.
Where the negative event is beyond our control, then an emotion-focused coping approach will be more effective. This approach will help us deal with the emotions the stressor brings up; since we can’t change the situation itself. Thus if we are waiting for hours in a doctor’s office, the best approach would be to notice our emotions, and choose how we wish to respond and deal with our uncomfortable feelings
In our Therapeutic Knitting Group, we have recognized the wonderful ability of quiet knitting to fill up the hours of waiting time with productive and creative knitting. It is one of the tools that you can use to soothe and distract yourself in such situations. Another tool, that complements knitting, is the skill of Mindfulness.
Mindfulness allows you to become aware of your emotions, to reduce your stress and become better able to regulate your stress and emotions, if that is your intention. It allows you to adapt to rapid change; to know yourself better, and to transform yourself in the face of uncontrollable life events. Over time, it can adapt to your changing intentions, and allow self-exploration and ultimately transcendence. beyond the self to occur. It can strengthen your resilience.
“We don’t offer you mindfulness as a cure for your disease. Rather it holds the possibility of vastly enriching your life, helping you cope with symptoms and side effects, and improving the quality of your days. Mindfulness may also enhance your immune system’s performance and help reduce harmful levels of stress hormones in your body, changes that can only be beneficial.” (Ref: Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery, by Linda E. Carlson and Michael Speca)
We associate mindfulness with increasing our well-being, but it is not often that we consider that it could be beneficial for our responsibilities as managers and leaders. The very qualities of clear thinking, balance and insight that we hope our leaders epitomize are benefits that can be gained from practicing mindfulness.
Just as an athletic skill can be trained and refined with practice so to can skillful decision-making be improved. The attached article at http://preview.tinyurl.com/mwghvmu is a good jumping off point for aspiring leaders. If you want to make your boss look good you could even share it with them!
You can join me at my Drop in Meditation Practices in Ottawa on Monday evenings if you want to improve your edge. Send me your contact info to let me know you will be joining us.