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Exercises / Practices

Kindfulness-Based Stress Reduction — KBSR?

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By Cassie Schindler 

Right there, in the foreword of Jon-Kabat Zinn’s powerful book, Mindfulness for All; The Wisdom to Transform the World, he coins the word kindfulness, knowing that someone would pick it up, and expand, rather than exploit, its relevance. I hope to do that with this writing. 

If the name of the 8-week MBSR course began with the word kindfulness instead of mindfulness, would you register? Would you have a clear understanding of that word and concept? Would it appeal to you t…

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An Unexpected Gift from Taking MBSR

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By Karyn Sandelman

There were many things that attracted me to this particular path when I made the commitment to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) years ago. First was my determination to share mindfulness—the practice that has been a steady, positive force of growth in my life for nearly 25 years. Beyond that, I was (and still am) committed to making mindfulness accessible to as many people as possible. MBSR, with its inclusive approach, evidence-based impacts, and time-tested c…

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Sensing Another’s True Nature

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By Joy Reichart, New Ventures West

Often when we meet someone for the first time, we introduce ourselves by saying what we do, where we live, what we enjoy. Rarely do we speak about the most elusive yet most important aspect of our lives: who we are. 

This is very possibly because we don’t know, not really. This is because each of us is living in a particular Structure of Interpretation: a kind of ‘bubble’ comprising messages about what was acceptable or not in our family and wider culture. As…

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Using One Question to Explore the Heart of Our Being

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By Janet Solyntjes

The Open Question

For the past few decades, I have been immersed in various teachings, trainings, and pathways that have inspired me to repeatedly ask the question, “Why am I really here?” Outer circumstances and inner stirrings have led to these contemplations. My intention behind this offering is to guide, support, and lead you into various contemplations so that your deepest wisdom can emerge from beneath any storms on the surface of your life that might be distracting an…

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Naming it, Reframing it, Taming it: Mindfulness in a Pandemic

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By Cheri Lovre

The first thing to remember about any crisis is: We’re going to come out of it. 

Right now, after months of living with Covid-19, many people feel disoriented. It’s like we’ve lost our North Star. No one can be sure of the best course to follow. But the North Star is there in the sky. We just can’t see it right now because the lingering fog of uncertainty is still all around us. 

The vaccines that are emerging now will help, but the uncertainty related to COVID will continue fo…

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We All Need to be the Iguana

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By Gayle Van Gils

“We all need to be the iguana,” says comedian Nick Kroll in a New York Times interview, which strikes me as a statement that pretty much sums up our current situation.  The metaphor is about the adaptability of a species of marine iguana Kroll experienced in the Galapagos that can survive even if its tail is bitten off by a bird.  Kroll says that he relates this to his life in this way: “The landscape is changing.  I can either dig my feet in and be like, ‘This isn’t fair!’ or…

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Celebrating Thanks-Giving Mindfully

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By Steven M. Cohen

Thanksgiving has been a special holiday, a day where both sides of our family and some friends gathered together for a feast.  The more the merrier, and without the entanglement of religious significance. In 2020, COVID-19 changes everything. What once brought only joy now brings fear, particularly with respect to our elderly parents. Likely, it will be too cold to gather and eat outside, and likely too dangerous to bring everyone together to eat inside. What do we do?

I set…

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Paradox, Prediction & Perception: Why Context Matters in the Practice and Embodiment of Mindful Awareness

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By Michelle L. Maldonado

What happens to one of us, happens to all of us. These words repeat themselves like a song’s refrain playing over and over again in my mind just as strongly today as when my family and I first began to speak this phrase some time ago.

For many in our families, communities, and places of work, the vision and wish for equality and equity, coupled with wise and compassionate action to transform societal conditions, have been a life-long endeavor. For others, we are only r…

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Aligning Thoughts and Actions: a 2 Part Exercise

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By Joy Reichart, New Ventures West

The “Integral” in Integral Coaching has a few different meanings. It points to the multiple traditions and disciplines that weave together to form the method itself. It indicates the ways that coaches synthesize all they know and are learning to support their clients. Perhaps most importantly, it names how we are supporting our clients to integrate themselves so that they are bringing their full aliveness to all domains of life. 

In this last sense, integrati…

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How to Listen Mindfully

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By Joy Reichart, New Ventures West

Many of us spend the majority of our days in conversations of one kind or another. This is particularly true for coaches, therapists, and other practitioners who spend their time supporting others’ development. Bringing greater mindfulness to how we approach conversations with anyone—our clients, colleagues, partners, children, friends, and others—holds the potential to make these conversations not only productive, but transformational. 

There are two main el…

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