This week, "Art and Soul" is about the art of well being, and we could all really use an enhanced sense of that about now.
WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Dr. Libby Robinson, one of the founding members of the Ann Arbor Center For Mindfulness and co-founder of Ann Arbor Open Meditation. She talks about her many years of teaching mindfulness-based stress reduction and shares somes insight and methods of meditation that could prove useful during this stressed out time dealing with a global health pandemic.
Dr. Robinson defines mindfulness as "loving awareness" and "awareness of the present moment with gentleness." She says this is a time to be gentle with ourselves and have compassion for ourselves as we struggle with so much due to the current coronavirus pandemic. Libby Robinson, Ph.D., MSW, has practiced mindfulness since 1979 and taught mindfulness-based stress reduction since 2007 to a wide range of groups. She's involved in leading drop-in meditations in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Saline and has given presentations to U-M medical school faculty, residents, nursing students, and social workers, as well as various local businesses, including Zingerman's and Google.
She says practicing mindfulness, especially when we're highly stressed/traumatized is not easy, especially if we're trying to do it "perfectly."
It's important to bring kindness and softness to your efforts to be present. It's OK if the mind wanders off. Can we notice gently (!) that it wanders and when we can return to present-moment awareness? She asks can we bring that quality of gentleness, softness, to ourselves, no matter what we're experiencing? As Sylvia Boorstein puts it, "Sweetheart, you are in pain. Relax. Take a breath. Let's pay attention to what is happening -- just notice without holding on to it. Then we'll figure out what to do."
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