About this course
Affectionate breathing is a simple but powerful way to send and receive kindness. Using the physical posture of a "half-smile," you cultivate feelings of warmth. As you breathe in, you receive the affection. As you breathe out, you send it to others. The smile itself is the source of your kindness, and your breath is the vehicle in which you deliver the well-wishes.
The formal practice is offered below, but this can also be done informally as well. Simply breathe in once for yourself, and out once for another, and this can quickly turn around a difficult interaction, and turn feelings of separation into connectedness.
Focusing your attention on just one thing at a time helps stop your mind from time traveling into the past or future. This can have a huge impact on your ability to relax and be more resilient in the face of stress.
Yes, even you can learn to relax! Like any skill it takes a desire to master it plus a little bit of your time to practice, practice, practice. The physical and mental health benefits are worth the investment of time, and you will feel great, too!
Learn how to make each moment a little more special.
A video with Dr. Benson at the Harvard Bookstore about the Relaxation Revolution and how meditation can change your genetic predisposition to stress-related illness.
Video survey of definitions and an overview of the concept of mindfulness.
Begin to harness the power of mindfulness by getting to know your own mind on a more intimate level. Consider the possibility of experiencing stimuli as it arises, without reacting, clinging, or pushing away your experience.
Taking even a mindful breath or two during your day can help you feel more calm and peace, even during the hectic work day.
Eating a meal is the perfect time to practice mindfulness, as all of your senses are easily accessible. This week try to eat at least one meal mindfully.
TED: Matt Killingsworth: Want to be happier? Stay in the moment. An enlightening video based on research.
The desire for others to be free from suffering - and for ourselves to be free from suffering - is the real reason we practice meditation.
Compassion is not just for meditation - you can send well wishes anytime during your day.
We can not always change the circumstance. But we can choose to meet our tender heart with compassion.
One way to boost resilience is to spend time cultivating affection and care for yourself. This primes your nervous system to be more able to weather life's storms.
Recognize. Allow. Investigate. Nurture.
Your meditation practice has just begun!
Books, apps and other suggested materials from the course!