Food for the Body and the Mind

The world in which we live is fast paced and brims with opportunity and deadline. It is so easy to get caught up in the continual flow that you find yourself thinking only about what is next or what just happened.

But when your mind is concerned with past or future events, ask yourself “who is doing the actual living that is happening right now?”

Certainly, your mind may be partly there, and your body most certainly there, but the focus can be distant and diluted. Enjoying life’s little pleasures can become almost impossible when your thoughts are turned only towards events over which you have no direct control.

Cultivating mindfulness is the best way to learn how to be present in the moment. By making a conscious effort to be aware of all that is occurring around you, you are kept connected with the life that is happening right now – effectually being present for your experiences.

This simple act can actually help you deal with the stress that accompanies an academic life, because by taking time to enjoy your walk to class for what it is, you manifest positive energy within yourself. By being mindful, you are better equipped to lead a purposeful life, which is much more gratifying than a life without intended purpose.

Taking time to actually sit still, breathe and be mindful in a group setting is one aspect of my meditation practice that I look forward to every Tuesday at 4:55, when my meditation group meets. Gathering in a designated space, with the intention of meditating, prepares the mind for the experience of experiencing itself.

The group’s energy makes meditating a little easier and the seated mindfulness practice recharges one’s energy, while simultaneously calming the body and mind.

Focusing on the breath, the very force that keeps life within a being is a wonderful technique for quieting the brain and uniting the body and mind.

Other techniques and things that you learn about yourself through a meditation practice enable you to step back from an intense situation to a vantage that includes the bigger picture, and handle it better than you may have otherwise.

Come to the Center for Cultural Pluralism, Allen House, 3rd floor (corner of Main and No. Prospect Street). It is FREE and open to students, staff, faculty and the community.

Spring 2006 Mindfulness Meditation Groups: Mondays: 12:10 – 1:00 PM, Tuesdays: 4:55 – 5:45 PM, Wednesdays: 12:10 – 1:00 PM. Visit our website for more info: http://www.uvm.edu/health/mindfulness.html.