What We Get Wrong About Suffering

It’s a fact of life that no one is immune to suffering, and it’s safe to say we each experience it in a variety of ways as we continue to navigate the modern world. Being a mindfulness center, we neither want to brush off that reality nor dwell on it. But we also feel this moment—when many of us are feeling especially unsettled—offers an opportunity to shed some light on this concept of “suffering,” what it really means for us in daily life, and how we can help alleviate it—starting with ourselves. There’s a great definition of mindfulness attributed to …

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Support for the School Year

Each August, teachers, parents, and students anxiously await the beginning of a new school year. It is a time of new beginnings; of learning new things and making new friends—as well as facing new challenges. We look forward to seeing our friends again and returning to a predictable schedule.  This year, however, we can add the fear of the unknown to this already rich stew. In times like these, I find that practicing mindfulness and mindful self-compassion is very helpful. By practicing these skills, we can see our worries more objectively, gain a better understanding of how we can take …

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Why Silence Scares Us

Like many people, you might hear about mindfulness and meditation and think, “Silence? Slowing down? That’s just not for me.” In our on-the-go, productivity-and-achievement-minded culture, the thought of sitting still, or embracing silence, can seem like the opposite of what will help us make progress in our lives. Yet if we don’t take time to slow down and zoom out from our day-to-day habits, our lives might start to live us in a way that eventually makes it hard for us to recognize ourselves! A result of our achievement-oriented culture is that many people fear or avoid slowing down and …

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How to Fall in Love with Yourself

Why is it critical that we cultivate a relationship with ourselves? The truth is, most of us have a blind spot in our self-perception. And when we don’t see the whole picture, we tend to speak to and about ourselves in ways that deepen our shame and damage the one relationship that has the power to heal. Have you ever noticed that when you criticize yourself, it is much easier to criticize others? Have you noticed that when you feel the most shame, you are unlikely to feel tenderness for others? Have you realized yet that when you are unhappy, …

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The Gifts of Mindfulness

These days, the word “mindfulness” has become ubiquitous across many industries including healthcare, school, work, and wellness, as well as platforms including social media, books, magazines, and more. But, what do we mean when we talk about mindfulness? Mindfulness is the moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness of our inner and outer experience.  Mindfulness practices are the things we do to strengthen our brain and to make mindfulness accessible.  When we want our bodies to become stronger and healthier, we lift weights, do aerobic exercise, or practice yoga; when we want to strengthen our awareness and cognitive abilities, we do mindfulness workouts. How …

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Live in the Conversation

by Jess Piszker Live in the moment, including the moment of a conversation. In today’s world, our minds are often thinking ahead. Our brains are visualizing our to-do list, keeping a mental note of what’s next. Even when we are doing the next item on the list, we are thinking about the item after. This is why we aren’t fully present in the conversations we are having. We are thinking about other things on our mind, texting someone else, or invested too deeply by something on the phone distracted continuously by ring tones, memos, and reminders that keep popping up …

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My Journey to Mindful Parenting

Imagine bringing mindfulness into your parenting journey. Imagine finding a source of peace and acceptance with yourself and your kids, even at the worst of times. Imagine being able to take a breath and pause before you react in an unhelpful way. Imagine developing a self-care ritual so you don’t feel so overwhelmed and so stressed. Parents have a huge impact on their children. Our kids watch us and model our actions, words, and emotions based on how we conduct ourselves. It is not so much what you say, as what you do. Parenting Fantasy vs. Parenting Reality I was …

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What Is This Thing Called Mindfulness?

“…we don’t have to look outside the present moment to experience wisdom, compassion, and the boundless purity of our true nature. In fact, these things can’t be found anywhere but the present moment.” —Mingyur Rinpoche We use the word mindful or mindfulness in a lot of different ways. Be mindful of your step. Do that mindfully. Be mindful of the planet by recycling. But mindfulness is not just watching your step, being careful, or recycling. Those things have been around for a long time, and they are very important but not what we mean when we talk about mindfulness here. …

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Change Your Brain With Mindfulness

It wasn’t all that long ago that scientists believed that our brains stopped growing and changing in our mid-20s. Then, new technologies were born. EEGs, PET scans, and fMRIs gave us the ability to observe the inner workings of living, functioning human brains, and everything changed! These amazing machines created a window into a brain that is constantly molding and re-molding itself from birth to death. When we learn something new or train in a new skill, our brains get bigger in areas that relate to that new knowledge. When we quit using certain areas of the brain, they shrink. …

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I’d Rather Be At Peace Than Be Right

Let’s face it: Who’s NOT talking about COVID-19 these days? Everywhere I turn, that’s the topic du jour. With all the division, I can’t help but feel like I’m supposed to “pick a side” among the many conflicting viewpoints, but it’s getting increasingly difficult to know what to believe. It doesn’t take much self-reflection to acknowledge that we each have a tendency to hold certain people and certain professions as more trustworthy and therefore a source of truth. But the challenge in this digital age is that I can conveniently find whatever evidence I need to reinforce my personal biases …

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