Mindfulness Doc

Michele is a practicing psychologist who extends to herself & others the 
same level of presence she gives to clients-- exploring the positive changes that are internalized through a daily practice. 

This blog offers resources, reflections, & her work with Salzburg's 28 day mindfulness challenge to realize true "Happiness".

Doc M has enjoyed studying with Dan Siegel, M.D., Chris Germer, Ph.D., Trudy Goodman, Jack Kornfield, & Tara Brach. Sustained silence is her best teacher each August during month-long retreats and hermitage in the wilderness of northern New Mexico. In 2013 Kornfield encouraged her to start a sitting group in her community. In 2019 she was certified by Jack & Tara Brach through UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center.  
Day One of 28- Day Challenge. Staying on the Cushion: 7 Minutes, 7 Hours, or 7 weeks? 

In comparison to east coast folks (who may now be starting the second day of their 28-day mindfulness challenge), for me at 11:15 pm in southern California on February 1, 2013, it is still day one of what I refer to as the official "Salzberg Challenge". 

I sat for 7 minutes this morning before leaving for the office. That's right, seven minutes. But, at the office I managed to comfortably sit for eight hours compassionately listening to my clients. My hope in making this 28-day commitment is to extend to myself what I so readily give to others. Compassionate presence to oneself through the simple act of sitting in silence and breathing. I want to be open to exploring where this exercise takes me. 

Guess I have a way to go in staying on the cushion. Yep, day one here, and I got bucked off way too soon. Metta to all who are joining with me in this online experience. And a big thanks to Sharon for her inspiring talk last Sunday in Santa Monica. Sharon, once I walked with you; now, I will sit with you. And, through this blog I'll invite others to join us. 
Day 4. Sounds of Morning.

I find when I meditate alone, without the support of sitting with a group, it feels the same as my attempts to work in a trip to the gym. I need to get to it first thing in the morning, or nada, it doesn't happen.

Monday's are a challenging workout for this mind of mine. I wake up and sit down before planning or imagining an entire week's events. I must have gotten here soon enough because I notice feeling relieved. I notice a soft smile, sounds of morning.

Then, some wrestling with my posture and the distraction of thinking mind begins: schedule my clients, get to the cleaners, make lunches, ad infinitum. Now, a reprieve and return to the anchor of my breath. 

I sink deep, like a stone, only to be pulled out by a cacophony of sound entering through open windows. I lean into the noise. Amazing, it's a darn chainsaw. Oh wait, in the foreground I hear a mockingbird singing to the morning. What energy in that song! 

I begin my week.

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