Mindfulness & Meditation
for the Ebb & Flow of Your Life
I teach you how to surf.
I would hazard to guess that the term Mindfulness has never been used more…in the history of mindfulness…than since the onset of Covid. We need to be intentional and aware of what we are doing these days – our lives and health may depend on it.
There are many definitions of Mindfulness.
Mine is: Being aware of, and fully engaged in, what is happening in your moment-to-moment experience, without judging or trying to change it.
Or…as one grade 5 student in a school mindfulness program put it: “It means not hitting someone in the mouth.”
Mindful is a way of Being in your life. You learn to notice where you are, what you are doing, how you feel about it and ultimately choosing to relate to it with a wise response as opposed to an often unhelpful, knee-jerk reaction.
Practicing mindfulness is about purposely cultivating a balanced relationship with whatever is going on in your life.
Why should you do that? Because when you are constantly overwhelmed by what’s happening in your experience, or burnt out by trying to control it all, it creates a lot of unnecessary stress, which affects your mental and physical health and wellbeing.
Meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn nailed it when he described life as a turbulent ocean where: You can’t stop the waves – but you can learn to surf.
Life is inherently full of incredible joys and frustrating challenges. But with mindfulness you can be with those ups and downs in a kinder, easier, and more accepting way.
Through mindfulness, we can learn a new way to navigate our life: with Wisdom, Compassion and Equanimity.
Meditation is the training ground of mindfulness…the training in Awareness, Self-Knowledge and most importantly Equanimity.
In meditation we carve out time to sit, on a regular basis, to observe how our mind works, and how we tend to handle what’s happening in our experience…and life in general. We start to recognize where our thoughts and behaviours are not really serving us, or others, well.
Mindfulness meditation is also where we learn how to be OK with what is happening in our life. To give up pushing against what already is. Because that, of course, is futile and exhausting, to say the least.
Through formal meditation, we practice the skills and qualities of being mindful “on the cushion” so that we can be more mindful in our daily life.
Even though Mindfulness Meditation is a western adaptation of the Buddhist meditation practice of Vipassana or Insight Meditation, it is important to note that meditation does not have to be esoteric, culturally associated or even spiritual, for that matter.
My approach to meditation is simple, secular-based, with minimal woo-woo…meaning no chanting, incense, candles or beads. Not that there is anything wrong with those tools and rituals…they’re just not me.
To get an idea of my style of teaching meditation, please feel free to check out my beginner’s Present Moment Awareness Meditation below.
The practice of Mindfulness Meditation helps increase your “coping capacity” so that you can better handle whatever life serves up.
Not only does meditation help reduce the mental “noise” of our daily lives…research shows that Meditation helps:
- Increase a sense of calmness and stability
- reduce symptoms of stress,
- reduce anxiety and depression symptoms,
- increase emotional regulation
- manage chronic illness and/or pain
- increase concentration and focus
- lower blood pressure,
- promote better sleep.
- increase overall mental and physical well-being
- improve memory
- improve performance at work, sports or other activities
- create positive biological changes in aging and stress related hormones
- strengthen immune system,
- improve self-awareness
- increase sense of self-acceptance
- transform relationships with others
- increase qualities of compassion and resiliency
Courses, Classes and Workshops
Skim the Surface
Both Oars In
Life Preserver Series
Mindfulness and Meditation Courses with a Certified & Accredited Teacher
Karen Vincent is a graduate of the two-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program with Jack Kornfield, PhD., and Tara Brach, PhD., at the University of California at Berkeley and the Awareness Training Institute. She is a registered member of The International Mindfulness Teachers Association.
She has completed the Mindfulness Teacher Training Program with Sean Fargo, Founder, Mindfulness Exercises; as well as How to Guide Meditation Training with meditation teacher and author of “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics”, Jeff Warren.
Karen is also a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher through YogaRenew –a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider.
A Present Moment Awareness Meditation
This Present Moment Awareness practice is for beginner meditators. Research shows that almost 1/2 of our waking moments are spent either thinking about the past or the future…taking us away from the only moment we REALLY have…which is the present moment…the NOW.
This beginner’s meditation is a guided support to help you tap into the recognition of what is in your experience –Now!
We practice coming into the present moment in meditation…so that we can more easily reconnect with the realtime moments of our lives.