Masters of Mindfulness – Transforming Your Mind and Body
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Modern biology and neuroscience have quantified mindfulness’s tremendously beneficial impacts. Join 11 leading mindfulness scholars and practitioners as they dissect what current science and contemporary study have shown about this ancient practice and the numerous ways it may help your life. This workshop is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, bringing together a varied collection of recognized professionals for the first time in one place to discuss their own personal experiences and current research, as well as to take you through many mindfulness activities.
Dr. Shauna Shapiro defines mindfulness as “paying attention in the present moment with a loving and generous attitude.” It entails being aware and acting with conscious intent. However, studies suggest that our minds spend about half of our waking hours in the past or the future.
Concentrating on this instant in time, this location, your body as it feels right now, your breath as it travels in and out… That concentration on present-moment awareness has the potential to change your life. And it has been around for thousands of years, intertwined with numerous religious and philosophical traditions.
Mindfulness is a simple practice with well-documented benefits. Many people are unaware of the scope of the research underlying it, as well as how much of our health—physical, mental, and emotional—is intertwined with how we see and experience the environment. Many of the impacts of mindfulness can now be quantified by contemporary biology and neuroscience, and you may be shocked by how powerful the influence may be.
In Masters of Mindfulness: Transforming Your Mind and Body, 11 leading mindfulness scholars and practitioners examine what modern science and contemporary study have discovered about this ancient practice and the numerous ways it may enrich your life. These 22 lectures give a one-of-a-kind and amazing opportunity, bringing together for the first time a varied collection of recognized professionals to discuss their own personal experiences and newest research, as well as to take you through many mindfulness exercises. Dr. Shauna Shapiro, a psychologist and mindfulness specialist, serves as your primary guide through the numerous themes and speakers, bringing together some of the best minds in the industry to give you an immersive, 360-degree experience of mindfulness, its practice, and its benefits.
This course was shot on location at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, a refuge for everyone interested in the study of human consciousness and the human potential movement. This breathtakingly gorgeous location has been a vibrant centre for researching and experiencing the journey of mindfulness in its many manifestations, including cutting-edge scientific studies and applications, since 1962. Because not everyone can go to California, Masters of Mindfulness offers this one-of-a-kind experience to you.
Mindfulness in Every Facet of Our Lives
If you haven’t started a mindfulness practice yet, you may be wondering how you’ll fit it into your schedule. However, mindfulness does not have to be time-consuming. You are not required to purchase any equipment, take any classes, or wear anything specific. All you need is a chair or even the floor, as well as the willingness to improve your life and habits. With just 12 minutes each day, you may begin experiencing the benefits of a mindfulness practice.
Dr. Shauna Shapiro, an internationally recognized mindfulness expert, begins the course by explaining the benefits of a mindfulness practice; after all, as she says, “what you practice grows stronger.” She also introduces the next presenters and explains how they fit into the overall course.
Dr. Rick Hanson explains why we evolved with a brain wiring that is always looking for the negative, and how neuroplasticity allows us to change that orientation, resulting in a more resilient and positive inner life for modern times. Author Kristine Carlson then shares her very personal grief journey and how mindfulness can help you heal and transition to a better life. You will travel with Juna Mustad on a journey toward anger, an emotion that most of us fear, and use mindfulness tools to discover the positive role anger can play in your life.
Author Mike Robbins invites you to “bring your whole self to work” with authenticity and honesty, while Jessica Graham explores how a mindfulness practice can open up your sex life, offering both greater pleasure and a deeper connection to your partner.
Drs. Amishi Jha and Elissa Epel talk about the exciting scientific discoveries about the effects of mindfulness on the cellular level. Dr. Jha discusses the benefits of mindfulness on brain structure and function, whereas Dr. Epel discusses the benefits of mindfulness on specific cellular structures related to aging. A mindfulness practice cannot literally subtract years from your age, but it has the potential to significantly influence your biological age—your health and mental acuity.
Dr. Dacher Keltner discusses his interest in the study of awe in the human experience—that uniquely human emotion that has had a significant impact on our evolution as an ultra-social species.
Dr. Wallace “J” Nichols helps us connect that sense of awe to our water planet’s lakes, rivers, and oceans—or even just the water we drink—while discussing the benefits of a mindful connection to our physical world. Then, Dr. Daniel J. Siegel combines a comprehensive understanding of the mind with the practice of “The Wheel of Awareness” and its potential for personal transformation.
Mindfulness and Neuroscience
While scientists have long been able to identify brain inputs and outputs, we have only recently developed the technology to understand what happens on the inside. Today, technological revolutions in science allow us to look into the workings of the brain and the body in unprecedented ways. Most importantly, we have learned that the way we use our brain is constantly influencing its own structure and function.
Just a few of the dimensions of mindfulness you will explore in Masters of Mindfulness include:
Incorporating a mind-body practice into your life for even a few months can reduce inflammation and can stabilize the length of telomeres—those regions at the end of the chromosome that protect the chromosome from deterioration—thereby, slowing the rate of aging.
Adding even a short mindfulness practice to your day can improve brain health as measured by the brain’s gyrification and density of the wiring that promotes efficient neural processing.
While consistently working puzzles and various cognitive challenges will improve your performance on those exact challenges, practice doesn’t translate into overall brain processing improvement or ability to focus. On the other hand, a mindfulness practice does strengthen all the brain’s attention systems.
The practice of mindfulness strengthens the immune system, decreases stress, improves sleep function, increases compassion, and improves cognitive function.
Through natural selection, our brain evolved to scan for and retain bad news, while simultaneously overlooking or downplaying good news. But a mindfulness practice can help us increase compassion and positivity, creating a brain that better serves us in our current world and circumstances.
Theory and Practice
In addition to learning about mindfulness, many of the experts in Masters of Mindfulness guide you through mindfulness practices during this course. While you will notice some similarities through all the practices, each is geared toward a unique objective. You will be able to choose which of these practices best resonate with you personally. Among those presented are:
Wheel of Awareness: This practice helps integrate the five senses, internal bodily sensations, mental activity and emotions, and relationship to the outside world. Created by Dr. Daniel J. Siegel, more than 10,000 individuals have experienced this healing practice.
Face Your Anger: Anger is not an emotion we typically associate with a meditative practice. But with guidance from Juna Mustad, you will dig deeper into troubling emotions, to discover what they are trying to tell you and why you should be listening to them.
If You Really Knew Me: This exercise, led by Mike Robbins, is a wonderful present-moment way to cultivate authenticity and appreciation in group settings.
Body Awareness: We are rarely fully aware of the sensations in our bodies. Jessica Graham leads this mindfulness practice to create a stronger mind-body connection for the purpose of enhancing pleasure and improving communication with your partner.
Whether you’re a beginner or a longtime practitioner of mindfulness, this guided tour through the many facets of the practice will deepen your understanding and help you to integrate mindfulness at home and at work, in your relationships, and in your self-identity over time. With your expert guides, you will see how mindfulness is both a skill and an art, modern science and ancient wisdom
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