Some Sharing from Karen Sothers on Mindfulness & Meditation

1 Comment September 4, 2011 / Posted in Meditation, Mindfulness
Big Sur -Camaldoli Hermitage

Big Sur -Camaldoli Hermitage

Karen Sothers is a long-time friend and colleague with me at Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine. She has helped numerous people in their healing process through her work with yoga and her Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes.

She mentions Rick Hanson and you can read more at his Resources for Happiness, Love & Wisdom about our tendency to “velcro” on to negative experiences and “teflon” the positive ones.

If you are in the San Francisco area on Saturday, September 10th you may be interested in a workshop Rick will be teaching with Jay Lombard, D.O. on Mindfulness, Micronutrients, and Mental Health in Berkeley. The workshop will offer continuing education credits for health professionals and psychotherapists – while also being of interest for the general public.

Some of you will be interested in checking out his Wise Brain Bulletin.

Rick will also be doing an hour teleconference on Taking In The Good as part of the Metta Institute Teleconference Series in collaboration with National Hospice and Palliative Care Association. The Metta Institute brings in spiritual teachers, hospice experts, storytellers, authors and psychologists….people who are re-visioning care of the dying in America. You can read about one of the founder’s of the Metta Institute, Frank Ostaseski, who shared his teaching here awhile back on his Five Precepts of Service

Meditation: Retrain Your Brain to Focus on the Positive
Learn to savor the good experiences in life. This meditation will retrain your brain to focus on the positive instead of jumping right to the negative.

By Karen Sothers

During the past hour, what has your attention been focused on? The 10 things you have accomplished or the one left to do? The relationship that is challenging or the three that are supportive and loving?Savoring the Good

Unless you have intentionally trained your mind to give at least equal attention to what is working, wonderful and satisfying, you probably tend to focus first on what is negative.

Rick Hanson, PhD, neuropsychologist, author and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, describes the brain as Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones. According to Dr. Hanson, as humans evolved over millions of years, it was essential to their survival to focus heavily on avoiding predators, natural hazards and aggression from others. It was less essential for early man to focus on positive experiences, such as finding berries and nuts. It is this early brain patterning that created the built-in bias we have today to notice, react to, and remember the negative experiences while missing out on noticing, responding to, and remembering all the positive, wonderful moments.

Retrain your brain to focus on the positive by practicing these two simple steps:

1. Set your intention. Begin your day by setting your intention to notice five positive, beautiful, uplifting experiences throughout your day.

2. Savor the good experiences. When a positive experience occurs, take at least 20 seconds to focus on the goodness of that moment. The more time you spend focusing on this pleasant experience, the more it begins to change your brain.

To learn more about this meditation click here about the two sessions onMindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course beginning September 28th in the afternoon and the 29th in the evening, or call 1-800-SCRIPPS (1-800-727-4777).

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  1. Higher Plane said on September 5th, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Thank you. I have been following Rick’s guest posts over at the Greater Good. As I’ve said over there, we might be in danger of unleashing a pseudo-science likening various aspects of human behavior to our evolutionary ancestors. (A past issue of the Wise Brain Bulletin includes a piece on “calming the inner guard dog.” What’s next?) This could be the new astrology for people derisively referred to by George W. Bush as Marin County hot-tubbers! Ugh! My inner lizard perceived a threat and is getting all fired up….

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