Mindfulness Meditation Encourages Wisdom and Compassion

mindfulness meditationChristopher Germer is a founding member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. The prime purpose of the Institute is to offering training to mental health professionals to help them to integrate mindfulness meditation with psychotherapy. Germer's recently published book, Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy, a compilation of the the thoughts of many therapist and scholars with an interest in meditation, includes inspiration from His Holiness the Dali Lama. The book, which Germer coedited with Ronald Siegel, seeks to discover how therapists can encourage wisdom and compassion during psychotherapy

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Some interesting thoughts emerged about mindfulness meditation that are worth sharing

 Mindfulness meditation, which is the practice of looking without assumptions at moment to moment experience, is the royal road to wisdom. Basically, by looking in, we learn the nature of things, and out of that arises wisdom.

There is often misunderstanding around the meaning of wisdom which can often be thought to be the result of one's own effort, but here we learn that mindfulness meditation is the path to wisdom

 Many people misunderstand mindfulness as an awareness practice. The irony is that you cannot be aware unless the quality of awareness is loving. Actually, when mindfulness is in full bloom, it is indistinguishable from love. And when love is in full bloom, we are fully mindful. However, in the beginning, when we're starting to practice, we're usually not able to do all this at the same time. It's the same as learning how to ski in difficult terrain. We take one piece, we take another piece, we put them all together, and eventually ski through the bumps and trees….More at Self-Compassion Expert Chris Germer on Lessons Learned From the Dalai Lama

Mindfulness is clearly far more than simply being aware. but like many skills that have to be learned, it takes time to understand and for it all to finally click into place. We will only get better at meditation if we practice it daily. 

I have wondered about the meaning behind the statement "the quality of awareness is loving" and thought that maybe it was referring to the fact that with awareness can come criticism. The lesson I personally have drawn from this is that during  mindfulness meditation it is important to remember to practice compassion and loving kindness.

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