Mindfulness and Meditation Resources
Timers are an essential support for meditators as they let us focus on the practice without needing to watch time. A live time-keeper plays this essential role in most group meditation settings.
Timers are available on most cell phones - choose soothing bell tone to end your meditation
Insight Meditation Timer App
Progressive Alarm Clock -increases volume of bell tone gradually as you awaken
Choose softer but audible tones on cell phone alarms
Meditation and Yoga Supplies
John Kabat Zinn
Books: Full Catastrophe Living
Local mindfulness communities and resources:
Duke Integrative Medicine-Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction-Website
Mindfulness for grief and emotional healing
Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein:
Mindfulness and Grief
Sameer M. Kumar, PhD:
David Treleavan, PhD:
Book, Website: Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness
Mindfulness and Social Engagement
Prison Mindfulness Institute
Center For Resilience – RI
Reverend Angel Kyodo Williams
The Interdependance Project
Retreat centers that offer classes, meditation programs and retreats
Duke Integrative Medicine
The Mindfulness Center at UNC
Chapel Hill, NC
Mindfulness Center, Brown University
Center For Mindfulness, UMass Medical Center
Insight Meditation Society
Barre, MA - http://www.dharma.org/
Tip: check local yoga studios for meditation classes, scheduled open meditation (often free or by donation) and any class labeled “gentle”, “yin” or “restorative yoga”. There are many different methods of developing mindful awareness. Find one that feels like a natural fit.
Essential tips for sustaining a meditation practice at home
To begin, plan to dedicate 5 minutes to your sitting practice daily. Using a timer is very important so that you won’t be distracted by checking on time and can relax into your practice. 5 minutes is more than enough to start, but you may increase to 10 or 20 minutes once you establish a regular practice. 10-20 minutes per sitting is a good average time for most meditators.
Your focus will vary day to day, but it’s best to stay with the length time you committed to, not going over or under. Starting with a small amount of time is ideal to build up a practice over time and prevent frustration. Try not to judge yourself around the amount of time you meditate. Quality of practice is more important than quantity. Also incorporate mindful, awareness in daily activities: Take 3 slow breaths any time; practice common tasks like washing dishes with mindful awareness; take time to notice surroundings and the rhythm of your footsteps while walking.
Find a space in your home that is free of distractions that you can use consistently. The space can change with the seasons or the situation around you. An uncluttered space where you feel safe is ideal. Ideally it should be a place free of through-traffic, pets or other potential interruptions. Some people like a point of focus like a window looking out to garden, inspiring images, a candle, small table with inspiring objects, etc., but none of these is required. Anything that inspires you can be added to the space. While we are not trying to block out “the outside world”, an easeful quiet space promotes a more introspective mood.
Whether sitting, knees down, or lying down, be sure the position is sustainable for the time you have set aside. Physical comfort is an important point of self care. Check in with 3 points of contact- with the chair, cushion or floor for seated or kneeling positions and keep an upright but relaxed posture. Lying down may be better for some people, but stay aware of the tendency to fall asleep in this position. Meditating lying down is helpful for insomnia, anxiety or chronic pain. Also, notice if lighting or temperature affect your comfort, and plan for that as you establish a routine. The conditions don’t have to be perfect- noting your preferences is part of the practice and slight discomforts can form part of our meditation - but the space should gently support the practice of quiet contemplation. Experiment with the conditions to find those that suit you personally. This exploration is itself mindfulness practice.