By: Deb Martin, Holistic Health Educator
Contributor: Mary Robinson, Mindfulness Practitioner; M.A., M.S., LMFT
Everyone who lives in Southwest Florida is affected by the damages from Hurricane Ian which struck only a few weeks ago. The emotional body of our area has and continues to experience trauma, even as so many hopeful and solid recovery efforts make a dent in the chaos. In these times, natural and holistic medicines and practices offer powerful solutions to the almost overwhelming stress of hundreds of thousands of people in our area. In this article, our desire is to attract you to consider…and to experience…what is known as the practice of Mindfulness.
Create mental wellness on a new level for yourself. Pay attention to your body and give yourself the care you need to quell your inside effects from the storm. No matter if we experienced devastating loss or “minor” issues, (or if we simply know or are concerned about people in Southwest Florida), we all can benefit from using inner quieting practices and services. And all of us can benefit from mindfulness meditation, massages, acupuncture, Reiki, yoga, sound baths and more to help reset our nervous systems! You will find free and low-cost events at Lotus Blossom Clinic, such as our “Find Your Peace” evenings every Tuesday in October. We are doing two more through end of Year: November 1st and the last one in mid-December. Show up about 6:00pm and enjoy several services from our healing practitioners.
Mindfulness is a real thing…and it is Seriously Good Medicine! Mindfulness training has found its way into business, sports, government, & education. It has potential benefits in virtually all arenas in life. But it always begins with personal practice and personal understanding.
Who is Thich Nhat Hanh?
When I think of Mindfulness, I think of Thich Nhat Hanh.
“If we want to fully enjoy life’s gifts, we must practice mindfulness at every turn… Every step and every breath can be an opportunity for joy and happiness. Life is full of suffering. If we don’t have enough happiness on reserve, we have no means to take care of our despair. Enjoy your practice with a relaxed and gentle attitude, with an open mind and a receptive heart. With mindfulness, we can preserve an inner joy, so that we can better handle the challenges in our lives. We can create a foundation of freedom, peace and love within ourselves.” (TNH, Happiness, pp. x – xi)
The practice of Mindfulness was introduced world-wide by the 2nd most famous Buddhist monk who lived into this decade (the most known being the Dali Lama). Thich Nhat Hanh, inspired by his deep desire for peace in Vietnam, led Mindful Walks for Peace around the world. He walked with throngs in L.A. and New York, in London…and in Italy, where 1,500 people Walked Mindfully and Peacefully through the streets of Rome, from the Piazza San Marco to the Piazza Navona.
If you are curious about him, you will enjoy a book from which I read a short “bedtime story” for myself and my husband, almost every night. It’s Thich Nhat Hanh’s book “At Home in the World”. The stories are beautiful and simple, unveiling a fascinating world in Vietnam which is vastly different than my own. The book is multi-dimensional: The short stories are delightful, sometimes deep and dark….and often Uplifting. His book is filled with simple stories of Pure Wisdom!
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is paying attention to your life in this present moment – NOW. Being present in the moment offers the possibility of halting the mental chatter and constant commentary, a seemingly unending stream of thoughts and feelings, which occupy the mind often creating fear and anxiety.
Mindfulness Meditation is recommended by health professionals. Today there is an extensive and growing field of research linking the efficacy of mindfulness practice with increased health and well-being, physical relaxation, restful sleep, improved reaction to stress, increased energy levels and feelings of well-being. The list of benefits keeps going: balance, flexibility, & composure, deepening creativity and insight, strengthening and enhancing collaborative relationships, boosting attention and concentration, developing patience, tolerance & understanding, improving motivation & morale.
The fullness of the moment sometimes passes us by because we may be occupied with the incessant chatter of our thoughts, our worries, our “lists of things to do.” Learning to be mindful provides the opportunity to be truly present and “tuned in” to your one “wild and precious Life,” a la Mary Oliver.
Mindfulness Class Series:
If you are still reading this and are here in SWFL, we have an upcoming Mindfulness series at the clinic. One of the facilitators, Mary Robinson, attended a retreat with Thich Nhat Hahn—a once and significant encounter–and subsequently studied his teachings deeply through the guidance of her teacher Fred Eppsteiner, founder of Florida Community of Mindfulness in Tampa, Florida. I’m planning to attend the course…and very possibly Dr. David too.
Interested in using your mind?
Curious about how mindfulness and meditation can help you?
Do you have thoughts about the past or worries about the future? Do your emotions often cause stress and confusion? Do you get carried away by drama?
Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation is a four-week course designed by Florida Community of Mindfulness. The course will support the practice of mindfulness, helping us develop the skills and attention to be fully present to our lives in the present moment and to touch each moment deeply.
The course is for those new to mindfulness and meditation as well as those who want to review the basics and establish a more consistent practice. The course includes basic instruction and exploration of ways to bring mindfulness into daily activities.
The course facilitators are Mary Robinson and Chris Lee, dedicated meditation practitioners and members of the Florida Community of Mindfulness and The Order of Interbeing.
Sponsored by Caloosahatchee Mindfulness
Location: Lotus Blossom Clinic, 6710 Winkler Road, Suite 2, Fort Myers, FL 33919
Dates: Tuesdays, November 8, 15, 22, 29, 2022 Time: 7 o’clock PM
Cost: $80 for four sessions
For information, email Mary Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Attending this workshop once a week (4 Tuesday evening sessions) offers the opportunity to learn the practice of Mindfulness Meditation. Through Mindfulness Meditation you can find new ways of creating a strong, peaceful, and happy mind…free of busy chatter, anxiety, stress, and constant non-stop activity.
In Joyful Mindfulness,
Dr. David and Deb Martin and Mary Robinson
Lotus Blossom Clinic
Serving the Greater Fort Myers area with Natural and Holistic Medicine, including Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Massage, Science-backed Food as Medicine, Meditation, Energy Healing & Transformational Sessions…and Community Classes & Events both Virtual and In-Person.