ED and all:
I'd like to share an experience.
I've been having physiotherapy for a very severe case left frozen shoulder once 
a week with no interruptions since August 2009.  My physiotherapist is 
brilliant.  We work really well together because we do that as a non separation 
from the left shoulder.  Slowly, slowly my left shoulder gains more and more 
movement.  It's a hard work we both do in togetherness.  As he can see that 
there is a very slow but very clear improvement each week I go to him, he feels 
a great encouragement to keep helping me.  He has faith in me and I have faith 
in his method.  However, my physiotherapist takes a holiday break from time to 
time.  During that breaks he takes there is another physiotherapist who takes 
his place.  The physiotherapist who takes his place it seems to be one of those 
who has received that hospital mindful training over hear somewhere but lacking 
of the real experience and therefore death already.  and she kept telling to 
one to breathe
 as a kind of letany rosary chanting mantra she learnt.  And of course that was 
leading her to a nonsense physiotherapy session with a descompased moviments of 
the body and the breath.  I had to kindly ask her to stop and let me do the 
work of the breath in harmony with the moviments of the body by myself as I was 
already familiar with breathing .   But she didn't seem to be very agreable 
with that.  And finally had to cut her off by saying, I'm a zen buddhist 
practicioner and is unluckily you can show me how to breathe so please stop it 
or I'm going away.  You're are harming my body.    And she finally stopped.  
Just to name how risky is to bring "mindfulness" to hospitals.  I rather have 
my weekly physiotherapist who is not into anything and does the work 
beautifully because he listens to my body while the other one didn't!.
--- On Wed, 20/10/10, ED <seacrofter...@yahoo.com> wrote:

From: ED <seacrofter...@yahoo.com>
Subject: [Zen] Positive neural changes in the brain due to meditation?
To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
Date: Wednesday, 20 October, 2010, 7:48



Mindfulness: Meditation Vs. Skill Set

October 7, 2010By 4u Articles 

As a long term yogic and vipassana meditator, and a mindfulness-based 
psychotherapist who regularly teaches meditation practices to my patients, I 
find the growth of mindfulness as a clinical intervention very timely. Last 
year, I attended two conferences focused on the use of mindfulness as a 
clinical intervention: Meditation and Psychotherapy at Harvard Medical School 
and Mindfulness and Psychotherapy at UCLA. 
Interestingly, the conference at Harvard featured a greater percentage of 
presenters who do not use meditation as an intervention in their clinical work. 
For them, mindfulness is a teachable skill set, extrapolated from a way of 
viewing life gained from sustained Buddhist meditation practices. 
These presenters included: Steven Hayes, founder of ACT, Lizbeth Roemer, U Mass 
GAD researcher and clinician, Tal Ben-Shahar, Harvard Lecturer on Positive 
Psychology, and Jayme Shorin, LICSW, sensorimotor trainer. The fact that the 
organizers of the Harvard conference felt it necessary to devote over half of 
the presentation time to methodologies that do not include meditation was, for 
me, significant. 
Though this might be expected at a Mindfulness and Psychotherapy conference, in 
fact the UCLA conference featured more presenters discussing the use of 
meditation and compassion practices as a clinical intervention. 
These presenters included: Thich Nhat Hahn, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and 
meditation teacher, Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, Harriett Kimble Wrye, and Trudy 
Goodman, all psychologists and meditation teachers, and Dr. Daniel Siegel & 
Harvard neuroscientist Sara Lazar presenting the neurobiology of meditation.
Due to the continuing trend in mental health toward brief, CBT [Cognitive 
Behavior Therapy] methods and away from depth-oriented, psychodynamic 
therapies, one can easily see how a reduction of mindfulness to an easily 
deliverable skill set would be a natural outcome of the environment in which it 
is delivered. 
But is the doing away with meditation practice psychotherapeutically wrong or 
ineffective? Not necessarily. 
Even in the East, Karma Yoga is an example of a path to liberation which 
eschews formal meditation practice in favor of a commitment to the work one 
does in the world as spiritual practice. 
Also, with neuroscience showing significant brain changes from long-term 
mindfulness meditation, one can easily see how a researcher like Steven Hayes 
could create mental exercises that simulate, through active questioning of the 
validity of language, the realization of the contextual nature of the self., 
i.e., Am I really these thoughts and beliefs that my mind continually comes up 
Years of meditation cultivates a natural non-reactivity to experience. But why 
wait years, when simple instructions for distress tolerance, like those 
featured in DBT can be dispensed to patients suffering from emotion 
dysregulation? Following in the footsteps of ACT is Acceptance-based 
psychotherapy which focuses on delivering skills for realizing and accepting 
here and now experience with compassion; something vipassana meditation and 
metta practices are well documented at cultivating in long-term practitioners. 
Yet again, why practice meditation at all when mindfulness skills can be 
learned and behaviors changed?
Additionally, it must be acknowledged that most psychotherapists will not want 
to learn and commit to a daily mindfulness meditation practice, or be trained 
to teach mindfulness meditation. Therefore, it may be more desirable and 
practical in clinical settings to deliver a CBT-like mindfulness skill set 
rather than teach meditation
In light of all these benefits, what do we lose in clinical practice when we 
allow instruction of vipassana/mindfulness meditation to fall into disfavor or 
become outmoded? The following list is my best guess at an answer to this 
1.The long and short term stress-reducing physical effects of meditation
2.The plethora of profoundly, positive neural changes evidenced in the brains 
of long term vipassana/Tibetan Buddhist meditators 
3.The deep emotional healing that comes from metta/forgiveness/compassion 
meditation practices 
4.The benefits of setting aside time in our busy lives for silence, meditation 
and contemplation
5.The cultivation of peacefulness
6.The deepening of connection with and respect for our planet and all living 
things upon it, which naturally arise from sustained meditation practice
7.The shared joy of a community of meditators; whether traditional sanghas or 
8-week mindfulness-based groups like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), 
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression Relapse Prevention (MBCT), 
or Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for addiction recovery (MBRP). 
I have seen patients experience radical change from incorporating mindfulness 
meditation and mindfulness skills into their daily lives and I am excited to 
offer MBRP, a mindfulness-based intervention for addiction relapse prevention 
in San Jose, CA in March 2008. Please contact me for more information.

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