Mindfulness and Meditation Tools
Recent research suggests regular meditation practice boosts mental flexibility and focus, offering powerful protection against cognitive decline.
Materials and Setup
Materials & Setup:
“Lilac Breeze Sangha gathers at Friends Center, the Quaker meetinghouse in Center City, Philadelphia. It is here, in the town that William Penn built, that members of the sangha follow their breath in Buddhist sitting meditation while communing directly with God in the tradition of their Quaker predecessors, blending faiths with each in- and out-breath.”
What Would William Penn Think? from Tricycle Magazine
“Take an honest look at yourself. Where are you in your life? What have your priorities been up till now and what do you intend to do with the time you have left? We are a mixture of light and shadow, of good qualities and defects. Are we really the best we can be? Must we remain as we are now? If not, what can we do to improve ourselves? These are questions worth asking, particularly if we have come to the conclusion that change is both desirable and possible.”
Why Should I Meditate, from Lion’s Roar
“A string of recent research suggests regular meditation practice may boost mental flexibility and focus, offering powerful protection against cognitive decline.”
How Meditation Protects the Aging Brain from Decline, from Mindful Magazine
Watch this QuakerSpeak video, Is Quaker Worship Meditation?
Read the articles and/or watch the video in the materials & setup section to become familiar with the benefits of mindfulness and meditation practices from the Buddhist traditions. This meditation exercise is an excellent introduction to meditation techniques.
- Sit or lie comfortably.
- Close your eyes.
- Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
- Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.
Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods.
Learn more about meditation in this Lion’s Roar article, How to Practice Vipassana Insight Meditation.