Welcome! to the Sanford Mindfulness Center (formerly the Celery City Mindfulness Group, founded in February, 2016). Our FaceBook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/DelanyDeanPhD/
Our group meets weekly (Sundays 10:30 am and Thursdays 9:30 am) at the Sanford Mindulness Center, at 416 Sanford Avenue, Sanford FL, 32771 to practice meditation, to learn from each other, and to support each other in the cultivation of mindfulness, equanimity, kindness, gratitude, and clarity.
For those who are new to meditation, here's a brief introduction:
There are many types or schools of meditation. I teach one particular type of meditation, usually called “mindfulness” or “mindfulness meditation.”
This practice has roots in Buddhist teachings and practices; however, it is not unlike some of the practices found in the contemplative traditions of Christianity and other world religions. Accordingly, it’s important to note that, despite its historical connection with Buddhism, mindfulness meditation is usually taught today as a purely secular activity, pursued not within any particular religious tradition, but for the benefits it can provide in the domains of mental, physical, emotional, and interpersonal functioning.
Meditation is a form of mental (and emotional) exercise.
If, instead of hoping for and seeking instant bliss or an absence of thoughts, we adopt the understanding that meditation is a mental activity that anyone can do, or an exercise or training program that may be helpful in various ways (for improved attentional capacity, or for mood or impulse regulation, or for increased capacity for compassion and equanimity), then we are not so likely to be either surprised or discouraged when we find that meditation might not be an immediately blissful, or even relaxing, experience.
What we are actually doing in mindfulness practice is returning, again and again, from our typical default mode of mindlessness, engaging in mental chatter, rumination, un-awareness, and the semi-trance state that most of us humans spend much of our lives in, to a deliberate process of paying attention to what’s happening right now, and doing so with an attitude of kindness, acceptance, and curiosity.
When we do this, we learn to give up the habit of sleep-walking through life. We awaken to our lives.
As Jon Kabat-Zinn says, "Meditation is not 'relaxation' spelled differently."
It’s not about trying to attain a state of bliss. It’s about waking up (enlightenment).
Mindfulness meditation can be “formal practice” (usually sitting meditation) or “informal practice” (mindfulness deliberately practiced in everyday life) but, in each case, the mental activity involved is the act of paying attention; and, at all times, the instruction is to pay attention with an attitude of curiosity and compassion, even when (or, especially when) negative judgments or unpleasant thoughts, feelings, or sensations naturally arise.
Ultimately, our goal is to train the mind and the brain to more easily and more often bring an attitude of "mindfulness," or compassionate awareness, to all of our lives. Our formal meditation practice is the place within which we repeatedly train our minds to do this; and this formal practice, in turn, enables us to more readily bring mindfulness into our daily lives, and all we encounter.
Please join us for practice together on Sunday mornings, 10:30 am and Thursday at 9:30 am. All are welcome; no charge. Beginners are especially welcome!