Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Mindfulness

In the Big Book we see the phrase "sought through prayer and meditation" to improve our conscious contact with God.

Now most of us know how to pray, because we were taught as a child in Sunday school or church. But not many of us have learned how to meditate, at least not in any meaningful way. I don't know any place in the Big Book that has meditation instructions.

As for myself, I began meditating in the mid-90s after I took a transcendental meditation course. After doing that for many years I became disillusioned.  I started looking elsewhere and discovered mindfulness meditation.

I became so interested in it that a few years ago I took a one year course to become a certified mindfulness meditation teacher. While I don't practice as a meditation teacher, I do conduct a body scan meditation each Saturday at 11:30 AM in my office. And usually between three to six  employees will show up.

So why meditate? What's the point of sitting crosslegged on the floor or in a chair and focusing on your breath with your eyes closed? I'll tell you.

Studies have shown that meditation increases the neuronal connections in the brain. In other words, meditation allows us to reshape the structure of our brain. Many studies have shown that meditation increases our sense of well-being, lowers our stress levels, and brings us a greater sense of life satisfaction. A recent study out of Oxford University in England, showed that 10 minutes of meditation over an eight week period was 20% more effective than depression medication. Major corporations, including Google, offer free meditation classes to their employees because it results in greater productivity.

If you are interested in meditation I suggest you go on the Internet or else to YouTube. Just use the search words "mindfulness meditation" and you'll find more results than you have time to look at.

I think you'll find the practice rewarding.

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