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Greetings,

 

My name is Joseph, and I am new here in town, and would like to introduce myself. I have been trying to learn mindfulness and meditation sine 2000; recently, I have become more active in my pursuit. I had read various authors on the topic from Jack Kornfield,  Herbert Benson, Alan Watts, and Thomas Merton. But I never got going.

 

A few years ago, I read Ruth Behr's book-- Practicing Happiness, and I got more Involved. I had fractured my pelvis and read her book while I was in rehab, and I found her approach to mindfulness helpful in my rehab. I was hooked.

I am a psychologist in a correctional facility and try to teach mindfulness to my patients. I found this site, and am looking forward to improving my practice and teaching.Christian, and interested in the Christian tradition of meditation and mindfulness--all of the spiritual traditions that I knw of have meditation or contemplation as part of their faith. I believe that we all have something to give to each other.

Looking forward to learning and growing.

 

Thanks for this service,

 

Joseph

 

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Welcome @Joseph,

I look forward to following you on this site. It sounds like you have a wealth of experience and can contribute a lot here. 

Regards,

Gene

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Welcome @Joseph! It is wonderful to have you here. Thank you for the warm introduction. That sounds like very important and meaningful work you are doing, and it's wonderful that you are incorporating mindfulness into your work.

What types of practices are you currently exploring? 

If you are interested in exploring another book at the moment, we will soon be starting a book club on Tara Brach's 'Radical Acceptance'. Feel free to join the club if you'd like to read along with us or see what is being shared about it.

 

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I have acquired the book, and read the first 4 chapters.

 

Thank you for accepting me into this club.

As a psychologist, I am attempting to integrate the framework of ACT Acceptance and commitment therapy) into my work, and I am finding Dr. Brach's book interesting--familiar in many way, yet she deepens the concept by incorporating her own life story into the idea of acceptance. For myself, I have had to work at understanding the acceptance as something more than a great idea, and I appreciate the added dimension that Dr. Brach adds.

She has spurred me into engaging acceptance as t relates to my patients lives as well as my own.This has not been an easy thing, but I am finding that when I do this, the therapy and my groups become more powerful, and the men put more energy in to the work.

The life and world of the inmate is so radically different from mine, and although I have worked in prison's for many years, I still have to admit that I don't even know the half of it --what an inmate's experience is.

I have to struggle to let go of my assumptions, my own frame of reference, society's views about the incarcerated, my own burn out--all of these are a part of my point of view.

I think that this is a place where acceptance and mindfulness can inform my work.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/30/2020 at 3:50 PM, Joseph said:

Greetings,

 

My name is Joseph, and I am new here in town, and would like to introduce myself. I have been trying to learn mindfulness and meditation sine 2000; recently, I have become more active in my pursuit. I had read various authors on the topic from Jack Kornfield,  Herbert Benson, Alan Watts, and Thomas Merton. But I never got going.

 

A few years ago, I read Ruth Behr's book-- Practicing Happiness, and I got more Involved. I had fractured my pelvis and read her book while I was in rehab, and I found her approach to mindfulness helpful in my rehab. I was hooked.

I am a psychologist in a correctional facility and try to teach mindfulness to my patients. I found this site, and am looking forward to improving my practice and teaching.Christian, and interested in the Christian tradition of meditation and mindfulness--all of the spiritual traditions that I knw of have meditation or contemplation as part of their faith. I believe that we all have something to give to each other.

Looking forward to learning and growing.

 

Thanks for this service,

 

Joseph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Joseph,

I believe I know you from Path to Freedom? I just sent you a response...are you the same Joseph? Interesting!  Meditation and yoga are very important to me. Since I just completed Path to Freedom I was looking for a new program, and found Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. I love it! 

Sorry about your fracture! Although sounds like you made good use of the time.

Nice to see you here!

Jo

Edited by Jo L
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On 5/23/2020 at 7:46 PM, Joseph said:

I have acquired the book, and read the first 4 chapters.

 

Thank you for accepting me into this club.

As a psychologist, I am attempting to integrate the framework of ACT Acceptance and commitment therapy) into my work, and I am finding Dr. Brach's book interesting--familiar in many way, yet she deepens the concept by incorporating her own life story into the idea of acceptance. For myself, I have had to work at understanding the acceptance as something more than a great idea, and I appreciate the added dimension that Dr. Brach adds.

She has spurred me into engaging acceptance as t relates to my patients lives as well as my own.This has not been an easy thing, but I am finding that when I do this, the therapy and my groups become more powerful, and the men put more energy in to the work.

The life and world of the inmate is so radically different from mine, and although I have worked in prison's for many years, I still have to admit that I don't even know the half of it --what an inmate's experience is.

I have to struggle to let go of my assumptions, my own frame of reference, society's views about the incarcerated, my own burn out--all of these are a part of my point of view.

I think that this is a place where acceptance and mindfulness can inform my work.

That's a great insight Joseph. It's hard to recognize, much less let go of, our assumptions. It makes such a difference, though, when we do. A fresh perspective allows us to really get to know one another and to listen without filters. That is something I like about Tara's book too, she talks a lot about acceptance and having an open-heart. 

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@Joseph and @Jo L - Have either of you watched the documentary 'The Work'? I watched it last night and I think the both of you would find it quite impactful and relevant to your interests. It covers some of what happens during a 4 day intensive retreat in a men's prison, which also invites men from the community to join the group therapy.

I watched it on Apple TV but here is another link to it: https://www.amazon.com/Work-James-McLeary/dp/B077GGWH8P

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Thanks so much Gillian! I will definitely check it out- you're right, it is very relevant to my interests. Thanks again!💛

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On 5/25/2020 at 7:02 AM, Jo L said:

Welcome Joseph,

I believe I know you from Path to Freedom? I just sent you a response...are you the same Joseph? Interesting!  Meditation and yoga are very important to me. Since I just completed Path to Freedom I was looking for a new program, and found Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. I love it! 

Sorry about your fracture! Although sounds like you made good use of the time.

Nice to see you here!

Jo

Yes, ma'am,that is me. I am trolling the web to learn as much as I can about mindfulness, and I am looking forward to learning more from you,

 

Take care,

 

Joseph

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Posted (edited)
On 5/25/2020 at 7:05 AM, Jo L said:

She has spurred me into engaging acceptance as t relates to my patients lives as well as my own.This has not been an easy thing, but I am finding that when I do this, the therapy and my groups become more powerful, and the men put more energy in to the work.

The life and world of the inmate is so radically different from mine, and although I have worked in prison's for many years, I still have to admit that I don't even know the half of it --what an inmate's experience is.

I have to struggle to let go of my assumptions, my own frame of reference, society's views about the incarcerated, my own burn out--all of these are a part of my point of view.

I think that this is a place where acceptance and mindfulness can inform my work.

Hello @Joseph, I can really identify with what you are saying. My background is in social work and when I began my career, this was also my experience. I remember working with people who were in conflict with the law. I also had to check my values, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and assumptions. One strong memory that has stayed with me for many years is a pearl of wisdom from an experienced community worker who often said, "Just because you made a mistake, it does not mean you are a mistake".

When I think about this statement, I often think about the powerful role that stigma has in shaping peoples lives. We need helpers and providers  who work in our systems to take the time to check their values, assumptions,  and beliefs  because people who work in the helping profession have  an important role to play to help people to understand that they are not mistakes and they matter!

I see mindfulness as a pathway to bring this kind of awareness.

Thank you for sharing your journey. 

Kind Regards,

Gene

Edited by Gene Williams
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18 hours ago, Gene Williams said:

One strong memory that has stayed with me for many years is a pearl of wisdom from an experienced community worker who often said, "Just because you made a mistake, it does not mean you are a mistake".

Thanks for sharing @Gene Williams! This reminds me of something I read in Brené Brown's book 'Daring Greatly'. In it, she differentiates between guilt and shame, explaining that guilt is the feeling 'I did something bad' whereas shame is the feeling 'I AM bad'. Here's a little more from her blog on the topic:

"Based on my research and the research of other shame researchers, I believe that there is a profound difference between shame and guilt. I believe that guilt is adaptive and helpful – it’s holding something we’ve done or failed to do up against our values and feeling psychological discomfort.

I define shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.

I don’t believe shame is helpful or productive. In fact, I think shame is much more likely to be the source of destructive, hurtful behavior than the solution or cure. I think the fear of disconnection can make us dangerous."

https://brenebrown.com/blog/2013/01/14/shame-v-guilt/

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On 5/26/2020 at 12:05 PM, Joseph said:

Yes, ma'am,that is me. I am trolling the web to learn as much as I can about mindfulness, and I am looking forward to learning more from you,

 

Take care,

 

Joseph

Wonderful! Thanks Joseph. I look forward to learning from you as well. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Gillian Sanger said:

Thanks for sharing @Gene Williams! This reminds me of something I read in Brené Brown's book 'Daring Greatly'. In it, she differentiates between guilt and shame, explaining that guilt is the feeling 'I did something bad' whereas shame is the feeling 'I AM bad'. Here's a little more from her blog on the topic:

"Based on my research and the research of other shame researchers, I believe that there is a profound difference between shame and guilt. I believe that guilt is adaptive and helpful – it’s holding something we’ve done or failed to do up against our values and feeling psychological discomfort.

I define shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.

I don’t believe shame is helpful or productive. In fact, I think shame is much more likely to be the source of destructive, hurtful behavior than the solution or cure. I think the fear of disconnection can make us dangerous."

https://brenebrown.com/blog/2013/01/14/shame-v-guilt/

I agree with both of you, and thank you for quoting the brilliant Brene Brown. I actually had to opportunity to meet her when she gave a talk in Minneapolis, and she is down-to-earth and just lovely. I always defined guilt to my clients as the nagging feeling you might get after you do something that goes against your values. In this way, it can be useful, because it can keep you from repeating an action that is not helpful (such as stealing a candy bar.) However, holding onto guilt is not productive and a waste of mental energy.

I defined shame similar to Brene, and noted that it is typically a sense of being a bad or even evil person, which is internalized in childhood when the message is given, typically by a care giver, that there is something wrong with the child. The message can be given directly, ("there is something wrong with you, you're an awful child!") or indirectly, such as when a child is a victim of abuse, since a young child is by nature egocentric and doesn't understand that abuse is not his/her fault. 

I believe that shame is the source of addiction and other compulsive behaviors, and that is takes a lot of work to heal, but it is possible. Mindfulness is certainly an excellent strategy since it is about acceptance, letting go of ego-attachments, and living in the moment. I think therapy is usually necessary too, in order to process trauma and incorporate all aspects of one's identity into a healthy self-image. 

Edited by Jo L
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I’m chiming in late but it is interesting that in Buddhism the Pāli word hiri, translated as shame or moral shame, is a good thing. As I understand it, it is a sense of what the community will greet with disapproval. It is sensitivity to what the community views as being harmful and unwholesome. Also viewed as a positive is a form of dread of performing such an unwholesome  act. These are difficult emotions, but the point is that they help to reject unwholesome impulses and to cultivate wholesome ones. With Gene’s background in sociology I’ll bet he appreciates these conditioning factors.

Just as you all are saying, Buddhism also rejects judging a person to be “bad” or evil based on his or her actions.

Much of Buddhist teachings are devoted to developing personal virtues and morality that I understand to transcend this basic sense of shame and dread. These virtues can be summed up as a dedication to non-harming and to expressions of caring like compassion, kindness, and generosity. I’ll bet these are virtues we all value.

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