What is Palouse Mindfulness?
Palouse Mindfulness is a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course. It is “a blend of meditation, body awareness, and yoga: learning through practice and study how your body handles (and can resolve) stress neurologically.”
Why practice mindfulness meditation?
Studies show that one year after a really positive or negative event (winning the lottery or becoming paralyzed) our happiness level goes back to our “normal.” Getting that job, house or relationship won’t change your happiness in the long run. But what can change your happiness is working with your brain structure. By practicing mindfulness we can develop the areas in our brain that help us feel happy.
“The point of meditation is not to stop you from having an emotional response to what’s happening in your life – it’s to avoid responding purely out of habit. Every situation, if you think about it, is an invitation for you to react in a certain way, but being mindful gives you the chance to decide how to RSVP. ”
Scientific proof of its effectiveness has been shown in several studies.
“In 2003, for example, scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison examined a group that included alumni of Kabat-Zinn’s eight-week course, and found that when they received flu shots, the meditators’ immune systems produced more antibodies in response to the vaccine than did the non-meditators’. In a 1998 University of Massachusetts study, patients with psoriasis who meditated while receiving ultraviolet treatments for their skin healed four times faster than the control group – regardless of whether they had any previous meditation training. “
This research summary, shows how mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce symptoms from the following conditions:
- coronary artery disease
- chronic pain
- diabetes (type 1)
- irritable bowel syndrome
- asthma/respiratory disorders
- multiple sclerosis
Check out this TED Talk by Dr. Shauna Shapiro on the power of mindfulness.
There are no hidden fees or materials you need to buy. You don’t have to give any information about yourself to take the course, not even your email. Dave Potter, who put the course together, is just happy to spread this valuable information to as many people as he can.
The course runs over a period of 8 weeks. Each week has some videos and articles to help cover the focus of that week. There are also always additional articles that you can read in each week. The amount of information is vast, but not overwhelming. Rather, it is the perfect amount to make mindfulness a priority instead of adding too much to your plate.
The course is taught in a secular context.
There are no religious beliefs necessary.
The ideas in this course are centered instead around your thoughts. Ideas such as “I don’t have to believe my thoughts,” “I am not my thoughts,” “Thoughts are a reality, but they aren’t true.” are the focus of the course.
Yoga Plays a Big Part
“Yoga is a Sanskrit word that literally means “yoke.” The practice of yoga is the practice of yoking together or unifying body and mind, which really means penetrating into the experience of them not being separate in the first place. ” -Jon Kabat-Zinn, a founder of the MBSR program
Throughout the course, you are given assignments. Sometimes this is a sitting meditation or a body scan, and sometimes it is a mindful yoga session.
So why if yoga a part of this course?
“When you practice the yoga, you should be on the lookout for the many ways, some quite subtle, in which your perspective on your body, your thoughts, and your whole sense of self can change when you adopt different postures on purpose and stay in them for a time, paying full attention from moment to moment. Practicing in this way enriches the inner work enormously and takes it far beyond the physical benefits that come naturally with the stretching and strengthening…” -Jon Kabat-Zinn
They aren’t claiming this program is a quick fix.
I am wary of anything that says it’s a quick fix or a get rich quick technique. This course if far from that. It is expressed several times throughout the course that mindful is a lifelong process that takes dedication and time. “Meditation is a way of being, not a technique.”-Jon Kabat-Zinn
“For meditation, and especially mindfulness meditation, is not the throwing of a switch and
catapulting yourself anywhere, nor is it entertaining certain thoughts and getting rid of others. Nor is it making your mind blank or willing yourself to be peaceful or relaxed. It is really an inward gesture that inclines the heart and mind (seen as one seamless whole) toward a full-spectrum awareness of the present moment just as it is, accepting whatever is happening simply because it is already happening…” -Jon Kabat-Zinn