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Complementary Health Practices

Mindfulness Without Meditation

People meditate for different reasons: to feel calm, to diminish stress or pain, to get through a crisis or to engage in a spiritual practice. We might approach meditation for specific reasons, then discover that we want to attain a different level of consciousness or a deeper, more gratifying state of relaxation. In practicing meditation, we may feel more alert and resourceful in our daily lives.

Many of us have found we can achieve the relaxation and awareness of meditation  through other paths than sitting down to meditate. Walking, swimming, listening to music, or rocking in a rocking chair can all be meditative activities. When we are fully engaged in a creative  task such as art, music, writing, or singing, we often  reach a state of mindfulness. Any time we focus on awareness may be meditative, as the simple act of noticing new things often has the effect of putting us in the present and making us mindful. 

For a more thorough description of mindfulness, see Mindfulness Meditation, an article by Jon Kabat-Zinn. To find out more about the mindfulness meditation and itís role in complementary medicine, see the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society.

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