I received this book for free to review from the Speakeasy blogging book review network.
I am excited to share my review of Mind Your Life: How Mindfulness Can Build Resilience and Reveal Your Extraordinary by Meg Salter.
As an Integral Master Coach™ and Executive Coach, Meg brings a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to how people develop that supports transformational learning in my clients. As a Mindfulness Coach, Meg has trained with many senior teachers and practiced meditation since 1995, gaining profound experience while pursuing a career and raising children. Learn more about Meg at Meg Salter.
I practice Centering Prayer. I was curious about what I might learn about mindfulness so I decided to peruse this book. Let me share what I found interesting.
Why Practice Mindfulness?
“A hot topic of research, mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, improve overall well-being, re-wire the brain for focus and foster empathy and positive relationships”
“How do you prevent constant stress from becoming distress? How do you connect to your own inner voice in the midst of demands for 24/7 availability?”
I also find that my centering prayer practice reduces my stress, helps me to better focus during the day and slows me down so I consciously take the time to listen to others: foster empathy and maintain better relationships with others.
My centering prayer practice connects me to my Inner Voice both during my silent sits and during the active parts of my day. My Inner Voice is God within me who is delighted to be my constant companion and life long partner!
What Is Mindfulness?
“Conceptually, mindfulness means paying attention to what’s happening in the present moment in the mind, body and external environment, with an attitude of curiosity and kindness.”
Mindfulness practices help one to walk through life in this manner. I have found that my centering prayer practice also helps me to be more fully present with an attitude of curiosity and kindness.
Centering prayer slows me down and helps me to better focus and embrace the present moment as it is without judgement.
Fruits of Mindfulness
“I am more comfortable with ambiguity, able to rest in that creative space of possibility between the old and the new.”
“Meditation has been what makes life beautiful, robust and meaningful.” These are comments by an interviewee within the book.”
“A central claim of mindfulness is that it improves concentration and focus.”
“Resilience muscles that you build while meditating become strong enough to kick in naturally in daily life, when the stakes are high and you need them the most.”
“By developing greater moment-by-moment awareness, we tap in to new possibilities.”
All of these are wonderful fruits that I have also seen within my everyday life as a result of my centering prayer practice.
“I will provide clear instruction on a range of techniques, giving you ample opportunity to pick those that appeal to you.”
Meg shares a plethora of techniques: Feel-See-Hear, Noting, Just Feel, Just See, Just Hear, Note Everything, Focus Out, Focus In, Focus on Rest, Focus on Flow.
I was a bit overwhelmed by all of the practices mentioned and will need a second run through the book to hone in on the one or two that might appeal to me.
“All mindfulness teachers—indeed all spiritual leaders—say the way to judge the efficacy of your practice is by looking to the long-term effects on your life.”
I feel the same way about centering prayer. A twice per day centering prayer practice kept up daily, weekly, monthly, yearly will transform you as you continue to open to the presence and actions of the Divine within.
I encourage you take a look at this book if you wish to learn more about mindfulness and its wonderful long term benefits on your mental and physical health.
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I am currently taking on clients for Centering Prayer One on One Coaching sessions. I am happy to setup weekly, bi-weekly or monthly sessions with you over the phone or skype to help you go deeper into your centering prayer practice and integrate it into your daily life. Contact me for more information. The first session is 1/2 off.
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Contemplative Perspectives: Frameworks for the Divine: With the historic practice of The Jesus Prayer as a jumping off point, we explore the experiential aspects of the Purgation/Illumination/Union path of Christian Mysticism.
I am currently reading The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message by Cynthia Bourgeault and The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is by N. T. Wright.
The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself. It is based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message .
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. It is based on his book Simply Jesus. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
This course is a short course based on Prof. N.T. Wright’s latest book, Simply Good News. Tom Wright will guide you through the chapters of his book through videos that suggest what some of the main points are. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. You will be brought into their world in order to make more sense of what ‘good news’ means in our world.
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks – This is a great way to listen to books with your cell phone while you drive, walk or relax at home. I frequently listen in my car during my commute to and from work. I’m a proud affiliate.
David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.
Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to. (Based upon his book, Christian Meditation.)