Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, defines it in the following way in his book, Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment — and Your Life (Boulder, CO: Sounds True, 2011):
“Mindfulness is awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a sustained and particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally. It is one of the many forms of meditation, if you think of meditation as any way in which we engage in 1) systematically regulating our attention and energy, 2) thereby influencing and possibly transforming the quality of our experience, 3) in the service of realizing the full range of our humanity, and of 4) our relationship to others and the world.”
Foundational attitudes that support and strengthen mindfulness include curiosity, kindness, gratitude and generosity, acceptance, nonjudging, nonstriving, letting be, patience, humor, trust, and a beginner’s mind.
Researchers have documented the benefits of mindfulness in several areas: 1) symptom reduction (reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms, improvement in quality-of-life outcomes among cancer patients, etc.), 2) improvements in biological markers (changes in cortisol measures in those with high stress levels, etc.), and 3) neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change in response to life circumstance and learning).
The University of Miami Libraries offers introductory mindfulness sessions for health and well-being. These 45-minute online sessions introduce the fundamentals of mindfulness meditation and movement with periods of guided practice and opportunities for reflection and questions. Practices are based on the four foundations of mindfulness: 1) mindfulness of the body, 2) mindfulness of feeling tones, 3) mindfulness of the mind, and 4) mindfulness of what arises when we practice (hindrances, etc.).
4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Registration is required.
Spring Semester sessions will begin on January 19, 2022. Sessions will be offered weekly — with the exception of Spring Break — through April 27, 2022.
The sessions are led by Kelly Miller, a Certified Mindfulness Teacher (MMTCP) and Associate Dean in the UM Libraries, and Professor Scott Rogers, Director of the University of Miami School of Law’s Mindfulness in Law Program, and Gisele Rocha, a Certified Yoga Teacher (RYT® 200) and Manager in UM Libraries’ Creative. Guest teachers are also occasionally invited. Together with Librarian for Nursing and Health Sciences, Vera Spika, Kelly and Scott established the “Mindfulness at Richter” series in 2017, and have been offering mindfulness sessions ever since.
The University of Miami Libraries is actively developing its selection of mindfulness resources available online. Browse a curated selection of e-books and audiobooks, and explore the catalog and public health databases for more options, including current research on mindfulness.
For questions, please contact Kelly Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org)