Deep meditation and spiritual support -- mindfulness -- can help people

February 24, 2011, Springer

The key to dealing with some of the challenges life throws at us - including pain, suffering, illness, grief and loss - is to truly appreciate the positive aspects of our life, and not simply focus on the negative. It is important to acknowledge the setbacks, but equal attention and value need to be given to what is going well. This lesson in living, based on the teachings of Buddha, is given by Karen Hilsberg, from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health in California in the US, in an article published online in Springer's journal, Mindfulness.

Her moving, personal account describes how - or a special kind of awareness that is attentive and warmly engaged with each moment of life - helped her cope with her husband's cancer, and the impact of his illness and death on both herself and her young family. The rigorous practice of mindfulness through daily meditation, weekly Buddhist group (sangha) meetings, and daily deep relaxation helped Hilsberg to be honest and objective about what was happening in her life.

Mindfulness taught her some valuable coping strategies and lessons in living, helping her to put things into perspective and stay grounded in the present. She learned to ask for help from others; she was no longer alone due to the moral and ethical support she received. However seemingly unbearable her experiences were, they would not last.

Karen Hilsberg concludes: "The practice of mindfulness, the teachings and the sangha have encouraged me to continually use the realities of my own life experiences to find peace in the present moment. I have learned for myself that peace does not come from outside conditions, but that my true serenity can only come from within me. And life goes on and on - we are alive and breathing, and this is a miracle."

More information: Hilsberg KR (2011). Lessons in living. Mindfulness. DOI 10.1007/s12671-011-0051-8

Related Stories

Recommended for you

College roommates underestimate each other's distress, new psychology research shows

February 19, 2018
College roommates are sensitive to their roommates' distress but tend to underestimate the level of distress being experienced by others, finds a newly published study from New York University psychology researchers.

Brainwaves show how exercising to music bends your mind

February 18, 2018
Headphones are a standard sight in gyms and we've long known research shows listening to tunes can be a game-changer for your run or workout.

New approaches in neuroscience show it's not all in your head

February 16, 2018
Our own unique experiences shape how we view the world and respond to the events in our lives. But experience is highly subjective. What's distressing or joyful to one person may be very different to another.

Link between hallucinations and dopamine not such a mystery, finds study

February 16, 2018
Researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) and New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) found that people with schizophrenia who experience auditory hallucinations tend to hear what they expect, ...

People find comfort listening to the same songs over and over, study finds

February 16, 2018
With the frequency that some people play their favorite song, it's a good thing vinyl records aren't used often because they might wear out.

Ketamine found to reduce bursting in brain area reducing depression quickly

February 15, 2018
A team of researchers at Zhejiang University in China has found that the drug ketamine reduces neuronal bursting in the lateral habenula (LHb) brain region, reducing symptoms of depression in rodent models. In their paper ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

fbas
not rated yet Feb 24, 2011
Is this a news article or an advertisement for Buddhism and TM?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.