by: Dr. Brandon Nappi, Founder, Copper Beech Institute
Stress is what led me to mindfulness practice. I was living from one deadline to the next—just trying to get through. I was living for weekends or the next vacation or the next arbitrary time when I thought life would be easier. “If I can just get through this week, I’ll be OK,” was a familiar mantra. When I finally did survive the week, I spent my weekend anxiously awaiting another stressful week or another unpleasant event in the future. Most of my attention, life, and energy was spent was in my head. I was either working (which meant stress, overwhelm, and hardship) or I was relaxing, which was usually a combination of sleeping, eating, staring at screens, and thinking about what to eat next. Discovering mindfulness helped me to notice this pattern and slowly shift how I approach my life.
Life is not binary—it’s not either pleasant or unpleasant; more often, it’s a combination of both. We practice mindfulness because every day is a mixture of pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral. “Stressful days” have moments of joy and delight. “Easy days” have moments of displeasure and angst. There are also many moments that are neutral. Can we show up for all of it? We practice mindfulness because sometimes we’re in the light and sometimes we’re in the tunnel. Life is the steady coexistence of both. No matter where you are and what you are experiencing, the practice is still the same–to stay curious, to show up as fully as you can, to observe the elaborate stories you are creating in your mind, to feel into the body and notice what sensations are arising and departing. Can we trust that we have within us the capacity to meet whatever arrives? The very act of act of paying attention is healing. This is why we practice mindfulness at Copper Beech Institute.
On May 3, Copper Beech Institute hosted a free workshop entitled “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.” This session explored evidence-based mindfulness practice and the “new normal” for which we have an opportunity to create in our lives and communities. Watch this session on our YouTube Channel below:
Be sure to check out more FREE meditation groups from Copper Beech Institue at: https://www.copperbeechinstitute.org/meditation-groups
Dr. Brandon Nappi is a spiritual teacher, speaker, and writer who passionately believes in the capacity of the human spirit to awaken. Inspired by the common wisdom of the world’s spiritual traditions, he has dedicated his life’s work to sharing the transformative power of mindfulness practice. He founded Copper Beech Institute in 2014 and is the institute’s executive director.