Techniques for meditation are many and so diverse that to choose the right one can sometimes be overwhelming.
Mindfulness is a meditation technique that draws from the Buddhist tradition and is in a way a return to our natural wisdom. It has proven to be very successful, to the extent that it is used in psychotherapy as adopted clinical practice.
Mindfulness helps us to be in the present with whatever is happening in and around us. It is unique by not aiming to change our state, but to being unconditionally present just by observing our thoughts and feelings without judging.
It is recommended to use mindfulness or other meditation techniques every day to create a habit. It is important to learn and practice individually, but shared experiences in group sessions, in my opinion are the fastest way to learn and grow.
People instinctively gravitate towards groups, and feeling supported by others who share similar concern/goal and being in a safe environment is conductive to learning and transformation. Also, people love supporting and helping others with issues that they have already experienced. A trained and experienced facilitator/therapist knows how to use group dynamics and support individual sharing and self-renewal.
I work with a lot of unique therapists when creating retreats on Bali, but the one that touched my heart and with whom I created a special connection is Cathirose Petrone.
Cathirose Petrone is a US born naturopath and psychotherapist whose unique retreat I attended in November 2013 in Bali. Here is a snippet of an interview with her a to explain why she uses mindfulness when treating clients or doing retreats:
Gekko Retreats: Your training and numerous years of practice as a psychotherapist speak about your life long dedication to work with people and coach them to healing. What made you expand your classical medical training and practice to mindfulness?
Cathirose: After having studied Buddhist psychology, I developed an interest in mindfulness.
I then decided to do research and write a book about mindfulness for healthcare professionals that would provide fundamental information, including scientifically based evidence, for the use of mindfulness in clinical practice.
During the year it took to write the book, I made a commitment to practice mindfulness in my own personal life as an experiment. I had been a concentration-based meditator for numerous years.
The yearlong experiment was life changing. I learned first-hand the value of mindfulness practice and find it to be an essential foundation for my work and life.
Gekko Retreats: You wrote a clinical guide to mindfulness called Mindfulness and Healing: A Clinician’s Guide.How have your clients reacted to mindfulness?
Cathirose: At first, many people are concerned they will not be able to do it “right”. When they learn that mindfulness is simply being present as the observer, with compassion, acceptance, and non-judgment, and that there is no “right” or “wrong”, they are excited to get started.
Gekko Retreats: Tell us a bit about how you incorporate mindfulness on retreats you conduct in Bali?
Cathirose: Retreat practice recognizes importance of setting aside dedicated time and space, away from everyday life, to focus on self-exploration and discovery.
I believe that there are many doorways through which we can walk as we seek to remember our innate wholeness, whether from a mind, body, or spirit perspective.
As such, my team and I incorporate techniques from brain rewiring, to empathic communication, to integral somatics and mindfulness practice.
Gekko Retreats: What makes you happy?
Cathirose: What a great question. Happy is a primary feeling, as are sadness, fear, and anger. These occur as natural responses to our human experience. As with most people, the feeling of happiness can be elicited by so many things.
To me, what is more interesting is how research shows that feelings only last 4 minutes or less when they are simply and mindfully observed and felt. Feelings transform into emotions, or states of being, based upon a combination of thoughts, history, physiology, environment, and social and cultural conditioning.
When we mindfully experience our feelings, we are able to create the space to consciously choose how we allow feelings to evolve.
Iva Tarle is a former diplomat, Public Relations expert and explorer of spirituality and culture. Iva has been living on Bali since 2012 and founded Gekko Retreats – not only a booking site but a growing retreat community, where she promotes and builds retreats in collaboration with wellness experts, therapists and artists.
You can find out more about their diverse retreats and therapies used at their website. Ask for guidance in choosing the retreat that would be most beneficial to you at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Iva: Twitter | Facebook