For meditation resources local to the Houston area, go here.
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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Programs
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., created the first MBSR clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and it was so successful that it’s been replicated all over the country. We attended an 8-week MBSR program taught by Micki Fine in Houston, TX, and it launched us into a whole new world. This was our first training in mindfulness and mindfulness-based meditation. What a spectacular program for mental, emotional, and physical health! You can search for programs in your area here.
Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.
This book not only provides an excellent introduction to the practice of mindfulness and mindfulness meditation, but also outlines the program of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and teaches a variety of meditation techniques. The life-changing 8-week mindfulness and meditation course that my husband and I took in Houston was based on this program. It’s a great book!
ZenHabits.net by Leo Babauta
If you’d like a couple of doses of mindfulness a week served to your Feedly or email inbox, Leo’s blog is a great resource. He demonstrates how to apply these ideas to daily life.
In addition to the MBSR Course and the book Full Catastrophe Living detailed above, I recommend the following resources for learning meditation:
Silence and Stillness in Every Season: Daily Readings with John Main edited by Paul Harris
If you’re interested primarily in the spiritual side of meditation and want to explore the Christian meditation tradition, this book is very good. It offers basic instruction in one kind of meditation, using the prayer phrase maranatha. It encourages you in daily practice with short selections from the writings of Benedictine monk John Main. I practiced this meditation almost exclusively for a year, and it changed my life.
The Method of Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating
This is a brief pamphlet guide (in PDF form) on the kind of Christian meditation or contemplative prayer known as Centering Prayer. It outlines each step and explains some background information. This way of praying has enriched my relationship with God immeasurably.
Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life by Keri Wyatt Kent
Kent teaches a form of Christian meditation without ever calling it by that name. She uses the term “breathing exercise.” No matter the words used, these techniques develop your ability to live in the present moment. Kent writes primarily to mothers who are feeling out of breath from life’s demands.
Guided Meditations by Micki Fine
On this page you’ll find 3 CDs of guided meditations for purchase. Micki Fine was our first teacher, and she really does a great job with these recordings. I used these for several months before I felt confident enough to go solo.
Meditate — Meditation Timer App
You can set bells to ring at custom intervals, time your meditations, and track your accumulated meditation hours over time. The basic app is free, but I recommend purchasing the upgraded bell tones for a more beautiful experience.
Ten Minutes to Relax: Experience the Love Response by Eva M. Selhub, M.D.
I love these relaxation exercises! They are unusually powerful. Two of the three 10-minute techniques incorporate healing color, sometimes called “divine light,” which really makes a positive difference for me. While I don’t believe that relaxation can substitute for a meditation practice, it’s an important part of any effort to improve health and quality of life.(I learned about this CD through the Pelvic Health and Physical Therapy Center in Houston.)
HeartMath emWave Desktop
This is an at-home biofeedback program measuring heart rate variability (HRV). My husband uses it at work to calm his mind and body and bring them into a higher-functioning state, and I have used it to track my physiology during meditation. This is quite a powerful tool.