Reply To: Week 4 Homework Assignment (Mindfulness in Behavioral Health)

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Jennifer Marx

Question 1
I listened to the guided meditation for this. I enjoyed the opening about the breath awareness, and I appreciated how the guide used the actions of moving the breath and the urge in and out of the forefront. I immediately felt more at ease in my head and body physically when listening and following the prompts. I thought this was an interesting way to allow me to control where my focus was. When it got into the visualization of urge surfing, the urge I was feeling was to stop the meditation and go to sleep. It did become interesting to watch the characteristics of the urge in an objective way. I would rate it as effective because I felt more energized after the exercise. If the client and the session allowed it, I would play this meditation for them. Otherwise, I would guide them using the outline you gave us.
Question 2
I listened to the guided meditation of thoughts as leaves in the stream. I thought the intro to this meditation was helpful: thoughts are in the past or the future; stay in the moment and not get wrapped up in thoughts. Physically I felt very relaxed, tired, to the extent that I will try it again later so I can be more alert. It helped a lot with compassion for myself. I felt a sense of curiosity about thoughts, and a subtle sense of being honored to have the ability to be alive and experience any of this. For this one with clients, I would ask about metaphors that work for them and guide them.
Question 3
My experience was that it did very much alleviate suffering: the moment/experience is challenging, but it does end. I also felt a sense of impermanence as meaning: all experiences are impermanent (so neither craving nor aversion are helpful to hold on to)
For myself I think this will manifest in a subtle way; additional calm with client and compassion for myself about not being able to change people’s behaviors or control outcomes to challenges situations.