Cultivate peace with release
From Tricycle, an online Buddhist magazine, on mindfulness:
Mindfulness means the ability to keep something in mind. On the Buddhist path, it functions in three ways: remembering to stay alert to what you’re doing in the present moment; remembering to recognize the skillful and unskillful qualities that arise in the mind; and remembering how to effectively abandon the qualities that get in the way of concentration, then developing the skillful ones that promote it.
Our Work Together
At a high level, what are the aims of our work together?
Mindfulness develops through practice and it is, ultimately, a lifestyle. The aim of our work together is to begin to create a practice anew or bring clarity or further depth to your existing practice while you continue to cultivate balance in everyday life. If you have an existing practice, our work will focus on filling in the gaps or stabilizing what feels shaky.
What sets our work apart from other places or people you may go to learn meditation or mindfulness?
While mindfulness is the focus, it is critical that we do not ignore who you are, what surrounds you, and how you feel and respond to it. Where challenges arise, we will explore them together as you continue to expand and apply mindfulness in your life. Our challenges, unique to each of us, are a cause of both great suffering and great insight.
Know that cultivating mindfulness is an organic process that is unique to each individual. Even those who live in a monastery, though you may imagine their daily actions are limited and routine on the outside, the journey in their minds looks quite different. It takes time, effort, and a commitment to returning to yourself as your home everyday. Living in modern-day society adds so many layers to this inner journey. Our work together must take this into account.
Our work together is holistic.
However old you are, consider that you’ve spent that many years building a way of thinking and doing. If something doesn’t feel right inside and hasn’t for some time, it likely took many years to develop, often without awareness or, at least, without a clear way of being with it. If you haven’t already, let today mark the beginning of a new path. Let each day hold a small movement or decision toward self-compassion; 1% more courage in your life; 1% closer to greater ease; 1% more toward grace with change. This is a life long journey.
Why are you choosing to practice mindfulness?
My own practice has gone through significant changes as I’ve explored meditation and mindfulness since childhood. As I got older, I often wanted guidance to appear as a clear sign or more obviously as a teacher. In other ways, I was often afraid of being misled or feeling like those offering the teachings were just repeating without understanding. The journey and what “works” is different for each of us. What’s most important is to listen to what feels most right for you. While my own focus is to let go of suffering in my life, this may not be your primary aim. It may be that mindfulness is your route for greater health, more creativity, or a path to working with old or repetitive challenges in your life. Take some time to identify what it means to you.
Objectives and Outcomes:
- Find confidence in developing a regular practice that becomes both a routine and finds application in everyday life
- Solidify your sense of wholeness and home within yourself
- Practice and learn applications for different breathing techniques for release, for healing, for calming/grounding, and, of course, for mindfulness
- Explore questions about meditation and mindfulness as these apply to you, spirituality, and related philosophies
- Work with and learn new approaches to obstacles that arise, both spiritually and in life
I take a practical and, sometimes scientific, approach to facilitating learning and growth. While the core of my approach rests in Buddhist philosophy, what we learn together will be based on your own beliefs and needs.
Arc of Our Work
The arc we will follow together based on meeting once a week looks like this:
- Your M&Ms: Understand your current perspective and relationship with mindfulness and meditation (M&M)
- Foundation: Learn new techniques or ground further into your existing practice
- Discussion: Answer questions about experiences that arise, related approaches or techniques, and related philosophy
- Settling In: Navigating together, we’ll modify or keep your regular practices
- Guided Discovery: I’ll guide you through different meditations based on our work together and your needs
- Growing Self: You’ll discover new insight, new ways of seeing yourself, and deepen your mind/body relationship
- Checking In: I’ll occasionally send check-ins between our sessions together
- Our Future: As you find regularity or balance in your practice, we may choose to change our format together
Tip: Remember CALM
In mindful work, I offer a simple system to reset and remind us to come back from the thinking, doing mind that’s often either in action or vegetation. I call this system “Remember CALM”:
- Remember to practice mindfulness–to de-identify with your thoughts and to turn the wandering, thinking, doing mind back to the self. This is called sati in Buddhism.
- C is for Compassion. This is a practice in and of itself: learn to see your actions and thoughts with less and less judgment and attachment (attachment is also its own little world of things we’ll explore).
- A is for Alertness. Ensure your mind is awake and that there is energy to keep you from falling asleep when you are practicing mindfulness. But sometimes, we just need a nap!
- L is for Listening. Focus your attention, again and again, on the breath and the body, and notice sensations and thoughts that come and go.
- M is for Moment. Be in the moment. Practice letting go of thoughts when you remember to be mindful. Practice not following thoughts. Practice listening. When I sit for meditation, and often during my working day, I’ll say to myself “Let go. Don’t follow. Focus on the breath.”
Rates & Payment
We’ll discuss fees for our work together, but I like to be up front and set expectations. So, here’s what you’ll need to know:
Session Rate: Individual sessions are provided at a rate of $150 USD and range from 1 hour to 1.5 hours.. This allows for both the spiritual work as well as the emotional and psychological work that may arise. This also allows for communication between sessions as on-going engagement enables more depth in your day-to-day practice.
Packaged Rates: How many sessions we set up together at the start will influence this rate. I offer two deals:
- 1 month (4 sessions for $550), or
- 2 months (8 sessions for $1,000)
For these, I ask you to pay up front in the first two weeks.
Sliding Scale and Payment Plan Options: Case-by-case, I offer a sliding scale. I will charge full price for our first full session together, but all subsequent sessions can be subject to our agreed-upon pricing if we determine that we are a fit. I’m also open to different payment schedules in certain cases.
Initial Consultation/Connection: First consultation is up to 1 hour, investigatory, and free. We’ll get acquainted, understand your goals and current practice, and I’ll guide us through a series of questions so we can develop a mutual understanding of our work together.
Insurance: I don’t take insurance. I work independently as a counselor (which means I’m not a licensed therapist) and mindfulness facilitator. (If you can vouch for services that I can coordinate with to accept insurance, let me know!)
Payment Schedules: Unless otherwise agreed upon, I ask you to pay for a session after we’ve met for that session (and before we meet for the following session). If you do not pay 24 hours before the next session without providing sufficient reason, I will cancel our time together for that subsequent session.
No Show: If we set up a time and you do not show up, except for extreme cases, you will be charged.