Friday, December 07, 2007

Wow! Exams, Holidays! Take a deep breath....

In law libraries across the country, students are stressing and sometimes expressing -- right at the library staff, who seem like a safe target to take out one's frustration with a law prof or situation. We try to be supportive, offering candy, earplugs, and sympathy. But it kind of takes it out of you to get yelled at, especially when it's for policies or situations beyond your control.

So, for all those library staff who are getting beat on, ...
For all those students who are nearing the end of their rope, ...
and for all those folks who are having to juggle extra duties to get ready for holidays, parties, family visits, ...

Take a deep breath, and let it out slowly

Here are some sites with mindful meditation techniques. Mindful meditation seems to be rooted in a number of different traditions. I find it discussed at Buddhist sites, Christian sites, and health support, stress-relief sites. It can be sitting quietly with the mind as empty, yet present, as possible. It can also take the very portable form of concentrating fully on any task, from eating a single raisin, to brushing your teeth, to walking.

Women's Heart Foundation, Living with Mindfulness: This is a completely non-sectarian site, aimed at helping women relieve stress and promote their health. But it's certainly helpful to any gender. Very accessible suggestions, and very practical.

Shambhala Sun "How to do Mindful Meditation": A Buddhist author, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, explains the methods.

4MindfulnessMeditation: Another non-sectarian site. Beware, they pop up an offer of a free book when you go, but you can close the window and read this very helpful page. I include it in spite of the annoying pop-up, because they have a very nice explanation of the way to bring your wandering mind back to the meditative practice -- with "friendliness," and gently.

Beliefnet, "Moment of Calm", a general spirituality and health site, offering a guided 10 minute meditaton, with a gentle voice leading you, and a cycle of images that offer Buddhist temples, and gentle landscapes.

And last, because I love the show, Eric in the Evening, at WGBH FM public radio station in Boston, a nightly jazz show that is webcast once a week, at Scroll down and look for Eric in the Evening, though their other jazz show is also good, and shorter, and they have lots of other good music. Eric just starts his show with a lovely piece, and goes on to lots of mostly cool jazz.

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