"Mindfulness, she tells the medical school audience, is the process of actively noticing new things, relinquishing preconceived mindsets, and then acting on the new observations. Much of the time, she says, our behavior is mindless. She recounts one of her favorite anecdotes: “I once went to make a purchase and I gave [the cashier] my credit card and she saw it wasn’t signed.” The cashier asked Langer to sign it, which she did, and the cashier then ran it through the machine. When the receipt was generated, she asked Langer to sign that as well. With the newly signed card in one hand, and the receipt in the other, “[the cashier] then compared the two signatures,” Langer says, with deadpan delivery. She nods, as if counting beats, waiting for the audience to catch up. A moment later, the room rumbles with laughter. Mindlessness blinds us to new possibilities, says Langer, and that is what drove her to study its flip side. Often, researchers in psychology describe what is, she explains.
Whether Pain and Suffering, and the damages associated with them, are irrevocably joined together in the mind and body, or might they be bifurcated to minimize the impact of unpleasant events?
Pain and suffering are two distinct aspects of the human experience. They are generally found accompanying one another, like a body and its shadow. But that connection - the product of a mind conditioned to distract and soothe, as opposed to directly addressing or embracing the unpleasant - can be illuminated through mindful awareness. With such illumination, the suffering ebbs and life is experienced more completely in the present moment.
To answer this question, we will distinguish the inevitable arising of unpleasant events in life and the law from the ways we choose to relate to them. The direct impact of unpleasant events can be termed "pain"
"The Mindful Lawyer: Practices & Prospects for Law School, Bench, and Bar is a national conference that will bring together the pioneers who have been developing programs integrating meditation and contemplative practices with legal education and practice, and others in the legal profession who are interested in exploring this work.
Many law professionals have found that meditation practice has sharpened their legal skills, helped them to manage the stresses of their challenging work, increased their empathy, and deepened their commitment to creating a more just society. The conference will offer a blend of scholarly presentation, practical experience and discussion, and recent developments in neuroscience and psychology relevant to meditation practice. We invite lawyers, law professors, judges, mediators and other dispute resolution professionals, and law students to explore the connections between law and meditation, and to learn and practice meditation."
Practice Makes Permanent: Reactive Thinking and the Promise of Rewiring our Brains Through Mindfulness During Divorce!
Divorce Hardwiring Can Be Toxic, And It Can Be Overcome!
Jennifer Kresge, M.A., L.M.F.T. and attorney Nina Meierding put on an excellent institute at the 2010 AFCC convention in Denver last week entitled "How the Brain Reacts to Conflict." I wanted to share of few of their pointers as they relate to the importance of mindfulness, because considering them might be helpful in dialing back reactivity for people in relationship transition.
But first a seeming digression.
In The Power of Slow Carl Honore says we have become speed junkies who are more concerned with getting tasks done fast than with doing them well or even enjoying them. Honore is a well known journalist who currently lives in England where, he says, they have “speed yoga” and “drive through funerals.” He recommends that we all get in touch with our “inner tortoise” because sometimes slowing down is the only way to get the most out of an activity.
The March, 2010 Shambhala Sun has an article about Mindfulness & Law
“I know that you have a hundred complex cases, Against God in court, But never mind wayfarer Let’s just get out of this mess And pray to be loving and humble….”
- Hafiz, From Translations of Daniel Ladinsky “The Gift: Out of this Mess”
If you are considering or facing a divorce, I invite you to think outside the box. You alone have the ability to define your experiences upon separating your affairs from those of another whom once you loved. Seek out lawyers who aspire to be peacemakers rather than warriors. Destruction is easy: Set a brave new course instead.
How Mindfulness May Protect Your Family in Divorce
The emotional benefits of mindfulness in divorce will not only save and protect you, they may resonate far into the future and save and protect everyone with whom you come in contact - including not just your children (the best reason), but everyone else you meet.
Relationships arise and they disintegrate, just like birth and decay. It would be wonderful if no one divorced, but it would be better if we could all be more mindful when we marry in the first place. Or remarry for that matter.
In these economic times there is good reason for people in divorce to consider mindfulness. Who can afford not to?
Financial Benefits of Mindfulness In Divorce
Financial benefits may be the most immediate but also the least obvious result of a mindfulness practice! In fact no "practice" is required. Mindfulness just challenges us not to go unconscious.
The cost of reactive divorce - that is, any divorce where people are responding with their emotional brains rather than consciously choosing how to feel and behave - is mind boggling.
I am a family law and divorce attorney in Palm Springs, California, and a Masters student of Family Life Education at Loma Linda University. I bumped into Ms. Kellner’s book while investigating resources to support parents involved in custody disputes, in order to help my own clients to make choices that facilitate their childrens’ best interests rather than playing out the natural reactivity of the competing agendas of many divorcing couples.