Mindful Meditation for Beginners:
Life Happens by Cheryl Rezek

In this short review I'll run briefly through what Dr Cheryl Rezek provides in her book and audio resource entitled "Life Happens", which is:

  • a simple guide to mindful meditation for beginners

  • an understanding of mindfulness generally

  • all backed up with clear and concise explanations of the psychological reasons we are as we are

A simple, practical guide

If you are looking for a simple, practical guide to mindful mediation and stress reduction, Cheryl Rezek's book and audio combination will almost certainly be of help. Cheryl takes you simply and calmly through understanding how you have come to feel the way you feel, and to be the way you are - but wastes no time in this slim volume delving into all of that.

Rather, what she does is to help you to understand that your childhood and adult past had effects on you, but does not suggest that you have to dwell there.

Instead, she gently encourages you through a series of “work choices” to develop your ability to be in the here-and-now, a practice known as mindfulness, which neuroscientists have demonstrated calms the over-excitable stress centres of the brain and helps us to be much calmer. Once in this state, your thoughts and feelings become clearer, and therefore easier to deal with.

This is the promise of Cheryl's book.

I must admit that on first reading, I found this book deceptively simple.

Mind you, I was sitting in the middle of a Buddhist festival at the time, and as I'm sure youknow, Buddhists and other eastern wisdom traditions invented mindfulness thousands of years ago, as a path to enlightenment.

(c) Tropewell, with thanks

An accessible, fluff-free approach

Cheryl doesn't promise you enlghtenment - indeed, part of her unique selling point is that she steers away from both the spiritual and the more touchy-feely aspects of personal growth that many people prefer to avoid - but instead reformulates the techniques for the stressed and harried western worker with little time to ponder the meaning of life, but with a definite need for calmness.

She takes you step by gentle step through a very accessible, simple set of practices that can be easily integrated into daily life. Followed as a learning programme, these will help you develop the habits of stillness, and attention to the breath, the body, your thoughts and feelings in any given moment in time. Learning and practicing these habits will create mental and emotional space in your life, so that you can deal with you life – which as the title says, “happens” whether you like it or not.

Simple and profound

What Cheryl emphasises is that being mindful is about tuning in to your life, not out of it - it's not an escape from reality, but rather a gentle and calming way of accepting your reality. And, once you do that, dealing with it starts to become a little easier. In the long run, as many long-term practitioners of meditation and now science as well will tell you, it may become much easier.

But simple though the book may at first appear (and mindfulness really is simple – it's just not particularly easy, at least to start with), what it offers you can be as profound as you choose to make it – particularly if you make good use of the various guided meditations that Cheryl provides, in her calming, steady voice. If you are the sort of person that needs a structure to develop a new habit – and that would be most of us – then this set of resources can amply fill that role.

If you are new to mindful mediation, or you don't necessarily want to commit to a “proper” mediation practice, Cheryl's approach leaves room for that too, in that you can dip in and out of the audios, finding which one's work best for you at particular times and making the most of them, replaying them again and again. This is where you find the fullest value in this set of resources, by actively engaging with the audios and integrating them into your life.

A popular approach

Cheryl's approach is popular with people seeking an approach that blends the best of psychological insights with the mindfulness meditation techniques proven over thousands of years (and more recently, via numerous scientific studies) to reduce stress and increase clarity.

She gives workshops around the UK and Ireland, and is at Cortijo Romero in Spain in August 2012 – check the link in the right column for more details.

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For more words of wisdom check out this interview with Life Coach Maggie Whitelely

Forthcoming at Cortijo Romero...

The Dragon's Treasure *STAR PRICE*
with Fiona Primarolo & Rebecca Faro (Cardy)
Jul 21 - 28
Unfold your wings and fly into a creatively renewed life! *STAR PRICE

Write For Life *STAR PRICE*
with Diane Samuels
Jul 28 -
Aug 4
Insight, growth and creative exploration! *STAR PRICE*

Life Happens

.. It’s how you deal with it that counts

With Dr Cheryl Rezek

From Saturday Aug 04, 2012 to Saturday Aug 11, 2012