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Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

larry-berkelhammer_hs1This question & answer column is for people living with chronic health challenges and their family caregivers, who want to learn to increase the odds of improving their health by learning to live with mastery & wellbeing.

I invite you to post your questions in the comments box below. When I get a certain number of related questions, I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one.

I post to this blog three times per week. Monday posts are relevant published articles. Wednesday posts are interviews—mostly video. Friday posts consist of questions about living better with chronic health challenges, and my answers to them.

Here is today’s question:

QUESTION:

Many people have told me over the years that they can’t meditate because their minds wander too much. Some want to know if there’s an easier way to meditate.

ANSWER:

I have been meditating since 1972 and my mind still wanders all over the place. The difference is that I have gradually become more skilled at recognizing when my mind wanders and I am better able to return to my object of focus. Although my mind sometimes still wanders off for long periods, I no longer berate myself for being a bad meditator.

It took me many years initially to make any progress because I kept trying to master mindfulness and would get frustrated and quit for a time when my concentration didn’t seem to be improving.

“In order to achieve mastery in any endeavor, we must become masters of practice”George Leonard (aikido master)

A master of practice is someone who practices just for the sake of practicing as opposed to someone who practices to achieve an end goal.  

According to Jon Kabat-ZinnJon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), the practice of mindfulness has been found to help develop a strong sense of mastery and self-efficacy.

Also see my August 2nd Q&A Ask Dr. B. post.

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about how to live better with chronic health challenges that are related to the relationship between states of mind and health? 

Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box. I will post a reply to your comment, but your question may not appear in this column. 

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