Mindfulness/Contemplative Practices

Mindfulness and Contemplative Meditation Training

Dr. Anderson offers individual instruction and group workshops and retreats on mindfulness meditation and contemplative prayer/meditation. He has maintained a personal practice of meditation for over 40 years, and loves nothing more than sharing some of these beneficial practices with others. He has been trained to facilitate mindfulness meditation from the Mindful Awareness Research Center at the UCLA School of Medicine, and is studying in the Shalem Institute’s program on leading contemplative prayer groups and retreats. 

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness has been defined as the process of paying attention to present moment experiences, on purpose, without judgment, but with curiosity, openness, and a willingness to be with your current experience (with “what is” for you right now). Mindfulness meditation is one approach to achieving this present moment awareness. Research has shown that the regular practice of mindfulness meditation can result in a number of benefits including:

     • Stronger mental focus (clarity, concentration, attention);
     • Ability to stay calmer under stress;
     • Better memory; and
     • More concern and caring for others (compassion)

Dr. Anderson offers instruction (individual and group) in mindfulness meditation, which might also include specialized topics such as:

     • Mindfulness and leadership;
     • Mindfulness and stressful thinking;
     • Mindfulness and difficulty emotions;
     • Mindful communication; and
     • Mindfulness and compassion

Contemplative Prayer/Meditation

Nearly every religion or faith tradition has practices that relate to going into silence, “being still”, or turning inward for strength and peace, although religions vary in terms of how much they emphasize these practices. Dr. Anderson has a special interest in furthering the Christian prayer/meditation tradition known as contemplative prayer.

Contemplative prayer is an ancient form of Christian silent prayer or meditation where there is an intention to consent to the presence and action (or will) of God in the present moment and in our lives. According to contemplative prayer expert Father Thomas Keating, “Contemplative prayer is the development of one’s relationship with Christ to the point of communing beyond words, thoughts, or feelings. It is the opening of mind and heart — one’s whole being — to God. Contemplative prayer is a process of interior transformation.”

Dr. Anderson is available to lead group workshops and retreats on contemplative prayer, which may include one or more of these forms of this ancient practice:

     • Centering Prayer—praying using a sacred word;
     • Lectio Divina—praying with scripture;
     • Body prayer—praying using the body;
     • Praying using Christian icons;
     • Praying using sounds, music, chants; or
     • Praying using nature.