About Enliven Meditation
Enliven Meditation seeks to bring the practice of mindfulness meditation to individuals and groups in order to allow them to savour their lives, find greater contentment, and self-compassion. It aims to do so in a manner that meets them where they are and is adjusted based on their specific needs. Another purpose is to build community by bringing together individuals interested in the path of mindfulness.
The style of mindfulness meditation that is taught is evidence-based, drawing on modern psychotherapy models that have helped many with issues ranging from anxiety, depression, pain management, addictions, relationship issues, ADHD, insomnia, and freedom from unhelpful patterns. Because Sarah has training as a Registered Clinical Counsellor, she is able to choose meditation practices that act as an adjuct to therapy, taught with sensitivity to trauma and other mental health concerns. And for those without mental health concerns per se, but who want to live with more responsiveness rather than reactivity and more vitality, she is able to use what she has learned about health behaviour adoption to aide in their self-development journeys.
Neuroscience is now demonstrating how meditation affords us the capacity to train our minds to change our brains. We inherited brain structures through our evolutionary history which are well adapted to allow us to survive, but not necessarily to thrive. Conscious training of the mind allows structures in the brain associated with wisdom and compassion to build and increase in size and density.
Believing that strengths from different systems can be woven into a whole that is larger than the sum of its parts, Sarah teaches in an integrative manner. She draws on her knowledge of Western Psychology that she gained through her two Master’s degrees in Psychology, as well as 10 years of inquiry into contemplative Eastern disciplines including Iyengar and Hatha yoga, and Therevadan Vipassana.
She is a lover of the big questions in life, paradox, and ambiguity. She is humbled and in awe of by the beauty and resilience of the spirits she gets be in dialogue with through her work. To learn more about Sarah, click here
Mindfulness builds awareness – Awareness precedes choice. Making the unconscious conscious can lead to greater freedom.
Mindfulness also enhances our connection
to ourselves : it carves time to go inward, to be able to observe messages that can guide us to make wise choices. It is an act of self-care that nurtures and heals from within.
to others : our presence with others deepens, we are less distracted and more attuned. We can listen better.
to our environment : we can feel more connected to seasons changing and to our surroundings when we slow down and pay attention to the present moment through our senses.
It allows for greater savouring – we become more aware of subtleties which brings a sense of wonder, freshness, and vitality.
It has a variety of health benefits – well designed studies have demonstrated the health benefits of mindfulness practice. It has been shown to reduce stress, improve sleep, enhance mood, decrease the perception of pain, and enhance immune system functioning.
It also builds self-compassion and the ability to be kinder to ourselves and others. Almost everyone in the West is hard on themselves. It’s built into the culture of competition and comparison. We practice at softening and we come to accept ourselves more.
Mindfulness enhances emotion regulation – by learning to step back and watch our moods, emotions, we can come to be less emotionally reactive, and more calm in the face of adversity.
It builds cortical density in middle prefrontal cortex – by going to the gym for our mind we build our attentional muscle and essentially change our brain through training our mind. It also builds integration in the brain, increasing the balancing of right and left hemisphere functioning which allows for more wisdom.
That said, meditation practice is not a panacea! It will not cure every ill we have. Even those who have meditated for decades still at times become reactive. It is a slow and subtle process that doesn’t remove difficulty from life, but changes our relationship to it. It is not a quick fix. Just like any skill, such as playing the guitar, we must be diligent and patient to notice subtle differences that add up over time. Many people who have meditated a long time say they feel greater inner peace but as the Buddha, the early empiricist, said "Don't believe anything I say, try it for yourself!"
Located in Duncan, BC meet like-minded people
Teaching groups over 6 weeks in Nanaimo and Duncan, BC