We are individually and collectively going through a really tough time at the moment. Many of us have some enforced ‘home-time’ and may like to explore how mindfulness and meditation can help manage anxiety and stress.
I hope to introduce you to some of the mindfulness and meditation eResources you can access online with your YPRL membership, and also some general resources that are widely available.
Mindfulness is the type of meditation where you bring your full attention to an object or activity. It has become very popular because we can focus on our actions, thoughts, and reactions as we go about our day.
First off, we have Smiling Mind: Mindfulness Made Easy by Jane Martino and James Tutton. It is available as an audiobook via the ‘BorrowBox’ app. Smiling Mind is full of ideas, advice, useful tips, and fun exercises designed to increase mindfulness and manage anxiety and stress. The Smiling Mind approach began as an app and I will talk more about that later.
Lots of us have our children at home with us all day now; Mindfulness for Mums and Dads: Proven Strategies for Calming Down and Connecting might come in useful! (Available as an eBook via BorrowBox.) Dr Diana Korevaar uses mindfulness practice as a powerful tool to help parents calm down, connect, and reframe the challenges they face, and includes simple mindfulness practices that can be carried out anywhere.
If you would like to dive deeper into a structured course in mindfulness, try the eBook Mindfulness Based Living Course (available via the ‘Libby’ app). This is a self-help version of a popular mindfulness eight-week course, which the authors have taught to hundreds of people. There is also an app available (see below).
Be Mindful With Kate James: the Essentials Collection (a ‘Bolinda’ eAudiobook) is a collection from Kate James – a Melbourne-based coach, meditation teacher, speaker and writer. It is full of easy to digest insights and exercises that will help you bounce back from unexpected challenges and changes, and help you discover more about yourself and what will make you happy. Kate has another ‘Bolinda’ eAudiobook called Create Calm.
Another local author, Rachael Kable, host of the popular podcast The Mindful Kind, shares what she has learned in her eAudiobook (BorrowBox) of the same name. With practical meditations, tips on how to nurture yourself, and personal stories from Rachael and her clients, The Mindful Kind will show you just how powerful mindful living can be.
There is a difference between mindfulness and mediation. Meditation comes from an ancient monastic tradition based on withdrawal from the world. There are many forms of meditation, of which mindfulness is one. Others types of meditation include contemplation and stillness of mind.
Here are a few YPRL eBooks and eAudiobooks on the broader subject of ‘meditation’.
A great introduction to mediation is Hurry Up and Meditate by David Michie (Bolinda eAudiobook). This book explains the nuts and bolts of meditation and of how to integrate this transformational practice into everyday life. His style is very simple and accessible and he brings mediation down to a basic practical level. David Michie has also written novels and some are available in our eLibrary, including The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Four Paws of Spiritual Success, The Art of Purring, The Astral Traveller's Handbook & Other Tales, and The Queen’s Corgi.
The Quiet, by Paul Wilson (‘Bolinda’ eAudiobook) is an easy-to-read book which steers clear of too much dogma and focuses instead on helping readers achieve their own sense of calm. The book centres around something he calls ‘The Quiet Approach’, a little exercise which you do daily, using visual and emotional cues and taking only 13 minutes.
We have a number of eBooks and eAudiobooks (via the ‘Libby’ app) by best-selling author Eckhart Tolle. As well as The Power of Now, we have Practicing the Power of Now, What Is Meditation?, The Art of Presence, and Gateways to Now.
Lastly, The Doctor Who Sat for A Year, by Brendan Kelly (‘Bolinda’ eAudiobook). Can he improve his life by meditating for 15 minutes every day?
I hope this has given you a taster of what YPRL can offer in this difficult time. Stay safe and well!
There are lots of resources online for beginning or continuing a mindfulness or mediation practice. At this point in time, many people will find apps useful and easy to access. All of the apps mentioned below are free, or have basic free content which is still very useful.
Smiling Mind: an Australian-based app, used extensively in schools, with different mindfulness exercises for children, teenagers and adults.
Insight Timer: a gateway to more than 30,000 guided sessions.
Mindfulness Based Living and MBLC-YA (for teens): are apps designed by the people who brought you the Mindfulness Based Living Course book.
Headspace: you can learn the essentials of meditation and mindfulness with the free Basics course. Headspace are also offering some extra meditations for free during the Covid 19 pandemic.
Stop, Think & Breathe: this app has a number of meditations that are completely free. You can fill out a quick survey that leads you to a choice of meditations tailored to your needs on that particular day.
A.M. Library Officer