Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

The purpose of this blog and the entire website is to provide evidence-based information on how to live a vibrant, meaningful life while living with chronic health challenges or other life challenges.

Every Tuesday I post a new, very brief video from my presentations or interviews. Every Friday this Q&A column appears.

Here is this week’s question:

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Is it necessary to meditate in order to practice mindfulness?

ANSWER: Although formal sitting meditation as practiced in vipassana or Zen is extremely helpful, it is not the only path. There are many practices that require one to be fully present while practicing. Zen archery (Kyudo) is one of many martial arts where the goal is not to win or to achieve an award. Rather, the goal is to be fully present while practicing. Any practice that is approached with the goal of being fully present can serve as an excellent mindfulness practice. Aikido sensei George Leonard referred to this as mastery of practice.

Practicing ZenArcheryThis website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges or issues related to wellbeing. 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 living a life of mindfulness-based mastery or about the relationship between the mind and health or wellbeing? Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box below. An answer to your specific question may not appear in this column. The reason for that is I wait until I get a certain number of related questions, then I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one. People in my College of Marin classes and my other presentations asked most of the questions appearing in this column.