Suchness and Mindfulness by Ed Glauser, M.Ed., N.C.C., LPC

November 21, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Posted in Adolescents, Insomnia, Migraine Headaches, Mind Body Medicine, Mindfulness, Pain Management, Pain Relief, Self-Regulation, Sleep Health, Stress Management, Trauma, Underserved Youth | 1 Comment

The word “suchness” has become one of the most helpful words I have used to deepen the practice of mindfulness and to heal areas of distress not only for myself but also in my clinical psychotherapy practice with clients. Saying the word, “suchness” immediately takes the edge off the pain and suffering I may be feeling at the time, and allows for a kinder, accepting approach to any distress I may be encountering.

I have found that saying, “this is the suchness of my present moment experience” creates ease and peace, which are useful resources to draw upon when I feel any kind of mental or physical distress. Suchness goes to the very root of mindfulness practice. The essence of mindfulness is being in the present moment, accepting what is in the present moment, knowing it is temporary, and that we are much more than our present moment experience. It is an experience of non-judgment, acceptance, kindness, compassion, and allowing for what is to come next.

Suchness creates an ideal space to just experience what Martin Buber calls the, “I and Thou,” or in more Buddhist terms, the experience of “equanimity,” where we can be in relationship to the present moment with an experience of fullness, awe, appreciation, and gratitude.

When I am counseling my clients, I do my very best to accept the suchness of their way of being, their unique experience of their issues of concern, and engender acceptance, ease, and warmth with them in each moment. The energy of suchness then creates the conditions for healing, space, and freedom for my clients to tap into their own self-healing resources.

So the next time you are aware of a mental or physical distress, you may consider saying, “this is the suchness of my present moment experience.” You may then want to breathe in and out while being aware of all the temporary mental and physical formations for a few minutes, returning to each moment with the experience of the suchness of the present moment, and allowing the healing to begin anew. In this way, we are bringing a refreshingly open attitude to the infinite creative and healing possibilities of the present moment in service of our highest good.

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(with contributing editors Heather Butts, JD, MPH, MA, Larry Cammarata, Ph.D., and  Linda Cammarata, RN, RYT)


Self-Soothing, Part 2: A Mindful Practice for Health & Wellness Linda Cammarata, RN, RYT Consultant, Contributing Editor

November 13, 2013 at 12:53 am | Posted in Insomnia, Mind Body Medicine, Mindfulness, Pain Management, Self-Regulation, Sleep Health, Stress Management | 4 Comments

 self soothing part 2 pic

Self-soothing practices to consider:

  • Maintain an attitude of gentleness in your communication. Practice this gentle manner of communication with yourself and especially with those you are closest to in your life. This is a method of emotional regulation, which supports and balances your moods.
  • Participate in mindful movement classes like yoga and qigong. Learn how slow movements can help you to self-soothe and enhance your health and energy.
  • Along with movement classes, if possible, receive regular therapeutic massages.
  • Ventilate your thoughts, emotions, and actions by taking a 20-30 minute walk everyday. Walk by yourself or with another person who embodies compassion. A compassionate, caring presence (internally or in relationship to another) can create conditions for greater ease and acceptance that support self-soothing.
  • After taking a shower or bath, take time to rub your entire body with a favorite natural oil or cream. You can add your favorite soothing aromatherapy to the oil or cream to deepen your relaxation. Feel and enjoy the texture of your skin, notice the contours of your body, and relax into this ritual with slow deep breaths.
  • Nourish your body with healthy foods. Over time, you will begin to notice your body’s response to healthier food choices. Eat a fresh green salad loaded with your favorite vegetables and notice how soothing this feels to your body. Look at the colors and textures, taking time to experience the scent of your food prior to ingesting.
  • Take time out to connect with others by rubbing the back of your child, spouse, partner, or friend. As you relax, notice how the other person begins to relax. This practice is especially necessary if you have not grown up with healthy, safe touch as part of your daily life. We need more of this connection in life to enhance self-soothing. Why wait when you can begin self-soothing today!


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(with contributing editors Heather Butts, JD, MPH, MA, Larry Cammarata, Ph.D., and  Ed Glauser, M.Ed., N.C.C., LPC)


Mindfulness and Adolescents, Part 2 in a 4-Part Series By Heather M. Butts, JD, MPH, MA

November 7, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Adolescents, Mind Body Medicine, Mindfulness, Self-Regulation, Sleep Health, Underserved Youth | Leave a comment
Heather Butts, J.D., MPH, MA

Heather Butts, J.D., MPH, MA

As I stated in Part 1 of this 4-part series, I spend a great deal of time working with at-risk youth in New York City.  Much of my time is spent trying to think of inventive ways to keep these young people engaged given all of the external and internal distractions that they face. Most of the young people that I work with come from very difficult home lives, do not have an intact family, or have environmental influences that make their ability to lead healthy, productive lives quite challenging. In an age where bullying, depression, anxiety, and suicide are major health issues for all young adults, but particularly at-risk, underserved youth, there is an increasing focus by the medical and healthcare community on finding solutions to what ails this population.  One of the culprits, especially for young adults, may be a lack of mindfulness coupled with dwelling on the “negative.”  This blog post will address that through looking at the work of clinical psychologist and mindfulness educator Larry Cammarata, Ph.D.  According to author Stephen S. Ilardi, Ph.D., in his book The Depression Cure, “rumination appears to be an instinctive human response when something goes wrong.  It is as if we’re hard wired to replay our recent trials and tribulations over and over again in the mind’s eye.  But some people stay at it long past the point when enough is enough” (pp. 92-93). According to Ilardi, this can make individuals less active, depressed, and ultimately withdrawn. This is key as we think about mindfulness as a potential solution to some of the mental health issues plaguing young adults.

In a recent panel discussion on the L.E.A.R.N for Life Consulting, LLC radio show entitled Stable, Focused, and Open: Mindfulness for Teens (, Larry Cammarata, Ph.D. spoke to the role mindfulness can play with youth ages 15-24 who are at risk for mental health issues, stating, “mindfulness can be a skill that can reduce depression, isolation, and self-denigration.”  Referencing psychologist Daniel Goleman, Cammarata spoke about how mindfulness can support emotional intelligence, “…meaning empathy and motivation, self-awareness and self-regulation.” Cammarata quoted Jon Kabat-Zinn’s (1994) definition of mindfulness as, “…paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally” (p. 4), and stated that for adolescents, the, “ABCs of mindfulness” – attitude (patience, openness, intellectual curiosity), body awareness, and concentration, are particularly important.

Cammarata expanded on his thoughts with me in a one-on-one discussion talking about why he finds mindfulness such an effective tool for young people. Those working with adolescents were reminded to take note of the wide range of focusing ability in this population. Cammarata encouraged practitioners to “start really slowly” utilizing “small chunks of times” in the beginning but to watch for adolescents with “excellent concentration skills.”

With respect to at-risk youth who come from challenging home environments, Cammarata suggests such young people connect their breath with something calming like music or a pet. He specifically suggests that mindful movement practices such as qigong, tai chi, or yoga may be of particular use with these adolescents. Ultimately, according to Cammarata, all of us deserve to be, “kinder to ourselves… mindfulness can be an important way to integrate positive attitudes that are healthy for the body and mind.”

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(with contributing editors, Larry Cammarata, Ph.D.,  Linda Cammarata, RN, RYT, and Ed Glauser, M.Ed., N.C.C., LPC)


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