培育念力 面對壓力、痛苦和疾病


Jon Kabat-Zinn博士在「正念減壓療程」(Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction)這一領域享有盛譽。他於1979年在美國麻省大學醫學中心(University of Massachusetts Medical Center)附屬「減壓門診」(Stress Reduction Clinic)開創「減壓與放鬆療程」(Stress Reduction and Relaxation Program,簡稱SR&RP)。


在《完全失敗的生活——如何運用念力處理壓力、痛苦和疾病》(Full Catastrophe Living -How to cope with stress, pain and illness using mindfulness meditation)一書序言中,Kabat-Zinn引用了小說Zorba the Greek的一段對白:




"Zorba, have you ever been married?" to which Zorba replies(paraphasing somewhat)"Am I not a man? Of course I've been married. Wife, house, kinds, everything... the full catastrophe!"



(It was not meant to be a lament, nor does it mean that being married or having children is a catastrophe. Zorba's response embodies a supreme appreciation for the richness of life and the inevitability of all its dilemmas, sorrows, tragedies, and ironies. His way is to "dance" in the gale of the full catastrophe, to celebrate life, to laugh with it and at himself, even in the face of personal failure and defeat. In doing so, he is never weighed down for long, never ultimately defeated either by the world or by his own considerable folly.)



(Catastrophe here means the poignant enormity of our life experience. It includes crises and disaster but also all the little things that go wrong and that add up. The phrase reminds us that life is always in flux, that everything we think is permanent is actually only temporary and constantly changing. This includes our ideas, our opinions, our relationships, our jobs, our possessions, our creations, our bodies, everything.)



(The problem of stress does not admit to simpleminded solutions or quick fixes. At root, stress is a natural part of living from which there is no more escape than from the human condition itself. Yet some people try to avoid stress by walling themselves off from life experience; others attempt to anesthetize themselves one way or another to escape it. Of course, it is only sensible to avoid undergoing unnecessary pain and hardship. Certainly we all need to distance ourselves from our troubles now and again. But if escape and avoidance become our habitual ways of dealing with our problems, the problems just multiply. They don't magically go away. What does go away, or get covered when we tuned out our problems or run away from them, is our power to grow and to change and to heal. When it comes right down to it, facing our problems is usually the only way to past them.)



(The issue of control is central to coping with problems and with stress. There are many forces at work in the world that are totally beyond our control and others that we sometimes think are beyond our control but really aren't. To a great extent, our ability to influence our circumstances depends on how we see things. Our beliefs about ourselves and about our own capabilities as well as how we see the world and the forces at play in it all affect what we will find possible. How we see things affects how much energy we have for doing things and our choices about where to channel what energy we do have.)



(In the above examples each person took up the challenge we extended to them to live life as if each moment was important, as if each moment counted and could be worked with , even if it was a moment of pain, sadness, despair, or fear. This "work" involves above all the regular, disciplined practice of moment-to-moment awareness or mindfulness, the complete "owning" of each moment of your experience, good, bad, or ugly. This the essence of full catastrophe living.)



(We routinely and unknowingly waste enormous amounts of energy in reacting automatically and unconsciously to the outside world and to our own inner experiences. Cultivating mindfulness means learning to tap and focus our own wasted energies. In doing so, we learn to calm down enough to enter and dwell in states of deep relaxation. This nourishes and restores body and mind. At the same time it makes it easier for us to see with greater clarity the way we actually live and therefore how to make changes to enhance our health and the quality of our life. In addition it helps us to channel our energy more effectively in stressful situations, or when we are feeling threatened or helpless. This energy comes from inside us and is therefore always within our reach and potential control.)



(Cultivating mindfulness can lead to the discovery of deep realms of relaxation, calmness, and insight within yourself. It is as if you were to come upon a new territory, prviously unknown to you or only vaguely suspected, which contains a veritable wellspring of positive energy for self understanding and healing. Moreover it is easy to get to this territory. The path to it in any moment lies no farther than your own body and mind and your own breathing. And this territory is always accessible. It is always here, independent of your problems. Whether ou are facing heart disease or cancer of pain or just a very stressful life, its energies can be of great value to you.)