What is meditation?

As former attorney, I am well aware of the stress in this profession. As an overworked attorney I often experienced overwhelm, worry, exhaustion and just plain burnout from all of the conflict. I now teach meditation and mindfulness to lawyers and they report the same feelings. In my own practice I now have better focus, can find calm in the chaos of life, and reduced stress and increased happiness. The lawyers I teach report exactly the same thing. Once they realize that meditation is merely a training in the habit of attention placement, they are very willing to practice this new healthy habit.
-- Judy C., attorney
For those of us at The Mindful Law Coaching & Consulting Group, LLC (“MLCCG) meditation is secular brain-training. More specifically, it is training one's attention. It's also a practice that is a means to an end: Mindfulness.

For MLCCG, secular meditation starts with demystifying the mystery.

Call it, “Chicago-style” meditation. Like broad shoulders, deep dish pizza and putting no ketchup on our hot dogs, MLCCG takes meditation (as well as what we eat) seriously, but we try hard not to take ourselves too seriously. Historically, the practice of meditation has been embraced, in one fashion or another, by virtually every major religion, worldwide. All of those traditions are recognized and honored by MLCCG. The more modern practice of secular meditation, however, is something quite different.

Secular meditation focuses strictly upon techniques and concerns that are scientifically proven to sharpen the attention, and facilitate what scientists refer to broadly as “neuroplasticity”, or the means by which the human brain creates new neural pathways (which, in turn, can impact our capacity to learn). More relaxed, open contemplation is an important, but secondary, component of secular meditation.

MLCCG regards meditation is a three-part practice: 1) Training to become aware of one's thoughts and emotions, 2) Learning to be curious about one's thoughts and emotions, without attaching a particular meaning or significance (non-attachment) and without evaluating them as "good", "bad" or other (non-judgment), and 3) Mastering the art of allowing one's thoughts and emotions to run their course and pass away, without being ruled by them.

Traditional forms of meditation are spiritual, and lead one beyond the sharpening of attention, to the contemplation of more ineffable concepts such as achieving “enlightenment”, “liberation” or, more doctrinaire, the possibility of reincarnation. Notwithstanding that noble spiritual precedent, traditional meditation is not a practice taught by MLCCG.

Cultivating an attitude of civility and professionalism is the end we seek, and secular meditation is the means MLCCG espouses, to achieve that end. Our motto is: Simple. Secular. Scientific. The secular form of meditation endorsed by MLCCG aims specifically at encouraging a more focused mental (and emotional) fitness, to compliment the widely recognized benefits of physical fitness.

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