"Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally" - Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness. Present Moment Awareness. Meditation. Whatever you choose to call it, however you practice it, the mental skill of being able to place our awareness on a point, however briefly, is a skill that is foundational to change.
Thankfully, we have a lot of choice in how we practice now. Whether through using apps, timers, guided meditation, group meditation, walking meditation, eating mindfully, the opportunities to practice are as limitless as human activity itself.
To get started, if you have access to a smart phone, mindfulness apps can be a nice way to become introduced to the practice. And there is a whole range of apps that are out there...some are free, others have some free content and are hoping to entice folks into paying money for the rest.
Insight timer: has excellent bell sound quality for a timer for sitting meditation as well as hundreds of options for guided meditations. Offers a bit of a range of perspectives....for better or worse. Free
10% Happier: An app from Dan Harris related to the book from the same name. I really like the edge that he brings to mindfulness practice... Unfortunately, this is one of those: get some for free and the rest are locked down until you pay money/month for subscription. Which I'm personally almost tempted to do for this one.
Stop Breath & Think: Option to check in with yourself and provide feedback to receive targeted guided meditation suggestions. Aside from range of guided, also has a breathing timer and a meditation timer. Some free content, others locked. Also a money/month thing.
Headspace: Very popular app...I don't actually have this on my phone any more, but it used to be 10 free guided and then pay for access to rest.
Others apps out there that I've heard good feedback about, but all require subscription: Calm, Mindfulness, Happify, ZenFriend...
There are many many options for group practice in the Portland area. At the moment, I am just mentioning the ones I am most personally familiar with, but don't limit your exploration to just these...
Refuge Recovery describes themselves as "a Buddhist path to recovering from addiction" and currently have at least one group meeting every day of the week in the Portland area.
Pine Street Sangha, located on SE Pine just west of 82nd Ave, meets at least weekly on Sundays and provides a gathering place for silent meditation within a Buddhist perspective coupled with journaling.
Other gatherings and resources, both secular and not, are also available in the Portland area; if you have one that you recommend drop me a line, I would love to hear more!
If you are interested in reading more about meditation:
I really enjoyed reading Dan Harris' book, 10% Happier. Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn is another good one. A bit more academic, but still interesting. (Full disclosure, I didn't actually finish that one yet...) Mindful magazine is another interesting and relatively accessible resource.
This webpage is under ongoing construction...and your feedback helps! If you have other resources that you love, please let me know!