Welcome To American Mindfulness

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The American Tradition of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is sustaining passive and effortless simple focus without doing anything else. While meditation uses one monotonous, repetitious stimulus, mindfulness uses all distractions as a path of focus targets. It requires practice, and that practice can take years. The American Mindfulness tradition accepts the beneficial goals of mindfulness and seeks to speed up those advantages by methods and techniques unique to American thought.

 

Zen Buddhism Religion

Zen Buddhism mindfulness mediation is calmly attending to multiple stimuli. It does not focus on a single stimulus. This attention is done without analysis, thought, or judgment. In the course of mindfulness meditation, people develop inner peace, contemplation, relaxation, and they seek enlightenment. Unfortunately, achieving these desired benefits can require 20 to 30 years of effort, and it is difficult to remove mindfulness meditation from its Zen Buddhism religious foundation. Americans respect the peaceful nature and universality of Zen, however the predominant spiritual base in the United States is more active and individualistic than Buddhism. Likewise, patience is considered a virtue in America, but being willing to wait decades for a reward is indeed a rare trait. The practice of Zen meditation to produce wise mind is like bloodletting or using leeches to treat a headache. It may be helpful, but it seems a bit drastic. American Mindfulness works with the prevailing culture by using scientifically based methods and technology to more efficiently achieve wise mind.

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First Step Test (Step1.exe)

All treatment does not work for all people. Religious indoctrination in the name of treatment is the worst example of misguided efforts, and believers hate preaching even more than non-believers. Even if a client with strong religious beliefs, does not mean tolerance for being forced to listen to someone else’s beliefs. Use the First Step Test before considering a religious or spiritual treatment approach (AA, NA, 12-Step, Christian Counseling, or referral to a religious leader). This is a 65-item test that allows the client to report the structure of belief. Results list the percent agreement with three categories of belief: Religious, Spiritual, and Humanist. Religious considers God as a person. Spiritual looks at internal experiences. Humanist rejects divine intervention and puts emphasis on people helping people. There is also a variable specific to Beliefs and another on possible Spiritual Experiences. When people have not had spiritual experiences it is truly a case of the map not matching the territory when interventions rely on them. The test is listed below, and you can download a computerized version from the bottom of the test. Scoring is automatic. 


FIRST STEP TEST

Sex: M  F                                                           Age: ______

Please answer each question either True or False. There are no right or wrong answers, only what you think.

[T] [F] 1. There is a spiritual presence protecting and guiding me.
[T] [F] 2. God cares and directs what I do.
[T] [F] 3. It is up to me to find my own way in life.
[T] [F] 4. I feel a sense of wholeness when I pray or meditate.
[T] [F] 5. I have experienced profound inner peace.
[T] [F] 6. I try to follow God's path for me.
[T] [F] 7. I have experienced an overwhelming feeling of love.
[T] [F] 8. Thoughts of those that have died continue to influence me.
[T] [F] 9. Something special happens when I seek my spiritual path.
[T] [F] 10. I am the best person to decide what is true for me.
[T] [F] 11. I feel a personal bond with God.
[T] [F] 12. I have done things to please someone that has died.
[T] [F] 13. I have met or listened to a spiritual teacher or master.
[T] [F] 14. I know God loves me and watches out for me.
[T] [F] 15. I feel like I am one with all of humanity.
[T] [F] 16. I feel connected to the entire spiritual universe.
[T] [F] 17. I have experienced complete joy and ecstasy.
[T] [F] 18. There is inner peace from my prayers or meditations.
[T] [F] 19. Life is a test for what happens after death.
[T] [F] 20. Spiritual healing comes from my spiritual self.
[T] [F] 21. Mediums and psychics trick people by saying false things.
[T] [F] 22. I have strong emotional ties to people who have died.
[T] [F] 23. I have experienced a spiritual energy or presence.
[T] [F] 24. I have felt unity with the earth and all life.
[T] [F] 25. My life will continue after death.
[T] [F] 26. God is within me.
[T] [F] 27. There is a higher plane of consciousness that binds us.
[T] [F] 28. Death will end my existence.
[T] [F] 29. Healing comes from God.
[T] [F] 30. I feel an emotional bond with all of humanity.
[T] [F] 31. I have experienced a great historical spiritual figure.
[T] [F] 32. I have experienced the guidance of spirits.
[T] [F] 33. God does not care about my daily activities.
[T] [F] 34. I am responsible for taking care of others and myself.
[T] [F] 35. I have communicated with someone who has died.
[T] [F] 36. God is the collection of my spiritual experiences.
[T] [F] 37. Prayers or meditations provide me emotional support.
[T] [F] 38. God does not exist.
[T] [F] 39. God prohibits communications from mediums and psychics.
[T] [F] 40. All of us share a common bond on a higher level.
[T] [F] 41. Healing only comes from sound medical practices.
[T] [F] 42. I have talked with spirits.
[T] [F] 43. I have witnessed a miracle.
[T] [F] 44. I pray to God and will see my loved ones after death.
[T] [F] 45. I have seen spirits.
[T] [F] 46. I have witnessed a healing of body, mind, or soul.
[T] [F] 47. I get messages of love and guidance from spirits.
[T] [F] 48. I have had spiritual healing.
[T] [F] 49. There is no communication with the dead or God.
[T] [F] 50. I find communication with spirits useful.
[T] [F] 51. I have had hands-on-healing.
[T] [F] 52. Meaning and purpose only come from loving humanity.
[T] [F] 53. I have had enlightenment or a conversion experience.
[T] [F] 54. God gives my life purpose.
[T] [F] 55. I have spoken ecstatically or in tongues.
[T] [F] 56. God will reward and punish me for what I do.
[T] [F] 57. I had a near-death or life-after-death experience.
[T] [F] 58. Spiritual experiences give my life meaning.
[T] [F] 59. Great ideas come from God.
[T] [F] 60. I had an out-of-body experience.
[T] [F] 61. Only people will reward and punish me for what I do.
[T] [F] 62. I have been to an exorcism.
[T] [F] 63. Great ideas only come from hard work and effort.
[T] [F] 64. Society rewards and punishes us by humanity's standards.
[T] [F] 65. Great ideas come from our spiritual selves.