The tendency of the mind is to take the opportunity of the ‘autopilot’ initiative to reflect upon the past or to make plans for the future.&nbsp. For those caught in desperate situations, this can lead to a destructive cycle of thinking that leaves little room for improvement while allowing them to miss out on the joys or triumphs of the present.&nbsp. One way in which people can help themselves break this cycle is through the process of meditation, which, it turns out, brings about some significant benefits including the benefit of clearer thinking, more enjoyed moments and inner peace.&nbsp. Not only does meditation help the social worker gain insight and greater ability to help others, but it can help those others to help themselves as well (Birnbaum, 2005).&nbsp. Meditation can also have some unexpected physical benefits as a result of the deep breathing exercises that are a fundamental part of meditation.&nbsp. A basic understanding of meditation is necessary to understand the vital importance of deep breathing in order to reap the greatest benefits.
Meditation is a process of calming the mind and the body enough to focus on one particular concept.&nbsp. While the intentions of meditation can vary, the one most often utilized within social work focuses on being settled, grounded and achieving clarity.&nbsp. A representative quote from one practitioner cited in Canda and Furman (1999) illustrates this desired outcome: “As my meditation practice deepened, I found a quality of peace and clarity that soothed my grief’s and pains and gave me the capacity to respond to life’s challenges with greater energy and compassion.&nbsp. I realized that my own struggles are mirrored in the struggles of all people and all living beings” (7-8).&nbsp. Through meditation, the social worker is able to find a sense of inner connection and balance that extends out into his/her practice.&nbsp. By practicing achieving clarity of mind and an ability to stay in the moment, the social worker becomes more able to keep in tune with clients and helping them to achieve similar clarity.

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