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The Unified Mindfulness System

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness training is a set of skills used for alleviating all forms of mind-body suffering including stress, trauma, depression, anxiety, impulse control issues, compulsive tendencies, eating disorders and more.  It is also effective for greatly elevating moment to moment fulfillment within all activities of daily life.  The training is appropriate for any human being that would like to achieve greater peace of mind and enhanced life fulfillment.

The Unified Mindfulness System is an innovative form of mindfulness training developed by Shinzen Young. The unique system has gained the research interests of Harvard University, Brown University,  University of Vermont,  University of New Mexico, and Carnegie Melon University.  A study done at Harvard Medical School (March, 2012) soon to be published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, demonstrated that the “Focus on Rest” methods of this unique system show promise for treating neuropsychiatric disorders and points in the direction of a new understanding of consciousness. 

What sets the Unified Mindfulness System apart from the traditional mindfulness strategies presently being taught?


The Unified Mindfulness labeling system involves a unique naming of sensory experience as it arises in the present moment.  Its grounding nature allows for releasing the powerful hold that thoughts, feelings and sensations impose upon your sense of well- being.  Many individuals with intense mental and physical agitation find that the labeling system helps them to more easily experience the focusing and calming benefits of practice.​

​The Focus on Rest Method
is the only method being taught, that points an individual directly to three natural restful, enjoyable mind/body states that have several practical applications and benefits.

​The Focus In Method:
This method is called, “Divide and Conquer.”  It is the only mindfulness method being taught that helps you to take apart overwhelming mind/body experiences, breaking them up into three manageable components.

The Focus on Change Method:​
This is the only method being taught that points an individual to three fluid mind/body experiences, while also labeling moments of vanishing, offering deep insight into the liberating reality of change.​

The Five Ways

​Focus In (Divide and Conquer):  If an experience is overwhelming, you break it up into its component parts and keep track of them as they arise moment by moment.  The separate parts are usually quite manageable when dealt with individually.  The overall experience loses its power to overwhelm you.

​Focus Out:  This method has significant grounding effects as it allows you to make use of the external world for calming the mind and being present with life.  Aside from quickly decreasing suffering, it allows for a fuller appreciation of the world around you.

​Focus on Rest:  This method immediately points a person in the direction of natural, restful mind-body experiences that lead to profound relaxation within minutes of application.  Restful states also act as an aid for sleep difficulties and pain management or just for pure enjoyment of the pleasure of restfulness. For difficult emotions, the “feel rest” component of the technique can help you to relax into emotional reactions, thereby allowing the reactions to pass through.

​Focus on Change (Including the noting of “gone.”): This method emphasizes microscopic examination of the fluidity of sensory experience as well as the moment of its passing.  Noticing the passing away of sensory experience is a powerful means for deeply understanding the reality of change and the nature of all things.  This aids in the relief of suffering related to the illusion of permanence and offers liberating insight into the true nature of all experience. (See Tricycle Magazine, Fall, 2012, p. 84,-87, The Power of “Gone” by Shinzen Young.)



​Focus on Positive: This method involves the simultaneous practice of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and mindfulness, rather than the separate practice of each.  It allows for concentration, clarity and equanimity to enhance the power of both its present-moment benefits and potential future behavioral effects.


​Mind the Music

​The Unified Mindfulness System can make use of music to introduce mindfulness practice.  Many school systems in Vermont are presently employing Mind the Music in the classroom and hundreds of school teachers are learning it through teacher trainings.  It’s a fun way to bring the power of the Basic Mindfulness System into the life of a young person who is interested in managing attention deficit disorder, anxiety, depression and more.  Adults love it too!

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