I discovered mindfulness after completing my graduate education in psychology at Princeton University. My twin brother, David Harp, had begun practicing mindfulness and I watched it change his life. David is an outstanding mentor – when he explained mindfulness meditation and offered simple practices that made an immediate difference in my well-being, I got as excited as he was about sharing this with others. Together, we wrote The Three Minute Meditator, first published in 1989, and now in its fifth edition, and translated into seven languages. After studying with some remarkable teachers, including Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, and Joseph Goldstein, I found myself increasingly eager to help make the benefits of mindfulness available to others – without dogma, drama, or delay.
At Mohonk Mountain House, as Director of Mindfulness Programs, I’ve developed a number of different opportunities for guests to enjoy that include weekends on beginning practice, as well as special topics, private classes, and even a guided meditation hotline. This Mindfulness at Mohonk Mountain House blog has been created to support developing a “real-life” practice – with tips about using mindfulness inside a busy life and on-the-run. We will also provide updates on interesting ways in which mindfulness is being used and information on current research.
Just 90 miles north of New York City in the historic Hudson Valley, Mohonk Mountain House is an ideal place to learn and practice mindfulness techniques. Located in a spectacular setting, alongside a mountain lake surrounded by awe-inspiring cliffs, Mohonk Mountain House was founded in 1869 based on founder Albert Smiley’s vision of “providing opportunities for recreation and renewal of body, mind, and spirit in a beautiful natural setting.” Celebrating its 146th Anniversary in 2015, Mohonk Mountain House has inspired, delighted, and nurtured generations of guests. Many have told us over the years that visiting Mohonk Mountain House has been a touchstone for well-being, as well as for pleasure. Within this remarkable context and history, we could think of nothing more fitting than to “bring mindfulness to Mohonk” as an extension of a profoundly important vision that goes back so many years.
Deciding to begin a mindfulness practice may be one of the most life-changing decisions you can make. Although mindfulness is simple, it’s not “easy.”
I hope this blog will provide encouragement and support as you explore and understand how mindfulness can fit into your life, practice what you’re learning, and enjoy the benefits of a mindful lifestyle.
Remember to Breathe!