Posts

Patience Now, My Friends

We can cultivate the attitudes of mindfulness, such as patience and trust, through the most humble of life's lessons when we're open to it - including in the blooming of the last lotus of the season.

Cultivating Contemplative Skills

Contemplative learning and practice integrate introspection and direct experience, cultivating wisdom through the development of fundamental skills supporting individual and collective wellbeing. Mindfulness is an essential component underlying all of these skills.

Love, Empowerment and Clarity: The Mindful Trinity

Compassion as love, benevolence as empowerment, and wisdom as clarity are beneficial qualities cultivated through mindfulness that can help us make the world a better place.

Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI), or the awareness of and ability to modulate emotions and interact with others empathetically, is positively correlated in the research with mindfulness and meditation practice. Cultivating EI helps us communicate, manage stress, and solve problems more effectively.

Are Good Intentions Enough?

Even when we are in touch with our intentions and they are good, our compassionate actions can be unskillful. Mindfulness, discernment, balance and equanimity in the face of suffering are also important factors in increasing the likelihood that our helping will be truly helpful.

Opening to Truth

Like a tailor makes a “bespoke suit” for a particular customer, our unexamined minds have a tendency tailor our own “bespoke truth” that satisfies our preferences. But, when we ignore or exclude aspects of reality that we don't prefer, we miss out on important information that could be helpful in making wise choices.

Embodying What We Teach

While there is great value in the transmission of knowledge from teacher to student, no teacher is as potent an instructor as lived experience. In mindfulness training, knowledge arises out of the direct experience of the teacher's own mindfulness practice and is transmitted through one's embodiment of these attitudes and practices. The teacher isn't an expert per se, but a fellow traveler on a shared journey.

The Bottom Line is Mindfulness

Mass mindlessness causes great suffering for ourselves and other living beings. Maintaining a personal mindfulness practice may be one of the most important things we can do to liberate ourselves and the world from the tyranny of our own unexamined minds.

The Mindfulness Spiral

When we are operating on autopilot, we are vulnerable to being caught up in a self-perpetuating downward spiral of reactivity that, for some people, can lead to depression and anxiety. Training in mindfulness can help disrupt this painful pattern. A self-perpetuating upward spiral gains momentum, cultivating greater equanimity and wellbeing.

Evidence vs Intuition

"Listen to your gut" can be dubious advice. Mindfulness can increase awareness of our gut instincts and allow us to include other important information that may be available in a given situation. This helps us respond with greater wisdom and increases the likelihood that outcomes will be more satisfying for all involved.

Is Anyone Beyond Compassion?

The practice of mindfulness can help us pause before reacting impulsively to acts of aggression or hatred. This makes space for considering the many choices available to us for responding with skill and wisdom. Evidence throughout history and in the research demonstrates that a more reasoned and compassionate response leads to better long term outcomes for us all.

Waking Up to Our Ignorance

The word ignorance has a very negative connotation, but it really is just a state of unawareness – of not knowing. We all experience it at different times and in various aspects of our lives. Ignorance can arise from a lack of exposure, confusion,…

The Paradox of Acceptance

Acceptance is compassionate presence - acknowledging what is without judgment. It allows us to see things more clearly. When we accept, we are saying, “Yes, this is the way it is right now.” Yet, acceptance is not resignation. When we…

Cultivating Wise Compassion

Compassion is openness to the presence of suffering combined with the desire to eliminate it and its causes. In this culture we can easily find ourselves swimming in a sea of fear and pain. Immersed every day in stories and images of danger…

Trust: Openness Rooted in Wisdom

Trust is one of the seven interdependent fundamental attitudes of mindfulness that are consciously cultivated during practice, according to Jon Kabat-Zinn. This is a sense of assuredness in the wisdom of the body, heart and mind to manage itself. Through…

Embracing Beginnership

Beginner’s mind is one of the seven interconnected fundamental attitudes of mindfulness that are consciously cultivated during practice, according to Jon Kabat-Zinn. In his book Full Catastrophe Living,

Why Study the Roots of Mindfulness?

Understanding history is an important way to gain wisdom, deepen understanding, and prevent the repetition of past mistakes. Seeing the world from other perspectives makes us more compassionate and flexible. Studying the roots of mindfulness brings similar benefits to practice.

The Elements of Mindfulness Practice

What distinguishes a mindfulness practice from other types of practices that support wellbeing? Its no surprise to me that mindfulness has become a household word in recent years. It is a way of living that is both elegantly simple and exceedingly powerful. When practiced skillfully, it becomes nothing less than transformative.