18 04 2012 WEDNESDAY LESSON 585 FREE ONLINE eNālāndā Research And Practice UNIERSITY And THE
GOOD NEWS LETTER by ABHIDHAMMA RAKKHITA throughhttp://sarvajan.ambedkar.org
Dhammapada: Verses and
Verse 138 Evil Results Of Hurting Harmless Saints
138. Evil Results Of Hurting Harmless Saints
Sharp pain or deprivation,
or injury to body,
or to a serious disease,
derangement of the mind;
Explanation: The following ten forms of suffering will come to
those who hurt the harmless, inoffensive saints: severe pain; disaster;
physical injury; serious illness, mental disorder.
FOUR APPLICATIONS OF MINDFULNESS
FOUR FORMLESS REALMS
sati, Sanskrit: smṛti / स्मृति) in Buddhist meditation.; also translated as awareness) is a spiritual faculty (indriya) that is considered to be of great
importance in the path to enlightenment according to the teaching of the Buddha. It is one of
the seven factors of awakenment. “Correct” or “right”
mindfulness (Pali: sammā-sati, Sanskrit samyak-smṛti) is the
seventh element of the noble eightfold path. Mindfulness meditation can be traced back to
the Upanishads, part of Hindu scriptures and a treatise on the Vedas. 
Enlightenment (bodhi) is a state of being in which greed, hatred
and delusion (Pali: moha) have been overcome,
abandoned and are absent from the mind. Mindfulness, which, among other things,
is an attentive awareness of the reality of things (especially of the present moment) is
an antidote to delusion and is considered as such a ‘power’ (Pali: bala).
This faculty becomes a power in particular when it is coupled with clear
comprehension of whatever is taking place.
The Buddha advocated that one should establish mindfulness (satipatthana) in one’s day-to-day life
maintaining as much as possible a calm awareness of one’s body functions,
sensations (feelings), objects of consciousness (thoughts and perceptions), and
consciousness itself. The practice of mindfulness supports analysis resulting in
the arising of wisdom (Pali: paññā, Sanskrit: prajñā). A key
innovative teaching of the Buddha was that meditative stabilisation must be
combined with liberating discernment.
The Satipatthana Sutta (Sanskrit: Smṛtyupasthāna
Sūtra) is an early text dealing with mindfulness.
Mindfulness practice, inherited from the Buddhist tradition, is
increasingly being employed in Western psychology to alleviate
a variety of mental and physical conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and in the prevention of relapse in
depression and drug addiction. See also Mindfulness (psychology).
forms of mindfulness
Continuous mindfulness practice
The Buddhist term translated into English as
“mindfulness” originates in the Pali term sati and in its
Sanskrit counterpart smṛti. Translators rendered the Sanskrit word as trenpa
in Tibetan (wylie:
dran pa) and as nian 念 in Chinese.
The Pali-language scholar Thomas William Rhys Davids (1881) first translated sati as English mindfulness in sammā-sati “Right Mindfulness; the
active, watchful mind”. Noting that Daniel John Gogerly (1845) initially
rendered sammā-sati as “Correct meditation”, Davids explained, “sati is literally
‘memory’ but is used with reference to the constantly repeated phrase ‘mindful
and thoughtful’ (sato sampagâno); and means that activity of mind and
constant presence of mind which is one of the duties most frequently inculcated
on the good Buddhist.”
When practicing mindfulness, for instance by
the breath, one must remember
to maintain attention on the chosen object of awareness, “faithfully
returning back to refocus on that object whenever the mind wanders away from
it.” Thus, mindfulness means not only, “moment to
moment awareness of present events,” but also, “remembering to be
aware of something or to do something at a designated time in the future”. In fact, “the primary connotation of this Sanskrit
term [smrti] (and its corresponding Pali term sati) is recollection”.
The English term mindfulness, in use for centuries, long
predates its use in the Buddhist context. The OED defines it as “The state or quality of being
mindful; attention; regard”, with obsolete meanings of “memory”
and “intention, purpose”. This word was first recorded as myndfulness
in 1530 (Palsgrave translates French pensee) , as mindfulnesse in 1561, and mindfulness
in 1817. Morphologically
earlier terms include mindful (first recorded in 1340), mindfully
(1382), and the obsolete mindiness (ca. 1200).
John D. Dunne, an associate professor at
Emory University whose current research focuses especially on the concept of
“mindfulness” in both theoretical and practical contexts, asserts
that the translation of sati and smṛti as
mindfulness is confusing and that a number of Buddhist scholars have started
trying to establish “retention” as the preferred alternative.
The Sanskrit word smṛti स्मृति (smriti,
smRti, or sm’Rti) literally means “that which is
remembered”, and refers both to “mindfulness” in Buddhism and
“a category of metrical texts” in Hinduism, considered second in authority to the Śruti scriptures.
Monier Monier-Williams’s Sanskrit-English
Dictionary differentiates eight meanings of smṛti स्मृति, “remembrance, reminiscence, thinking of or upon,
calling to mind, memory”:
Buddhist scholars translated smṛti with
the Chinese word nian 念 “study; read
aloud; think of; remember; remind”. Nian is commonly used in Modern Standard Chinese words
such as guannian 觀念 (观念)
“concept; idea”, huainian 懷念 (怀念) “cherish the memory of; think of”, nianshu
念書 (念书) “read; study”, and niantou 念頭 (念头) “thought; idea; intention”. Two specialized
Buddhist terms are nianfo 念佛
“chant the name of Buddha; pray to Buddha” and nianjing 念經 (念经) “chant/recite sutras”.
This Chinese character nian 念 is composed of jin 今
“now; this” and xin 心
“heart; mind”. Bernhard Karlgren graphically explains nian meaning “reflect,
think; to study, learn by heart, remember; recite, read – to have 今 present to 心 the mind”. The Chinese character nian or nien 念 is pronounced as Korean yeom or yŏm 염, Japanese ネン or nen,
and Vietnamese niệm.
A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms gives basic translations of nian:
“Recollection, memory; to think on, reflect; repeat, intone; a thought; a
The Digital Dictionary of Buddhism gives more detailed translations of nian
Although sati/smrti is the primary term that
is usually invoked by the word mindfulness in a Buddhist context, it has been
asserted “in Buddhist discourse, there are three terms that together map
the field of mindfulness . . . [in their Sanskrit variants] smṛti
(Pali: sati), samprajaña (Pali: sampajañña) and apramāda (Pali: appamada).” All three terms are sometimes (confusingly) translated
as “mindfulness,” but they all have specific shades of meaning and
the latter two properly mean “clear comprehension” and
“vigilance,” respectively. In the Satipatthana Sutta, sati
and sampajañña are combined with atappa (Pali; Sanskrit: ātapaḥ), or “ardency,” and the three together
comprise yoniso manisikara (Pali; Sanskrit: yoniśas manaskāraḥ), “appropriate attention” or “wise
In a publicly available correspondence
between Bhikkhu Bodhi and B. Alan Wallace, Bodhi has described Ven. Nyanaponika Thera’s views on “right mindfulness” and sampajañña
in the following fashion: “… He held that in the proper practice of
right mindfulness, sati has to be integrated with sampajañña, clear
comprehension, and it is only when these two work together that right
mindfulness can fulfill its intended purpose.”
trenpa (wylie: dran pa)
sheshin (wylie: shes bzhin)
bakyö (wylie: bag yod)
nyima (wylie: nyi ma)
yila jeypa (wylie: yid la byed pa)
foundation of mindfulness
trenpa neybar zagpa (wylie: dran pa
forms of mindfulness
In addition to various forms of meditation
based around specific sessions, there are mindfulness training exercises that
develop awareness throughout the day using designated environmental cues. The
aim is to make mindfulness essentially continuous. Examples of such cues are
the hourly chimes of clocks, red lights at traffic junctions and crossing the
threshold of doors. The mindfulness itself can take the form of nothing more
than taking three successive breaths while remembering they are a conscious
experience of body activity within mind. This approach is particularly helpful when it is
difficult to establish a regular meditation practice
teachers emphasize the potential dangers of misunderstanding
Gudo Wafu Nishijima
criticizes the use of the term of mindfulness and idealistic interpretations of
the practice from the Zen standpoint:
However recently many so-called Buddhist
teachers insist the importance of ‘mindfulness.’ But such a kind of attitudes
might be insistence that Buddhism might be a kind of idealistic philosophy.
Therefore actually speaking I am much afraid that Buddhism is misunderstood as
if it was a kind of idealistic philosophy. However we should never forget that
Buddhism is not an idealistic philosophy, and so if someone in Buddhism reveres
mindfulness, we should clearly recognize that he or she can never be a Buddhist
We should always try to be active coming out
of samadhi. For this, we have
to forget things like “I should be mindful of this or that”. If you
are mindful, you are already creating a separation (”I - am - mindful - of
- ….”). Don’t be mindful, please! When you walk, just walk. Let the walk
walk. Let the talk talk (Dogen Zenji says: “When we open our mouths, it is
filled with Dharma”). Let the eating eat, the sitting sit, the work work.
Let sleep sleep.
article: Mindfulness (psychology)
Mindfulness practice, inherited from the Buddhist tradition, is
increasingly being employed in Western psychology to alleviate a variety of
mental and physical conditions. Scientific research into mindfulness generally
falls under the umbrella of positive psychology. Research has been ongoing over the last
twenty or thirty years, with a surge of interest over the last decade in
particular. In 2011, NIH’s National
Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
released finding of a study where in magnetic resonance images of the brains of 16 participants 2 weeks
before and after mindfulness meditation practitioners, joined the meditation
program were taken by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Bender
Institute of Neuroimaging in Germany, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It concluded
that “..these findings may represent an underlying brain mechanism
associated with mindfulness-based improvements in mental health.” A January
2011 study in the journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, based on
anatomical magnetic resonance images (MRI) of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
participants, suggested that “participation in MBSR is associated with
changes in gray matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and
memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and
perspective taking.” 
Modern clinical psychology and psychiatry since the
1970s have developed a number of therapeutic applications based on the concept
of mindfulness (Pali sati or Sanskrit smṛti
/ स्मृति) in Buddhist meditation.
Several definitions of mindfulness have been used in modern
psychology. According to various prominent psychological definitions, Mindfulness
refers to a psychological quality that involves
bringing one’s complete attention to the
present experience on a moment-to-moment basis,
paying attention in a particular way: on
purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally,
a kind of nonelaborative, nonjudgmental,
present-centered awareness in which each thought, feeling, or sensation that
arises in the attentional field is acknowledged and accepted as it is
Bishop, Lau, and colleagues (2004) offered a two component
model of mindfulness:
The first component [of mindfulness] involves
the self-regulation of attention so that it is maintained on immediate
experience, thereby allowing for increased recognition of mental events in the
present moment. The second component involves adopting a particular orientation
toward one’s experiences in the present moment, an orientation that is
characterized by curiosity, openness, and acceptance.:232
In this two-component model, self-regulated attention (the first component) involves conscious awareness of one’s current thoughts, feelings, and surroundings,
which can result in metacognitive skills for controlling concentration. Orientation to experience (the
second component) involves accepting one’s mindstream, maintaining open and curious attitudes, and thinking in
alternative categories (developing upon Ellen Langer’s research on decision-making). Training in mindfulness and mindfulness-based
practices, oftentimes as part of a quiet meditation session, results[citation
needed] in the development of a Beginner’s mind, or, looking at experiences as if for the first time.
Practicing mindfulness can help people to
begin to recognise their habitual patterns of mind, which have developed out of
awareness over time  and this allows practitioners to respond in new rather
than habitual ways to their life.
In 1979 Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn founded the
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts
to treat the chronically ill, which sparked
a growing interest and application of mindfulness ideas and practices in the
medical world:230-1 for the
treatment of a variety of conditions in people both healthy and unhealthy. Many of the variety of mindfulness-based
clinical treatments we have today are mentioned on this webpage below.
Much of this was inspired by teachings from the East, and
particularly from the Buddhist traditions, where mindfulness is the 7th step of
the Noble Eightfold Path taught by Siddhartha Gautama, The Buddha, who founded Buddhism almost 2,500
years ago. Although originally articulated as a part of what we know in the
West as Buddhism, there is nothing inherently religious about mindfulness, and
it is often taught independent of religious or cultural connotation.
Thich Nhat Hanh has brought
mindfulness to the attention of Westerners. It was on a retreat he led in the
United States that an American doctor, Jon Kabat-Zinn, first realised the
appropriateness of mindfulness in the treatment of chronic medical conditions.
And, later Kabat-Zinn adapted Hanh’s teachings on mindfulness into the
structured eight-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course, which has
since spread throughout the western World. Mindfulness
and other Buddhist meditation techniques receive support in the West from
figures such as the scientist Jon Kabat-Zinn, the teacher Jack Kornfield, the teacher Joseph
Goldstein, the psychologist Tara Brach, the writer Alan Clements, and the
teacher Sharon Salzberg, who have been widely[who?] attributed with playing a significant role in
integrating the healing aspects of Buddhist meditation practices with the concept of psychological
awareness and healing. Psychotherapists have adapted
and developed mindfulness techniques into a promising cognitive behavioral therapies vis.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT, pronounced act)  ACT was
recently reviewed by SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and
Over the past 30 years there has been an
increase in the number of published studies on mindfulness. The current body of scientific literature on the effects of
mindfulness practices is promising despite the presence of methodological
weaknesses. The current research does suggest that mindfulness
practices are useful in the treatment of pain, stress, anxiety, depressive relapse, disordered eating, and addiction, among others. Mindfulness has been investigated for its
potential benefit for individuals who do not experience these disorders, as
well, with positive results. Mindfulness practice improves the immune system and alters
activation symmetries in the prefrontal cortex, a change previously associated
with an increase in positive affect and a faster recovery from a negative
Mindfulness is often used[by whom?]
synonymously with the traditional Buddhist processes of cultivating awareness
as described above, but more recently[when?] has
been studied as a psychological tool capable of stress reduction and the
elevation of several positive emotions or traits. In this relatively new field
of western psychological mindfulness, researchers attempt to define and measure
the results of mindfulness primarily through controlled, randomised studies of
mindfulness intervention on various dependent variables. The participants in
mindfulness interventions measure many of the outcomes of such interventions
subjectively. For this reason, several mindfulness inventories or scales (a set
of questions posed to a subject whose answers output the subject’s aggregate
answers in the form of a rating or category) have arisen. The most prominent
Through the use of these scales - which can
illuminate self-reported changes in levels of mindfulness, the measurement of
other correlated inventories in fields such as subjective well-being, and the
measurement of other correlated variables such as health and performance -
researchers have produced studies that investigate the nature and effects of
mindfulness. The research on the outcomes of mindfulness falls into two main
categories: stress reduction and positive-state elevation.
Human response to stressors in the
environment produces emotional and physiological changes in individual human
bodies in order to cope with that stress. This process most likely evolved to help us attend to
immediate concerns in our environment to better our chances of survival, but in
modern society, much of the stress felt is not beneficial in this way. Stress
has been shown to have several negative effects[citation
needed] on health, happiness, and overall wellbeing (see stress (biology)). One field of
psychological inquiry into mindfulness is Mindfulness-based stress reduction or MBSR. Several studies have produced relevant
While much research centered on mindfulness
seeks to reduce stress, another large body of research has examined mindfulness
as a tool to elevate and sustain “positive” emotional states as well
and their related outcomes:
Bedford (2012) proposed a novel
psychological theory of how mindfulness meditation leads to healing based in
the field of perception. According to the theory, mindful meditation along with
guided imagery creates a conflict between a visual image and the immune system,
the latter of which is argued to be a sensory modality. This cross-modal
visual-immune system conflict now acts like any cross-modal conflict in
perception: one of the modalities must change to realign the two modalities.
When the immune system is the modality that changes, healing can occur. In this
view, there is no “mind” over “matter”; what appears as the mind influencing
the body is actually just low level interaction of multiple perceptual
modalities/senses, which they evolved to do to maintain perceptual accuracy.
The research leaves many questions still
unanswered. Much of the terminology used in such research has no cohesive
definition. For example, there is a lack of differentiation between
“attention” and “awareness” and an interchangeable use of
the two in modern descriptions. Buddhist contemplative psychology however,
differentiates more clearly, as “attention” in that context signifies
an ever-changing factor of consciousness, while “awareness” refers to
a stable and specific state of consciousness.
Various scholars have criticized how
mindfulness has been defined or represented in recent western psychology
publications. B. Alan Wallace has stated that an
influential definition of mindfulness in the psychology literature (by Bishop
et al.) differs in significant ways from how mindfulness was
defined by the Buddha himself, and by much of Buddhist tradition. Wallace concludes that “The modern description and
practice of mindfulness are certainly valuable, as thousands of people have
discovered for themselves through their own practice. But this doesn’t take
away from the fact that the modern understanding departs significantly from the
Buddha’s own account of sati, and from those of the most authoritative
commentators in the Theravada and Indian Mahayana traditions.”:62
Mindfulness would seem to play two roles: as
a part of the therapy itself and as an umbrella justification
(”empirical”) for the inclusion of other aspects of wisdom that
may be beyond our present cultural assumptions. Where in this is mindfulness in
its original sense of the mind adhering to an object of consciousness with a
clear mental focus?:262
William Mikulas, in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, stated that “In Western psychology, mindfulness
and concentration are often confused and confounded because, although in the
last few years there has been a moderate interest in mindfulness, there has not
been a corresponding interest in concentration. Hence, many mindfulness-based
programs are actually cultivating both concentration and mindfulness, but all
results are attributed to mindfulness.”:20
Since 2006 research supports promising
mindfulness-based therapies for a number of medical and psychiatric conditions,
notably chronic pain (McCracken et al.
2007), stress (Grossman et al. 2004),
anxiety and depression (Hofmann et al. 2010), substance abuse (Melemis 2008:141-157), and recurrent suicidal behavior (Williams et al. 2006). Bell (2009) gives a brief overview
of mindful approaches to therapy, particularly family therapy, starting with a discussion of mysticism and emphasizing the value of a mindful therapist.
article: Morita therapy
article: Gestalt therapy
article: Adaptation Practice
The British psychiatrist, Clive Sherlock , who trained in the traditional Rinzai School of Zen, developed Adaptation Practice (AP) in 1978 based on
the profound mindfulness/awareness training of Zen daily-life practice and
meditation. Adaptation Practice is used[by whom?] for long-term relief of depression,
anxiety, anger, stress and other emotional problems.
article: Mindfulness-based stress
Jon Kabat-Zinn developed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
over a ten-year period at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He (1990:11) defines the essence of MBSR: “This
“work” involves above all the regular, disciplined practice of
moment-to-moment awareness or mindfulness, the complete
“owning” of each moment of your experience, good, bad, or ugly.”
Kabat-Zinn explains the non-Buddhist universality of MBSR:
Although at this time mindfulness meditation
is most commonly taught and practiced within the context of Buddhism, its essence
is universal. … Yet it is no accident that mindfulness comes out of Buddhism,
which has as its overriding concerns the relief of suffering and the dispelling
of illusions. (2005:12-13)
MBSR has clinically proven beneficial for
people with depression and anxiety disorders. This
mindfulness-based psychotherapy is practiced as a form of complementary
medicine in over 200
hospitals, and is currently the focus of numerous research studies funded by
the National Center for
Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
article: Mindfulness-based cognitive
article: Acceptance and commitment
article: Dialectical behavior therapy
Mindfulness is a “core” exercise used
in Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a
psychosocial treatment Marsha M. Linehan developed for treating people with borderline personality disorder. DBT is dialectic, explains Linehan (1993:19), in the sense of “the
reconciliation of opposites in a continual process of synthesis.” As a
practitioner of Buddhist meditation techniques, Linehan says:
This emphasis in DBT on a balance of acceptance
and change owes much to my experiences in studying meditation and Eastern
spirituality. The DBT tenets of observing, mindfulness, and avoidance of
judgment are all derived from the study and practice of Zen meditations.
article: Internal Family Systems Model
Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), developed by Richard C. Schwartz, emphasizes the
importance of both therapist and client engaging in therapy from the Self,
which is the IFS term for one’s “spiritual center”. The Self is
curious about whatever arises in one’s present experience and open and
accepting toward all manifestations.
meditation in organizations
In the U.S., certain businesses,
universities, government agencies, counseling centers, schools, hospitals,
religious groups, law firms, prisons, the army, and other organizations offer
training in mindfulness meditation.
In the U.S. business world, interest in mindfulness is rising
dramatically. This shows in the popular business press, including books such as
Awake at Work (Carroll, 2004) and Resonant Leadership: Renewing
Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope, and Compassion.
The website of the University of Massachusetts Medical School
Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society and Carroll’s
(2007) book, The Mindful Leader, mention many companies that have
provided training programs in mindfulness. These include Fortune 500 companies
(such as Raytheon, Procter &
Gamble, Monsanto, General Mills, and Comcast) and others (such as BASF
Bioresearch, Bose, New Balance, Unilever, and Nortel Networks). Executives who
“meditate and consider such a practice beneficial to running a corporation” have included
the chairman of the Ford Motor Company, Bill Ford, Jr.[page needed]; a managing partner of McKinsey & Co., Michael Rennie; and Aetna
International’s former chairman, Michael Stephen. A
professional-development program — “Mindfulness at Monsanto” — was started at
Monsanto corporation by its CEO, Robert Shapiro.
Sounds True, an audio recordings company, has mindfulness as a core value.
At Sounds True, we strive to practice mindfulness in every
aspect of our work. Recognizing the importance of silence, inward attention,
active listening and being centered, Sounds True begins its all-company
meetings with a minute of silence and maintains a meditation room on-site for
employees to utilize throughout the day.
In some newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals in fields
other than management, one can find indicators of interest in mindfulness in
organizations outside of business. This includes legal and law enforcement
Research on mindfulness in the workplace has been conducted by
McCormick and Hunter. Hunter has
taught a course on mindfulness to graduate students in business at Claremont Graduate University, and McCormick has taught mindfulness in the
business school of California State University Northridge. In 2000, The Inner Kids Program, a mindfulness-based program developed for
children, was introduced into public and private school curricula in the
greater Los Angeles area.
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the
present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a
distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass
you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
How to to pay attention to the present.
How to get mindful now.
Become a high-performance user of your own brain.
What happens when we lose touch with our bodies?
How present moment awareness can help your dance skills.
Power promotes authenticity and consistency in the self
Thinking ahead can help you return to intuitive eating.
How to really enjoy your meal.
Why mindful eating needs to go beyond “listen to your
How shelled nuts can help you slow down.
Meet some new foods—and smaller portions.
The surest ways to find well-being.
Become a high-performance user of your own brain.
Mindfulness meditation can help chronic pain sufferers.
Want to defeat procrastination? Pay attention.
Nail-biting and other mindless habits can be unexpected
New study on meditation.
Learn how to say “yes” to the present moment.
Warriors on track
Friday morning between 6 am and 8 am a coach works out with his stable of
runners. Usually its overcast on the tartan track by Scripps Integrative
Medicine. When it’s not foggy the westward glance as you round the track is the
panorama of the rolling greens of the Torrey Pines South and beyond the majesty
of the deep blue green Pacific. When the groundbreaking for the Integrative
Medicine center took place, the medicine woman from one of San Diego’s
indigenous tribes gave a blessing acknowledging the healing winds that blow
over this sacred spot.
Banter. Laughter. Work out briefing. Timed distances and speeds. Labored
breathing. Grimaces. And continual adjustments.This coach is a little
different. He is not only their coach, he is also their prosthetist. Any week
there are 6 to 10 runners mostly single amputees with 2 or 3 double amputees
working on their aerobic fitness and working on the fit of their new running
leg or legs.
you want to know the future; create it. And the human spirit is alive never to
be held down. For some it will be about limitations. For others, it is the
gratitude and appreciation of being alive and whatever confronts one is
something to be overcome and is just a challenge for the human spirit mindful
about what it means to “Be awake, fully present and living my life
the beginning of the blog she reminds us:
people live their lives by making the best of what they have. And then there
are people who even make the best of what they don’t have. After all, you just
don’t tell some people, “You can’t do that.” Because they will prove you wrong.
Miss Cellenia blog on Challenge
Accepted about 8 inspiring stories
that resonate with the Wounded Warriors. You’ll resonate with being mindful as
you sit or move.
moment, beautiful moment.
Find out what I
am doing by following me on Twitter…
poem below from e.e. cummings truly speaks from the heart. With Valentine’s Day
a day away, it shares a moment of reflection of the love of another. And at the
same time a deeper love that many of us find difficult to do and to live: A
deep love of ourselves: “I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself with
all my heart and from the depths of my being.” It resonates with Jon
Kabat-Zinn’s: You are enough just by sitting there breathing.
years ago a dear friend Marilyn Deak, psychologist and mentor in Energy
Psychology, was working with me on learning the Emotional Freedom Technique
(EFT by founder Gary Craig) shared at emofree.com. I found it interesting
that I had trouble remembering the statement: “I deeply and profoundly accept
myself.” What made those words so difficult to remember? Maybe some of you have
experienced the same thing. Especially when living out the archtype of
caregiver, servant, servant-leader when coming from what James
Hollis calls the “Not enough”
category of humanity.
I Carry Your Heart With Me
carry your heart with me
i carry it in my heart
i am never without it
anywhere i go you go, my dear;
and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling
i fear no fate
for you are my fate, my sweet
i want no world
for beautiful you are my world, my true
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
here is the root of the root
and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart
i carry it in my heart
—-E. E. Cummings
song I heard many years ago by the Incredible String Band has remained one that
I have treasured. And from my heart to yours:
May the longtime sun shine upon you
All love surround you.
And the pure light within you
Guide your way on
your eyes. For the next few minutes let Snatam Kaur sing to yourself from your
heart. For so many of us it is difficult to be compassionate and caring to the
God that lives within us. Namaste.
looking for the poem, I came across the website of the Randomguru and in his My Mind’s Zen
Garden shared Cummings poem back in 2006. Also come to find that Carlos is a
Find out what I
am doing by following me on Twitter…
Bergstad is a licensed psychologist
in Sweden, mindfulness teacher, writer/poet and photographer. The movie he
recently released: This Will Also Pass” is a wonderful interview he did with,
retired surgeon and Mindfulness teacher, Andries J Kroese.
Find out what I
am doing by following me on Twitter…
have been influenced in the practice of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh since
the mid-80’s and by Karen
Alper since the mid-90s with
their work at the Scripps
Center for Integrative Medicine under the leadership of Dr Mimi Guarneri. With my 25 years as a Vistage Chair I have been blessed to be
exposed to the many aspects of leadership from the perspective of what does it
mean to be a leader who practices Mindfulness.
would like to share some insights from a dear friend and an alumna Vistage
Chair, Mary Lore, author of Managing
Thought. Some good thought to
reflect on as we begin our new year awake and aware.
Living and Leading with Intention
you have a written vision statement or intention for:
organization or your family?
Your role in your organization or family?
Your life? Your career? Yourself?
Your relationship with your children? Your direct reports?
Your relationships with your customers, suppliers, investors, employees,
colleagues, manager, or boss?
Your marriage, education, livelihood, well-being, success?
Your vacation, the home or car you hope to buy, a conversation, an activity, a
sales call, an acquisition, or a meeting?
can set vision statements and choose our intentions and purpose for any aspect
of our being. You can intend:
Helping your employees fulfill their dreams.
Being of highest and best service to your customers, employees, investors,
suppliers, children, parents, and humanity.
Being a loving partner to your spouse.
Being a guide and mentor to your children or your direct reports.
Being open, receptive, and kind in a conversation and using the interaction as
a source of learning about yourself and others.
then, before you say or do anything, ask yourself, “What can I say or do in
this moment to BE my intention?” Before you make a phone call or respond to a
comment, before you join a meeting or have a conversation, or before you open
the door when you come home from work, exhale and inhale deeply. Remind
yourself of your intention and ask what you can say or do to move another step
toward making your intention a reality.
practice, taking the breath becomes natural for you. With practice, reminding
yourself of your intention and asking yourself how you can think and behave in a
manner consistent with your intention also becomes natural for you. With
practice, you are able to think these powerful thoughts just as quickly and
naturally as your old thoughts.
we choose our intentions and are mindful, we achieve clarity of purpose. We are
clear on what matters most to us, on what we value. We stop “re-acting” to
colleagues, customers, family members, employees, and situations and start
creating what we wish to create. Our thoughts, strategies, goals, plans,
actions, and reactions are focused on what is truly significant. We become
inspired. We achieve significant results. We transform our relationships, our
families, and our organizations.
could you live with intention? How could you lead with intention?
more on information on conscious, meaningful living and leading with purpose:
resolutions, intentions, and affirmations to create a life well-lived.
Watch, listen, or read: How
to Make Goals and Resolutions You Can Keep
Listen or Read: Focus
on What You Want, Not What You Don’t Want
Your “I Have a Dream” Speech?
Take this free Self-Assessment
for a Life Well-Lived.
daily inspiration on this topic, follow Managing Thought on Twitter or like it on Facebook.
J. Lore is a mentor to corporate leaders, multiple award winning author,
keynote speaker, and founder of Managing Thought, LLC. Hailed by business
leaders around the world, her multiple award-winning book Managing Thought: How
Do Your Thoughts Rule Your World? You not only change the way you think about
success—you change the way you think, period. Mary helps individuals and
organizations turn counter-productive thinking into inspired action and
significant results. In her career, she has served as a CPA, a crisis
management and business turnaround expert, and an entrepreneur. Mary serves as
an expert resource for Vistage, served as a Chair from 2002 – 2010, and was a
member during the 1990s. Visit Mary at www.managingthought.com and www.maryjlore.com. If
you’d like to help Mary teach millions of people how to change their thoughts
and their lives, go to www.managingthought.com/PBSPledgeSpecial.
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moment, beautiful moment. It is all we have.
in the present moment it is amazing what can be created when one looks back at
a compilation of present moments.
For it is with the heart that one
For what is essential is invisible to the eye
from the viewpoint of someone
who watched it happen
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
from “Leisure,” by W.H. Davies
an article “Pearls
Before Swine” written by Gene Weingarten
he relays the story of virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell playing incognito in the
the Washington, D.C. Metro station at L’Enfant Plaza on his three million
dollar Stradivarius. On Friday, January 12, 2007, Joshua Bell played for 43
minutes. Of the 6 pieces he played he started with Bach’s “Chaconne” one of the
most difficult violin pieces to master. In those 43 minutes 1097 people passed
by on their way to work. At the end of his playing, he had collected $32.17. Of
the 40+ people the Washington Post contacted there was only one who mentioned
the violinist immediately.
full article “Pearls
Before Swine” is a good read. How often
our busyness and business finds us in a state of mindlessness. How can we
embrace our lives from the context of mindfulness?
W. H. Davies
is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—
time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:
time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:
time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?
poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
as I searched for more videos on Joshua Bell, the present moment presented me
with a video that said:
The following content has been
the YouTube community as being potentially
offensive or inappropriate.
Viewer discretion is advised.
was reminded by the poet Terence: Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto
I am a man,
I consider nothing that is human alien to me.
was saddened and realized what my fellow man endures and so often I have no
knowledge of those experiences
I was reminded of my previous post. There is both sadness and joy. There is
both compassion and brutality. There is both hate and love. We are humans and
nothing that is human is alien to us.
watching the mindless helps us realize that everything I do is a choice. Will I
feed mindfulness or mindlessness with each of my choices. Susan Scott words
from her big 3 ideas in Fierce Conversations: My life succeeds or fails one
conversation at a time.
I quiet myself enough to listen?
is a good listener
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Lore’s practices in her book “Managing
Thought“ is to remove the “But” from
one’s conversations and replace it with “and.” Begin to listen to yourself and
others. Catch yourself and begin to replace your “but” with “and.” It opens the
conversation to possibilities as opposed to cutting them off. The gift of a
good improv artist is that they leave an ending line as something that a member
of their ensemble can build upon. With “and” the possibilities are endless. With
“but” the limits become all confining.
dear friend and Kaizen sensi, Toni Davies, shares from time to time
the writings of Tom Lane, a close associate for many years in continuous
improvement. Here are some wonderful reflections from Tom’s blog
holiday and Christmas season:
BOTH/AND OR EITHER/OR
do you fall on a spectrum of “both/and” thinking on one side, and “either/or”
thinking on the other side. Any initial reactions to that? I find myself almost
always on the “both/and” side of that question. And I find that conversations
with “either/or” people are not very productive or enjoyable. It seems to be
some kind of fundamental difference in how we humans deal with the world.
In the “both/and” world, there is this constant realization that two or more
different actions/beliefs/possibilities can exist at the same time. It is
totally possible that we are both encoded by nature to certain things and socialized
to many other things. It is possible that both evolution and some spiritual
intervention both happened in our development. That we humans can be both
heartless about some things and very compassionate about other things. The
both/and world allows for the enormous complexity of what life seems to be
about. It is the world of gray. It is the world of no easy answers. It is the
world of “maybe”.
On the other hand, the world of “either/or’, seems to be a world of black and
white. (I must confess that I am speculating since I have not lived in this
world) It is the world of being with me or against me. It is the world of nice
and neat contrasts. I think that the reason I have not spent much time here is
that, I have too often seen both sides of the situation. Either/or thinking
only sees one side. My side is right and your side is wrong. It is the thinking
of people who need lots of control in their living. To allow even the
possibility of two seemingly contradicting ideas to hold a position of
validity, seems absurd to “either/or” thinkers. It just does not compute.
There is only debate with the “either/or” thinkers and no chance for dialogue.
To dialogue is to recognize the complexity and nuance of life and that nothing
stands on its own as the ‘TRUTH”. But to the either/or folks, their truth is
the only truth and no other can stand with it. To even allow another
possibility to stand the same ground, is to put into question the absolute
quality and validity of their view of the world. The either/or world is a world
of needing lots of control. It seems to live by a ‘might makes right’
And, if you are on the both/and world, you can see this process and understand
how it has some validity in the world. There are some things that seem absolute
(like we die) and there is value in some of that. And you also see how so many
things are simply in the grey area. For people who want to know for certain,
grey is not a good place. It is hard to find their clarity of “rightness”. Most
of life, in my view, is in the grey. But, I can also see how some can define
the world totally differently and see it as only black and white. And I can
also see how they can not see that. Tlane 12/15/11
picture above was painted by Joe Flynn, a dear friend, I met at Scripps
Center for Integrative Medicine founded back in the
mid-90’s by Rauni
and cardiologist Dr Mimi Guaraneri, the 2011 Bravewell
Leadership Award recipient. Joe came to
group support since the late 90’s when Kaye, his wife, was a patient. Joe is a
living example of “both/and.”
is home from hospice and has been under the care of his caregiver, Lupe, and
Joe’s team of caregivers. Joe is both alive and he is dying. I’ve had the
pleasure before Thanksgiving and last Thursday to sit with him in the late
afternoon and early evening and talk about life and all things of appreciation
and gratitude. At Thanksgiving his 3 sons and their families gathered to
celebrate with Joe. When I called the next day, some of the grandchildren were
saying good bye and on their way home in other cities. Joe is both living and
would put it: ” We’re all dying. So I’m either alive or dead. As long as I am
here, breathing; I am alive!
is both a philosopher and an artist. You become a philosopher when dealing as a
negotiator which he did for Kaiser in Oakland for over 30 years. You become a
philosopher when you and your best friend with your dates leave the bar at the Coconut
Grove on November 28th, 1942
because you’re not being served.You become a philosopher when your bomber is
shot down over Romania. You become a philosopher when your best friend is also
shot down and doesn’t get home. You become a philosopher when the citizens of
the country help you and several hundred other Prisoners of War travel a few
hundred miles to escape into Turkey.
become an artist because it allows you to express yourself. You become an
artist because it is something you do for yourself and your philosopher doesn’t
care what other people think. Your creativity allows you share your art because
each year for over 30 years you create a Christmas painting that becomes the
front of your Christmas card “Exclusively for Family and Friends.”
philosopher allows family into your art studio and has them choose any of your
paintings to take with them. The studio is emptied. The philosopher aware than
being almost blind doesn’t allow the artist to be so the studio closes. The
philosopher knows the artist spirit is alive and hears of a teacher who helps
the blind and near blind paint.
you see above is Joe’s painting as he told me, every stroke by his hand. His
teacher mixed the colors according to his directions. She then over many months
verbally directed where he needed to paint. Her voice directed Joe’s hand with
the pressure and length of the stroke needed.
Crisci has a collection of Joe’s
cards. The idea was to tell Joe’s story with each card as a chapter. Matt also
had same idea for Mary Clark whose Christmas poems spanned more than 50 years.
It looks like both Joe’s and Mary’s books will not be written. The anniversary of
death will be this coming Monday,
December 19th. The San Diego Natural History Museum has a beautiful
memorial to Mary, both written, in picture
and mainly with the video of her reading one of her poems.
however, was able to share the life of one of our group in his book: Papa Cado. You can read two chapters.
I am both honored and blessed to have people like Joe, Mary, Papa Cado, Matt,
Tom, Toni and Mary in my life. They remind me both to be mindful and grateful
for the gift of life.
is with the heart one sees rightly
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was shared by Roger Wright Running
For My Existence
thanks for sharing and reminding us that like marathon running: Life is a
journey not a destination.
also to Doug Freese and his continued contributions to Google Group:
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primary advantage of de-personalizing performance–of making the person’s performance and not his psyche and/or
personality the issue–is that the person’s performance is objectively measurable and improvable. The persons
internal mind-set and other habits are not.
second advantage of separating the “person” from his or her performance is that
it permits the leader to have adult relationships with his performers without
becoming their mother or their therapist or their day-cafe supervisor.
you tolerate poor performance, you will probably get it
If you tolerate certain mistakes, you will in all probability have to put up
If you tolerate broken promises, you will get them…
If you tolerate deceit and conniving, you will get them
If you tolerate incompetence, incompetent people will know where to apply.
who don’t know or don’t care where they are going have nothing by which to
navigate except other people who don’t know or don’t care where they are going.
They don’t know what is relevant to their journey because they are not
committed to any particular destination. they carry no compass, having no need.
They could, like the ancient Polynesians, read the currents. But no one seems
to know how to do this. It is not on the test they had in school
ought to own the problem? (in most cases, this should be the person or people
who have the problem.)
Who ought to own the problem of fixing it? (Same as above.)
Who ought to get credit for eliminating the problem–the one who becomes aware
of it, the one who figures out what to do about it, or the one who implements
the fix? (that’s easy. They need to be the same person or group of people)
is a difference between accomplishment as a way of life and accomplishment for
the sole purpose of moving up in the organization. The leadership virtuoso
takes great care not to reward the latter. In a great organization, not to be
accomplishment-minded is to be wrong-minded.
the people in a organization put the organization first, and themselves second,
or third, their leaders are not good for them, for the organization, or for the
future of this civilization. What’s incompatible is that if people have no duty
to the larger whole (e.g. the organization, the society), there can be no
virtue. The good leader teaches people what their duties are–to themselves, to
others, to the larger whole. Until that happens, no good is likely to come of
it. A leader who cannot make this happen is a bad leader. Under a bad leader,
is our duty to be the kind of people who deserve “good” leaders. It is the good
leader’s duty to make us do what we ought to do, to become the kind of people
we ought to become. We clearly get the leaders we deserve.
ingredient most often missing from all our talk about leadership is…power. The leader’s influence is
limited by the limitations of her power. What brought Carly down at HP was not
her incompetence. It was a shortfall of the power needed to fend off the
a leader does not have the prerogative to choose his own personnel, he will
likely fail. If the leader does not have or exercise fire-power, he will lose.
If the leader cannot impose his will on his followers, he will lose. It is the
leader’s prerogative, necessarily, to risk being wrong. If it becomes
groupthink, everyone loses.
virtuosity requires leading people from where they are to where they ought to
be, from who they are to who they ought to be. To fail at this is to fail in
the leadership role and to betray those people.
it is done for their long-term benefit, and the benefit of the larger whole
(all of the organization’s other stakeholders), you must have the power
necessary to make it happen. If you turn that moral obligation over to others,
you have failed your leadership role. You have done harm.
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was added the 13th, 14th and 15th women who have received the Nobel Peace
Prize. These women Nobel Prize winners, many who you will not have known until
you read about them, embody mindfulness.
first nine women Peace Prize winners you can read about in this article on the Nobel
Prize website in the words of the
individuals who presented these women their awards.
Bertha von Suttner 1905
Green Balch 1946
San Suu Kyi 1991
Menchu Tum 1992
Johnson Sirleaf 2011
Nobel Peace Prize 2011 was awarded jointly to Ellen
Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah
Gbowee and Tawakkul
Karman “for their non-violent
struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation
in peace-building work”.
Mindful.org shares a list of the past
awardees and nominees where mindfulness impacted their life and their work as
with the 15 women Nobel Peace Prize winners.
will want to visit Mindful.org for their many offerings to
further your study, understanding and practical practice of mindfulness.
to 2011’s laureates: Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian peace
activist Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen, who were together recognized
the New York Times put it, “their nonviolent role in
promoting peace, democracy and gender equality.”
the Mindful.org archives:
Martin Luther King Jr.
1964, Martin Luther King Jr. became the youngest person to receive the Nobel
Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination
through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means. By the time of his death
in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the
to Love: Bell Hooks explains how Martin
Luther King’s vision of life based on a love ethic could heal our world.
Thich Nhat Hahn
Nhat Hahn is a Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist. He was
nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1967. He remains
active in the peace movement, promoting non-violent solutions to conflict.
is no path to peace. The path is peace.: Thich Nhat Hahn talks to
U.S. Congress about changing our society’s foundation of violence.
pivotal figure in India’s history, and one of the most well-known
representatives of non-violence in the 20th century, Gandhi was nominated for
the Nobel Peace Prize in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and 1948, the year he was
murdered. The omission has been publicly regretted by later members of the
Global Gandhi: According to Gandhi, inner
transformation is the key to social change. Can it be applied to the climate
crisis? An exploration by Diana Calthorpe Rose of the Garrison Institute.
Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of the
Tibetan people. The Dalai Lama was named the 1989 winner of the Nobel Peace
Prize in recognition of his nonviolent campaign over nearly 40 years to end
China’s domination of his homeland.
Mind from the Inside: The true nature of the
mind, says the Dalai Lama, is beyond any concept or physical form, and
therefore it cannot be studied solely by third-person, scientific methods. Mind
must also be studied through a rigorous observation of our own subjective
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Opportunity to listen to excellent program on Mindfulness for free.
can stream the video of this marvelous session on Creating A Mindful Society.
It can be viewed for free for 30 days starting October 3rd.
to: live.soundstrue.com and register (name and
email) You can then return when you have time to listen at your convenience to
the entire program.
below are the speakers with information about them and then the topic of their
and meditation with Saki Santorelli
address by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD
The Transformative Power of Mindfulness in America and the World
Kabat-Zinn will articulate the need for and the promise of bringing greater
mindfulness and heartfulness into our society on every level—from the
individual to the institutional, from the corporate to the governmental, from
the national to the international. He will offer a few simple steps to embody
greater mindfulness in our own lives and accelerate the cultivation of greater
mindfulness in our society. The talk will include a guided meditation.
and meditation with Saki Santorelli
and meditation with Michael Craft
address by Richard Davidson, PhD
Change Your Brain by Transforming Your Mind
This talk by one of America’s leading neuroscientists will explore the emerging
field of contemplative neuroscience. Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center
for Investigating Healthy Minds, will showcase recent findings that illustrate
how training the mind can change the brain in ways that promote mental and physical
Santorelli, EdD, MA
The Healing Power of Mindfulness
Experience, first hand, a range of mindfulness practices used in the
mindfulness-based stress reduction training program at the University of
Massachusetts Medical School.
Saki F. Santorelli, EdD, MA, is director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the
University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center; executive director of the
Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society; and associate
professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Author
of Heal Thy Self, Saki F. Santorelli has been active in the emerging fields of
mind-body and integrative medicine for more than 20 years, including the
development of many experiential, mindfulness-based professional education and
development programs. He has more than 30,000 hours of clinical experience in
mindfulness-based stress reduction and has trained thousands of people,
including physicians, nurses, and teachers. For more than a decade, Santorelli
also has taught a program for medical students that explores the role of the
mindfulness in medicine and health care.
address by Janice Marturano
Finding the Space to Lead
The complexities of the global economy and the speed with which our environment
is changing requires all of us—leaders and potential leaders—to use our minds’
full capabilities. Right in the midst of speed and complexity, we can cultivate
our innate ability to pause and be present, developing greater focus and
clarity, and the mental space for creativity and compassion to arise.
and meditation with Michael Craft
and meditation with Melvin McLeod
Stress Reduction”?Rhonda Magee, JD
An exploration of how mindful lawyers are changing the world—and how we all can
make a difference.
Rhonda Magee, JD, is professor of law at the San Francisco School of Law and a
leading voice for bringing the practice of mindfulness into the legal
profession. Magee’s scholarly work focuses on race law and policy, humanizing
legal education, and the practice of law. Through her work, she aims to help
law students and practitioners cope with pressure in order to be more
successful and effective. Magee’s coursework shares a common theme of examining
how law responds to the vulnerable in society. Rhonda Magee is author of
numerous journal articles, including “Legal Education and the Formation of
Professional Identity” and “Racial Suffering as Human Suffering: An
Existentially Grounded Humanity Consciousness as a Guide to a 14th Amendment Reborn.”
Over Money: Making Money Matter”?Kristi Nelson
Learn how the core principles inherent to mindfulness offer us critical
opportunities to redirect our personal—and ultimately our collective—economies.
Kristi Nelson has worked in nonprofit leadership and development for the past
25 years, helping to raise millions of dollars for organizations committed to
progressive social and spiritual change. From 2002 to 2010, Nelson offered
values-based fund-raising consulting to organizations such as the Institute for
Jewish Spirituality, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Spirit in Action, Kripalu Yoga
Center, and the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. She also was founding
executive director of the Soul of Money Institute. Kristi Nelson is currently
the director of resource development and community relations for the Center for
Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society. She is currently writing a
book about mindfulness and money.
Mentoring, and Youth”?Ali Smith & Atman Smith with Andres Gonzalez
The founders of Baltimore’s acclaimed Holistic Life Foundation discuss how
mindfulness and yoga practices for youth in high-risk environments has helped
them become more centered, deal with peer pressure, and manage strong emotions.
Brothers Ali Smith and Atman Smith joined with their University of Maryland
classmate Andres Gonzales to return to the inner-city streets of Baltimore and
introduce yoga, mindfulness, and wholesome living to schoolchildren. In 2001,
they founded the Holistic Life Foundation, which carries out its mission
through after-school yoga programs, mentoring, a stress reduction and
mindfulness curriculum, an environmental advocacy program, and more.
Mindfulness to the Military to Enhance Performance and Build Resilience”?Elizabeth
Stanley, PhD, Captain (Retired)
Elizabeth Stanley shares some of her experiences in developing
mindfulness-based mind fitness training and teaching it to troops before their
deployment to combat.
Elizabeth Stanley, PhD, Captain (Retired), is an associate professor of
security studies at Georgetown University and founding president of the Mind
Fitness Training Institute, which teaches mindfulness-based mind fitness
training to organizations operating in high-stress environments. A retired
ninth-generation Army officer from a military family, Stanley served as a
military intelligence officer with the United States Army, leaving service with
the rank of Captain. She has extensive experience with mind fitness techniques,
including long-term intensive practice in the United States and Burma
(Myanmar). She completed teacher training in mindfulness-based stress reduction
and has co-taught with Jon Kabat-Zinn. She also has training in somatic-based
techniques that help individuals re-regulate their autonomic nervous systems
after stressful or traumatic experiences. She has served on the United States
Army Science Board, the National Security Advisory Panel of the Sandia National
Laboratories, and the executive board of Women in International Security. Author
of Paths to Peace, Elizabeth Stanley has published widely on a variety of
topics related to mind fitness and national security.
in the Moment: Mindfulness & Mental Focus in the Tech Sector”?Jenny Lykken
A discussion of why and how tech workers design and develop mindfulness-based
programs, including successful solutions and important challenges in the
delivery of mindfulness-based programs in the workplace.
Jenny Lykken, a graduate of the psychology program at Harvard, is the learning
and development specialist at Google. In her current role, Lykken manages and
facilitates global personal growth learning programs, including classes on
mindfulness, stress management, and emotional intelligence. She also consults
with teams to customize learning solutions based on their requests and ideas
for personal growth training and development. An avid snowboarder and yoga
practitioner, Lykken enjoys daily hikes and meditations on the Pacific coastal
trail near her home in San Francisco.
address by Congressman Tim Ryan
A Mindful Nation
Our nation faces daunting challenges—in education, health care, defense, the
environment, and the economy. Everywhere we turn, we face the need to let go of
old ways of doing things and enter uncharted territory. Given the scientific
evidence of the benefits of various mindfulness and awareness practices, it
would be irresponsible for us not to explore whether they can help us find the
resilience we need to face our challenges with the can-do spirit for which
Americans are famous.
Simon hosts the Mindfulness Town Hall where Jon Kabat-Zinn, Richard J.
Davidson, Janice Marturano, and US Congressman Tim Ryan discuss the following
questions with the audience:
1. How do we engage the broader public in a conversation about the benefits of
mindfulness practice? Could millions someday make mindfulness practice a normal
part of their lives, and if so, how might that happen?
2. How can we develop, demonstrate, and gain acceptance for specific
applications of mindfulness in different aspects of society and the workplace?
3. How do we help create a mindful society, in terms of both civil society and
4. What is the future of the mindfulness community? Where do we go from here?
The practice of mindfulness can bring many benefits to your emotional and
physical health, as well as to the relationships in your life. Mindfulness is
an amazing tool for stress management and overall wellness because it can be
used at virtually any time and can quickly bring lasting results. The following
mindfulness exercises are simple and convenient, and can lead you to a deeper
experience of mindfulness in your daily life.
Meditation brings many benefits in its own right, and has been
one of the most popular and traditional ways to achieve mindfulness for
centuries, so it tops the list of mindfulness exercises. Meditation becomes
easier with practice, but it need not be difficult for beginners. Simply find a
comfortable place, free of distractions, and quiet your mind. (See this article
for more meditation
techniques, or this one for
a basic meditation for beginners.)
mindfulness can be as simple as breathing! Seriously, though, one of the most
simple ways to experience mindfulness, which can be done as you go about your
daily activities (convenient for those who feel they don’t have time to
meditate), is to focus on your breathing. Breathe from your belly rather than
from your chest, and try to breathe in through your nose and out through your
mouth. Focusing on the sound and rhythm of your breath, especially when you’re
upset, can have a calming effect and help you stay grounded in the present
moment. (See this article for more on breathing
music has many benefits — so many, in fact, that music is being used
therapeutically in a new branch of complimentary medicine known as music therapy. That’s part of why listening to music makes a great
mindfulness exercise. You can play soothing new-age music, classical music, or
another type of slow-tempo music to feel calming effects, and make it an
exercise in mindfulness by really focusing on the sound and vibration of each
note, the feelings that the music brings up within you, and other sensations
that are happening “right now” as you listen. If other thoughts creep
into your head, congratulate yourself for noticing, and gently bring your
attention back to the current moment and the music you are hearing.
“cleaning house” has a literal meaning (cleaning up your actual
house) as well as a figurative one (getting rid of “emotional
baggage,” letting go of things that non longer serve you), and both can be
great stress relievers! Because clutter has several hidden costs and can be a subtle but
significant stressor, cleaning house and de-cluttering as a mindfulness
exercise can bring lasting benefits. To bring mindfulness to cleaning, you
first need to view it as a positive event, an exercise in self-understanding
and stress relief, rather than simply as a chore. Then, as you clean, focus on
what you are doing as you are doing it — and nothing else. Feel the warm, soapy
water on your hands as you wash dishes; experience the vibrations of the vacuum
cleaner as you cover the area of the floor; enjoy the warmth of the laundry as
you fold it; feel the freedom of letting go of unneeded objects as you put them
in the donations bag. It may sound a little silly as you read it here, but if
you approach cleaning as an exercise in mindfulness, it can become one. (I also
recommend adding music to the equation.)
Many stressed and
busy people find it difficult to stop focusing on the rapid stream of thoughts
running through their mind, and the idea of sitting in meditation and holding
off the onslaught of thought can actually cause more stress! If this sounds
like you, the mindfulness exercise of observing your thoughts might be for you.
Rather than working against the voice in your head, you sit back and
“observe” your thoughts, rather than becoming involved in them. As
you observe them, you might find your mind quieting, and the thoughts becoming
less stressful. (If not, you may benefit from journaling as a way of processing all those thoughts so you can
decrease their intensity and try again.)
You are probably
now getting the idea that virtually any activity can be a mindfulness exercise,
and in a way, you’re right. It helps to practice meditation or another exercise
that really focuses on mindfulness, but you can bring mindfulness to anything
you do, and find yourself less stressed and more grounded in the process.
“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” - Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist monk
The idea of being mindful — being present, being more
conscious of life as it happens — seems a bit impossible to many of the super
But not only is it possible, I’d submit that it’s
desirable, and that it’ll help the busy (and non-busy) achieve their goals and
enjoy life more fully.
One of my favorite web big shots, Digg.com founder Kevin
Rose (who is actually heading several companies and multiple other projects),
has “be mindful” at the top of his resolutions for 2009. I hope he’s doing well, and I’d love to hear how someone as busy as
he is implements a resolution like that.
But in case Mr. Rose, and other super-busy types, are
having trouble being mindful and living life to the fullest, this guide will
Enjoying Life and
It seems contradictory to those who are used to sacrificing living for pursuing their goals … but
cultivating mindfulness will help you achieve your goals and enjoy life more.
Focusing on one task at a time, putting yourself fully
into that task, is much more effective than multi-tasking. Focusing on one real
goal at a time is also more effective. I’ve proven it to myself time and again
over the last few years (see My Story for more). Focusing on what
you’re doing right now is highly effective. You’re more productive when you’re mindful.
But more importantly, being present is undoubtedly the
only way to enjoy life to the fullest. By being mindful, you enjoy your food
more, you enjoy friends and family more, you enjoy anything you’re doing more.
Anything. Even things you might think are drudgery or boring, such as
housework, can be amazing if you are truly present. Try it — wash dishes or
sweep or cook, and remain fully present. It takes practice, but it’s
The best method I can offer for learning to be present, the best method for
practicing, is to focus on it for one month. Make focusing on being present a
habit. If you make it your only focus, I guarantee you’ll get better at it, and
more importantly, you’ll get into the habit of remembering to focus, of
remembering to practice, of being more aware.
Do a one-month challenge. It’s the best method for forming
new habits, and it works for being present. A good way to do this is join the
monthly challenge on the Zen Habits forums or on The Power of Less Challenge forum. Then do the following:
“Do you have patience to wait till your mud settles and
the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by
itself?” - Lao Tzu
How to Be Mindful
1. Do one thing
at a time. Single-task, don’t multi-task.
When you’re pouring water, just pour water. When you’re eating, just eat. When
you’re bathing, just bathe. Don’t try to knock off a few tasks while eating or
bathing or driving. Zen proverb: “When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”
2. Do it slowly
and deliberately. You can do one task at a time,
but also rush that task. Instead, take your time, and move slowly. Make your
actions deliberate, not rushed and random. It takes practice, but it helps you
focus on the task.
3. Do less. If you do less, you can do those things more slowly, more completely
and with more concentration. If you fill your day with tasks, you will be
rushing from one thing to the next without stopping to think about what you do.
But you’re busy and you can’t possibly do less, right? You can. I’ve done it,
and so have many busy people. It’s a matter of figuring out what’s important,
and letting go of what’s not. Read more: The Lazy Manifesto: Do Less.
4. Put space
between things. Related to the “Do less” rule,
but it’s a way of managing your schedule so that you always have time to
complete each task. Don’t schedule things close together — instead, leave room
between things on your schedule. That gives you a more relaxed schedule, and
leaves space in case one task takes longer than you planned.
5. Spend at least
5 minutes each day doing nothing. Just sit in
silence. Become aware of your thoughts. Focus on your breathing. Notice the
world around you. Become comfortable with the silence and stillness. It’ll do
you a world of good — and just takes 5 minutes!
6. Stop worrying
about the future – focus on the present. Become more aware
of your thinking — are you constantly worrying about the future? Learn to
recognize when you’re doing this, and then practice bringing yourself back to
the present. Just focus on what you’re doing, right now. Enjoy the present
7. When you’re
talking to someone, be present. How many of us
have spent time with someone but have been thinking about what we need to do in
the future? Or thinking about what we want to say next, instead of really
listening to that person? Instead, focus on being present, on really listening,
on really enjoying your time with that person.
8. Eat slowly and
savor your food. Food can be crammed down our
throats in a rush, but where’s the joy in that? Savor each bite, slowly, and
really get the most out of your food. Interestingly, you’ll eat less this way,
and digest your food better as well.
9. Live slowly
and savor your life. Just as you would savor your
food by eating it more slowly, do everything this way — slow down and savor
each and every moment. As I type this, for example, I have my 3-year-old
daughter, Noelle, on my lap. She’s just sitting here quietly, as the rain pours
down in a hush outside. What a lovely moment. In fact, I’m going to take a few
minutes off just to be with her now. Be right back.
10. Make cleaning
and cooking become meditation. Cooking and
cleaning are often seen as drudgery, but actually they are both great ways to
practice mindfulness, and can be great rituals performed each day. If cooking
and cleaning seem like boring chores to you, try doing them as a form of
meditation. Put your entire mind into those tasks, concentrate, and do them
slowly and completely. It could change your entire day (as well as leave you
with a cleaner house).
practicing. When you get frustrated, just
take a deep breath. When you ask yourself, “What should I do now, Self?”, the
answer is “keep practicing”.
“When you drive around the city and come to a red light or
a stop sign, you can just sit back and make use of these twenty or thirty
seconds to relax — to breathe in, breathe out, and enjoy arriving in the
present moment. There are many things like that we can do.” - Thich Nhat Hanh
I’ll leave you
with a video from one of my favorite mindfulness teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh
(check out his books, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of
Mindfulness in Everyday Life, and True Love: A Practice for Awakening
Read more about simple productivity,
focus and getting great things done in my book, The Power of Less.
Many people find it hard to cope with the pressures of
modern living. Every day, a quarter of a million people miss work because of
stress, with 75 per cent of all illnesses thought to be stress-related. And
when times are hard, It can be difficult to see the light at the end of the
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present
moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga. It helps us
become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that instead of being
overwhelmed by them, we’re better able to manage them.
Practising mindfulness can give people more insight into
their emotions, boost their attention and concentration and improve
relationships. It’s proven to help with stress, anxiety, depression and
addictive behaviours, and can even have a positive effect on physical problems
like hypertension, heart disease and chronic pain
Anyone can learn mindfulness. It’s simple, you
can practise it anywhere, and the results can be life-changing.
Mindfulness Meditation is becoming
widely popular as an adjunct to conventional medical and psychological
This site is designed to assist
people who are interested in the integration of psychotherapy and medical
therapies, for their own well being , for the purpose of enhancing the
therapeutic relationship or to improve the quality of clinical interventions.
Sister Site: www.familyconstellations.org.au (ConstellationFlow)
Editor-in-Chief: Nirbhay N. Singh
ISSN: 1868-8527 (print version)
ISSN: 1868-8535 (electronic version)
Journal no. 12671
Advances research, clinical practice, and theory on
This journal publishes peer-reviewed papers that examine
the latest research findings and best practices in mindfulness. It explores the
nature and foundations of mindfulness, its mechanisms of actions, and its use
across cultures. In addition, Mindfulness
features papers that address issues involving the training of clinicians,
institutional staff, teachers, parents, and industry personnel in mindful
provision of services.
Coverage in the journal includes reliability and validity
of assessment of mindfulness; clinical uses of mindfulness in psychological
distress, psychiatric disorders, and medical conditions; alleviation of
personal and societal suffering; the nature and foundations of mindfulness;
mechanisms of action; and the use of mindfulness across cultures.
Mindfulness features diverse
viewpoints, including psychology, psychiatry, medicine, neurobiology,
psychoneuroendocrinology, cognitive, behavioral, cultural, philosophy,
spirituality, and wisdom traditions. It serves as a much-needed forum for the
broad-based, leading-edge research in this burgeoning field.
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