This is one of the most common questions I'm asked by people wondering if mindfulness is for them. There’s often a subtext behind the inquiry: most mindfulness courses ask participants to practice for up to 45 minutes a day, the suggestion being that this will be a vital part of the learning process. Forty-five minutes a day seems a lot of work for most people, especially in a culture where sitting still and "doing nothing" for any time at all is unusual. If mindfulness just means paying attention, why can’t I do that without having to meditate? Can’t I just decide to notice things a bit more?Read more »
It’s not too late to learn how to listen to your body talk—and you can do it with two wonderful teachers at Windhorse Farm in Nova Scotia this coming weekend, July 13-15.
So often in the practice of mindfulness we tend to think it’s about doing a specific practice, while all the time our body knows it’s a lot about just being.Read more »
Of the multiplicity of amazing and not-at-all amazing features that appear on the web, my hands-down favorite is RSA Animate. It’s never failed to please me. In a nutshell, the Royal Society of Arts in London invites authors and innovators to give short talks on new and challenging thinking. The talks are then given to animators who take the ideas and turn them into pictures, capturing short phrases that summarize what’s being said and the RSA produces a short YouTube video with the talk providing the voice-over for the animation. For some magical reason, it makes it so much easier to absorb the information. Sometimes, I wish I could RSA Animate a table conversation, or even a column or blog I’m reading. The visual and the aural interplay so beautifully.Read more »
Did you know that Minnesota has one of the highest concentrations of eagles in the country? A couple of years ago, I had a chance to visit the National Eagle Center, just south of Red Wing.Read more »
When did you first start practicing mindfulness and why were you motivated to do so? Did you take a class? If so, what sort of a class did you take?
At age 20 I took my first yoga class in which the silence and practice of breath awareness helped me quiet my mind and be present in the moment. In such still mind I was able to be a better listener, more focused and aware of what was going on within and around me. I felt more confident and joyful and was more compassionate and accepting of situations I came across. I felt more energized and noticed I was more able to respond rather than react emotionally to situations.
My motivation for taking this class was the need for silence and to slow down the fast pace of my life as a full-time student, part-time worker and children’s center volunteer living in a big city. This hurried life made me feel drained, tense and ungrounded. I was over-critical and lacked confidence.
Years later I became exposed to the practice of meditation which I did sporadically until it became a daily practice. My two years as a student of the MA in Contemplative Education at Naropa University inspired me greatly to strengthen this practice and eventually make it an essential part of my life. This program made me realize that the practice of stilling the mind and becoming aware of the breath it is essential and can be practiced anywhere, not only on the cushion while I meditate.Read more »