Jan 16, 2013
I encourage my meditation students to set up “mindfulness triggers,” by which I mean reminders to practice mindfulness. One of my mindfulness triggers is walking toward a pedestrian crossing, when I remind myself to have no expectations that the approaching cars will stop. Another is closing my car door and walking to my office, when I remember to walk meditatively in order to arrive at Wildmind’s World Headquarters mindfully and in a state of lovingkindness.
But some of us need mindfulness triggers for our mindfulness triggers, meaning that we read about these kinds of pracices and even plan to set them up, but then in the heat of daily …
Jan 11, 2013
It astonishes me how much time I spend making judgements about people, but the truly surprising thing is that although it makes me feel bad, I keep doing it. And it leads to unfortunate interactions with people which ends up causing them suffering too.
One thing that protects us against this kind of self-imposed suffering is lovingkindness (metta) practice. Lovingkindness is an important complement to mindfulness practice.
To cultivate metta we can do something as simple as repeat to ourselves, “May you be well; may you be happy” as we see others. We can do this while walking or driving, for example.
We can take a more reflective approach …
Jan 06, 2013
This is an excellent phone etiquette idea. People often want to spend more time texting the people they’re not with than paying attention to the people they are with, and in doing so they deprive themselves of the opportunity to make rich emotional connections with others.
We need to develop ways, like this one, of dealing with our addictions to technology and to multitasking. Otherwise we risk becoming road-kill on the information superhighway.
Nov 19, 2012
Recently I received a few questions about the relationship between lovingkindness and “toughness.”
1. When practicing lovingkindness, how do you respond if people around you warm to you, but misconstrue your kindness and friendliness, and then become disappointed that you don’t want a “relationship” with them?
Well, that’s an interesting question. I suppose the short answer is “kindly.”
It’s great if people are noticing you becoming friendlier and are responding. But these things can be complicated, especially when people have strong emotional needs (because they’re lonely, for example) or where friendliness is being interpreted as an overture to romantic involvement.
And sometimes we may need to look at the signals we’re …
Oct 22, 2012
In practicing mindfulness in daily life, it’s worth watching out for small experiences that lead to tension, stress, or anger.
I noticed several months ago that I’d start feeling resentful as I walked toward a pedestrian crossing with the intention, of course, of crossing the road. The resentment is connected with the number of drivers who don’t stop when they see someone — well, me! — about to cross the road.
But I’d actually start getting resentful before I even reached the side of the road, long before drivers could possibly realize that it was my intention to cross in front of them. It’s all rather irrational, and goes way back, …
Sep 28, 2012
Meditation students often ask me what will help them remember presence in the thick of things. My first response: “Just pause.” My second response: “Pause again, take a few conscious breaths, and relax.”
Our lives are constantly tumbling into the future, and the only way back to here and now is to stop doing and just be. Even a few moments of un-doing, of suspended activity, a mini-meditation of just being still, can reconnect you with a sense of aliveness and caring. That connection will deepen if, during those moments, you intentionally establish contact with your body, breathe, and relax.
A game I often play with myself is to see if …
Sep 08, 2012
Leo Babauta has a great post at Zen Habits (a site I must remember to visit more often) on Full-Screen Living.
Many of us who write, he points out, use tools that simplify our computer screens. My last book, and most of my blog posts, were written in an application called WriteRoom, which presents me with a black screen, green plain type, and no formatting options, toolbars, or any other distractions. When I’m reading news articles on the web I often use “Readability,” which is a browser plugin that reformats the screen to make reading an undistracted full-screen experience. Babauta mentions these options, and more, …
Wildmind Meditation News
Sep 07, 2012
NY Daily News: If you’re wondering how to trek to work without losing your mind, Emmy Award-winner and New York City-based meditation teacher David Nichtern offers up a few pointers on curbing commuter stress.
“People think of spiritual practice as a tranquilizer,” Nichtern told fitness blog Well+Good NYC on September 3. “But I’m not from the school of ‘Let’s just chant something.’ My school is awareness. The more aware you are, the more likely you’re headed to a positive outcome.”
So, how to make your commute more mindful? He offers up a few ways to respond to common commute scenarios, as per his interview …
Wildmind Meditation News
Aug 22, 2012
Jen Weigel, Chicago Tribune: Can you be a success in the world of business and still be mindful? What exactly does it mean to be “mindful” anyway? According to Mirabai Bush, one of the creators of a mindfulness course developed for Google employees called “Search Inside Yourself,” you will be more productive and motivated if you use respect, compassion and generosity in the workplace.
“Mindfulness has to do with paying attention to what’s happening in the moment without judgment,” said Bush. “Sometimes people think being mindful means being slow — it’s not about being slow, it’s about being slow enough that you can …
Aug 14, 2012
In our fast-paced world it seems everyone’s stressed, hassled, and exhausted, so it’s a good thing that August 15, 2012 has been declared National Relaxation Day.
When they think about relaxing, most people would tend to hit upon rather conventional things, like soaking in the bath, having a glass of wine at the end of the evening, or watching a movie. But those things are temporary fixes that don’t lead to long-term change. Instead, I’d like to suggest five habits that can be cultivated and practiced every day. These are skills that can become a permanent part of the way you function in your daily life, and bring you long …