Life is a beautiful thing.
Just take it all in and breathe,
~ Creola Johnson
“When people go to the gym, for example, they know pretty much what’s going to happen, and how it’s going to happen. Lifting weights causes muscles to stretch and even tear a little, causing lactic acid to build up, causing the muscles to rebuild themselves bigger and with more capacity than they had before. It’s a physical process, and while trainers will debate the best methods until the end of time, the basic operation is clearly understood.
Meditation is similar. If you do the work, predictable changes in the mind and the brain tend to result, in a fairly reliable way. This, in a sense, is the very opposite of spirituality—and it’s certainly not religion either. It’s more like working out: Each time I come back to the breath, I’m strengthening very specific neural networks.”
~ Jay Michaelson
“I’m slowly learning how to bring anthropology and mindfulness together. I think they complement each other beautifully, but how to talk about it is a whole other thing. I think it comes down to excavation – what you do physically to understand where people come from. That’s a process of discovery and insight.”
Dr. Michael J. Kimball
It wasn’t until I stumbled clumsily toward a daily mindfulness practice in my mid-thirties that I discovered that there were ways I could get better at feeling my feelings.
Before intentionally working on my attentional skills, I had no idea how often I escalated my unpleasant feelings and zipped past the pleasant and subtler ones.
The kind of self-awareness that mindfulness exercise develops has helped me become more objective about my subjective experiences.
The real magic happens when we become intimately familiar with the moment-by-moment experience of being alive. Instead of trying to force complete experiences to happen. I focus on setting the stage for them to happen by exercising my attention.
When remembering to notice that we're alive becomes a habit, we begin to erode the internal friction that obscures our view of the richness we're swimming in every day.
There are many obstacles to establishing a consistent mindfulness routine. Three big ones are finding time to practice, being distracted by thoughts, and feeling bored.
I discovered an exercise that obliterates all three simultaneously, but I’m pretty sure you’re going to hate the idea of it.
As with any good attention exercise, it leverages an ordinary activity as an opportunity to build capacities that for responding more effectively to the challenges of ordinary life.
"Do I think one minute is going to be the thing that changes your life? It could be really powerful, but...what I love about one minute is it's a very low-cost option. Very few barriers to entry.
Because if you start saying, Oh, I don't have a minute to meditate, we really got to start evaluating some things going on in your life, because you definitely need more than meditation if you make that argument.
It's hard to argue yourself out of it."
~ Cory Muscara
“What led me to mindfulness was my own relationship to anxiety. So for this particular film, I felt it was important for the viewer to be able to experience the transformation a mindful meditation practice can have on an individual’s state of mind.”
~ Julie Bayer
Any perception you can observe directly in real time can be used to train a variety of attention-related skills.
I like to make a game out of turning ordinary activities into opportunities for practice.
There are a number of exercises I use when watching a film — whether it’s one I enjoy, dislike, or have seen before.