Well this weekend was week one of the first MBSR course I am teaching, and it went really well. I enjoyed it and afterwards I felt really enthused and wanted everyone to know about Mindfulness. I'm really grateful to my teacher Thich Nhat Hanh for making Mindfulness a common, everyday word that people have some understanding of or want to know more about. I'm also really grateful to Jon Kabat-Zinn and the many other researchers and academics who have made it possible to offer 8 week MBSR courses to a wider audience.
If you're interested in learning more about Mindfulness and live in the Yorkshire region, check out the website for YorkMBSR http://www.yorkmbsr.co.uk/
or if you know people who live in this area, make sure they know about it.
We also offer weekend and five-day retreats, so if you live further afield it is still possible to be part of a movement towards making Mindfulness mainstream and bringing it into schools and workplaces as well as for individuals.
I'm becoming very interested in the readership of this blog, as I receive stats from the blog as to how many people in each country are reading it. I find it fascinating that a particular post will suddenly spike in interest as many people in the USA or Romania (for instance) are reading it. How did you find out about the blog? Was it from a google search or from a friend? I think for many people the links to Thich Nhat Hanh's teaching are the major draw, but I could be guessing, so it would be great to receive your feedback on this.
On Sundays we have silent mornings at our house (http://www.silenceonsundays.com/), where we meditate together and then have 2 sessions of silence where people choose how to spend the time silently. This could be reading, meditating, walking, sewing or drawing, it doesn't matter what activity takes place, as it is the being in silence that is most important. And this is becoming a very important part of my life. At the end of each session we feedback in answer to the question "what do you know?" A few juicy quotes came out of yesterday's session which I'd like to share with you -
"Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional"
from Shakespeare's Julius Ceasar, "Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look.
"Don't believe everything you think"
It's clear from these jewels that it doesn't matter what life throws at us, it is what we think about the situation that makes all the difference to how we then behave, react or not. Do we engage in storytelling to embellish what has happened, or do we let it go and move on?
A favourite quote from my MBSR colleague is
"thoughts come and go, which is fine, let them do that. Don't invite them in and give them a cup of tea".
And finally, a quote from Deepak Chopra,
"Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day".
I hope you have a mindful day, week or moment :)