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Meditation - Other Side of Mindfulness (Again)

This meditation was originally scheduled for last week, but had to be postposed until this Tuesday.


Doug will lead us on a mindfulness meditation.

Mindfulness is often defined as "present-centered, non-judgemental awareness." In practice, however, there is a strong emphasis on the present-centered aspect. In this meditation, we will explore what it means to be "non-judgemental".
The basis for this exploration will be the ancient "recipe" for mindfulness: "The meditator focuses on an object in and of itself,ardent, alert, and mindful, putting aside greed and distress with respect to the world. This is one's right mindfulness"
In addition to meditation, we'll have a discussion. We'll also go out for a bite to eat afterwards.

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  • Doug

    Congratulations! And a nicely written article. And good luck staying equanimous.

    July 11, 2013

    • Rick H.

      It's working so far!

      July 12, 2013

  • Tyler K.

    Thank you, Doug, for the lesson, Rick for organizing, and everyone for the very interesting observations and discussion. I got a lot out of this one. Lots to explore - not only in seeing "greed" (desire for something to be different) as separate from, and causing, suffering. For me, the additional insight is in also separating that greed/distress package from the triggering problem entirely. Some problems you can't do anything about, so putting aside the greed and thereby alleviating the distress is enough (if you can recognize a truly futile cause - back to the serenity prayer). But other problems can be addressed - some even should or must be addressed. In that case, it's freeing to get the unhelpful suffering about *wanting* change out of the way, so you can engage with the problem directly and try to make the change happen, unfettered by your distress. This sheds a whole new light for me on Buddhist teachings about non-attachment without forsaking the world.

    3 · July 10, 2013

    • Tyler K.

      Absolutely - I didn't mean to say this is easy! But I really did not understand before how someone could fruitfully try to reconcile non-attachment with trying to make the world better. Now I think I get how that could be approached. It kinda reminds me of some principles I was introduced to via Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP), where you try to set aside your angry, frustrated feelings when a child is misbehaving, and respond in a way that's more likely to encourage and help the child change behavior. You make it not be about your own negative feelings, but all about nurturing healthy behavior in the child.

      2 · July 11, 2013

    • Doug

      This is a great analogy. I often think of mindfulness as a nurturing parent. You have to "rear" your mind the way parents rear a child. Encourage the healthy thing, keep the mind away from unskillful things, and don't be judgemental.

      1 · July 11, 2013

  • Rick H.

    During our discussion, I mentioned that I was feeling some distress about a desire that didn't seem to be panning out, but was cultivating self-compassion so that whether this goal was achieved or not, it was of little concern compared to my basic state of equanimity.

    Well, it did turn out well. The Washington Post's On Faith column published a piece I had submitted, in which I mention our group:

    The funny thing is that, when I found out if was published, I was somewhat pleased, but also somewhat concerned that I'd be shaken out of this pretty pleasant state of equanimity by getting hooked by the idea that my happiness was contingent on outside events like this.

    I've kind of shaken that off by going back to practicing this positive equanimity and thinking of publication as nice, but not something I need to happen now or in the future.

    3 · July 11, 2013

  • Doug

    Hi Tyler, thanks for coming. I think you hit the nail on the head. It is so hard to know what to try to change and what to leave alone.

    1 · July 10, 2013

  • Tyler K.

    I'm going to try to make it.

    July 9, 2013

  • Patricia

    I'll probably leave right after the discussion.

    July 9, 2013

  • Tanjore v.

    would like to participate this group

    July 8, 2013

  • Jennifer

    I'm a maybe.

    July 7, 2013

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