I am going to buy his book and this is the first time I've felt like this! (athough I have already read a bunch of other people's books from the summit so far).
His name is Shamash Alidina and he's got an English accent but is of Indian descent I think. He was cool!
One of his big messages was to relax about the whole process. Don't feel you have to sit with a rigid back - get comfortable! Check if you are comfortable throughout (if you are doing a formal sitting, but he even make jokes about calling it 'formal' as if it is something you need to dress up for).. if you want to lie down, lie down! If you want to change your posture at any point, readjust! Just be aware and respond. Let what will be, be.
I really connected when he talked about what people are like when they first start trying to be mindfull/meditate.. trying to do it 'properly' and 'well' and really reaching or grasping for a particular reaction. Aiming for calm, aiming for relaxation.. aiming aiming aiming.
Just relax. Let what will be, be. If your mind wanders that is good and interesting. If you had a good friend that kept rabbiting on about stuff on their mind, you wouldn't get grumpy with them, you'd be kind. You should be the same about your own wandering mind.
He said the first important aspect of being mindful is the sense of being in the here and now, the second important aspect is bringing the right attitude - kindness, warmth, affection.. these attitudes are really important when we start looking inwards. and the third important aspect is to look at the causes/direction of the mind wandering as that can teach us so much. Don't make autopilot the enemy.
Also that there are two parts of us, the thinking/story-telling part and the observer. Mindfulness brings a natural separation between the two which is so great.
Mindfulness is not an act of willpower, it's a letting things be.
He led us in a brief mindfulness exercise and at the start he had us imagine that we were holding two heavy bags - One was holding the past, all our memories and experiences and regrets etc.. and the other bag was holding the future, our worries and projections and fears .. and he has us imagine slowly setting down the bags one at a time, so that we were just left in the present moment, the only moment we ever really actually experience. Aaaaahhhhh.... it was so relaxing and lovely.
I can write more about what this dude said but it was the WAY he spoke which was so great. He was just so lovely and upbeat, funny and warm and cool. I loved him!
Just a quick note about yesterday's talk by Tara Brach. I couldn't listen to it. I was tired yes, but it wasn't an interview with Melli (the Summit organiser/host) which I was disappointed about, it was a Tara talk like she does all the time and I listen to her all the time (and love her) but was quite looking forward to a more unique Summit-style interview. So I passed. Sorry Tara.. love you but listen to you via your website later...
Love, Mrs D xxx