Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sudden awakening, gradual cultivation...

That was the message from Day 2 of the Mindfulness Summit today. Today's free session (available for 24 hours) was an interview with Joseph Goldstein.. another mindfulness guru who has been practicing and teaching for over 40 years. Super nice guy.

I love that the sessions feel very accessible! We can see the organiser Melli O'Brien in her living room talking to her computer with earphones in (she is carrying out these interviews via Skype) and the expert person on the other side of the screen in their study talking to their computer. It feels very intimate and straightforward.

Joseph Goldstein was lovely.. I found today's interview a little more difficult to follow because I have a houseguest now and the kids and puppy (usual story).. but I did manage to get through the 46 minutes and even partake of his guided mindfulness session at the end - was nice!

His main thing was reinforcing that this is a 'practice'. It's not a study for a while and 'get it' kind of thing.. the whole point is that it is a practice that you have to practice.. (!).. and that stopping and starting and coming and going from the practice is normal.. and that the times when we stop, or get stuck, or overly ruminate on things, or go through a struggle where we act reactively rather than responsively are the times that can teach us the most. Struggle is normal and will come! But we have to keep returning and practicing and that is moving us forward.

Also got from today the notion that grasping and holding onto things - good things and bad things - can be but should not be the way of life. The way of life is fluid. Fluidity is what an ongoing mindfulness practice will help us with. This is why we have to appreciate all feelings and experiences - good and bad - when they occur because everything changes.

He said mindfulness is about 'sudden awakening, gradual cultivation'.. so you could say I have had my sudden awakening to all of this lately.. and now I am into the 'gradual cultivation' phase of the practice.. which will likely continue and stop and start for the rest of my life!

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. Very like the practice of writing isn't it? The fewer expectations, the more the practice deepens and those morning pages slowly just become a way of life, a way of discovering how to write.

  2. Don't hold on to the "peak experience" as something to be achieved all the time. - Don't worship the teapot drink the tea. - Meditation does not equal bliss. It is a routine, like brushing teeth. Doing it over and over again equals no cavities. Meditaion is like that.

    These were my top 3 takeaways.