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MindfulMindful

Mindful December 2015

Mindful is the groundbreaking new magazine dedicated to helping you live mindfully. The simple practice of being in the moment brings out the best in who you are.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Foundation for a Mindful Society
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6 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time17 min.
take your mind for a walk

So you started meditating—perhaps you completed a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course—and you sat there on your shiny new cushion that you just bought, convinced that practicing meditation was going to finally do what nothing else had. It just made sense: letting go of the seeming unending judgmental activity of your mind and dropping down into a more purposeful and balanced life of equanimity and loving-kindness. You were set. You found a way to carve out time in your crazy schedule to just sit and watch your breath. And off you went. Watching the in-breath and the out-breath. Seeing thoughts arise and simply noting them arising, dropping back into the breath when you found yourself caught up in thinking. Working mindfully with difficult emotions that periodically oozed in. Faithfully (and a little bit…

access_time6 min.
confessions of a recovering insomniac

Joan Didion wrote in The WhiteAlbum, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” As she suggested, we search for the hidden kernel of meaning in the shifting phantasmagoria that is our life so we can make sense of what is so often senseless—random gunfire that takes the life of an innocent child, an earthquake that kills thousands, a medical diagnosis that rocks us to our core. But sometimes our stories become fixed, frozen, unchanging—even when change is both possible and desirable—especially the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Here’s a story that until very recently I told myself about the insomnia that has plagued me for 30 years: “My body doesn’t know how to sleep. There’s obviously something very wrong with me. The only way I can fall asleep is to…

access_time13 min.
are you a creature of (bad) habits?

Consider these two experiences: It’s a crisp early autumn day as you begin walking through the woods, sensing fall in the coolness of the air on your face. You see the play of light and shade as the sun shines through the leaves swaying in the breeze. You feel the weight of your body on your feet as you walk along the path, and feel the beating of your heart as the path inclines up a hill. You hear the chirp of the birds, the sound of the season’s last cicadas, and the distant rumble of a truck. Thoughts of daily life come and go, but don’t interfere with your enjoyment of the simple pleasure of a walk in the woods. Nothing special, yet you feel alive and present, open…

access_time2 min.
the real aim is to make change

Our must-read story this issue: “Am I doing this right?” Answers to questions about meditation that everyone keeps asking, on page 50 If you drive—as I did recently—from Baltimore to Charlottesville, VA, you pass through stunningly beautiful countryside, as gently rolling hills give way to the Blue Ridge looming in the background. You also pass through a graveyard: the battlefields of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and “the Wilderness,” where almost 10,000 people lost their lives during the Civil War. The atmosphere can take on a somber, ghostly feel—and can also strengthen your resolve to work for change without aggression. Mindful’s publisher, James Gimian, and I were in that part of the world for a visit with the leaders and staff of the Holistic Life Foundation (HLF) in Baltimore—for an event celebrating 14 years of…

access_time7 min.
top of mind

Meditation reduced violence and dropout rates among Chicago youth Becoming A Man, a youth dropout and violence prevention program run by Chicago organization Youth Guidance, adds to the proof that meditation has a role to play in social change. Researchers from the University of Chicago recently invited 1,473 students to get involved with BAM activities and compared them to a control group. The program, which works with at-risk male students in grades 7-12, encourages “positive anger expression” through exercises including breathing and meditation training, conflict resolution, and social and emotional recognition. The university study found that BAM participants were 44% less likely to commit violent crimes, and their academic performance was significantly better, compared with those who didn’t participate. “Often I begin dynamic mindful yoga classes by saying, ‘First of all, let’s consider…

access_time4 min.
let’s eat!

11 ways to take time for what matters 1 Eat Slightly Slower With the speed at which we do most things today, eating can easily become just another thing to cross off your to-do list. The next time you eat, try slowing down—you’ll pull more enjoyment out of your food, feel more satisfied, and your digestive system will thank you. 2 Honor the Elements Every piece of food we eat has its own rich origin story, which we usually don’t think about. Next time you sit down for a meal, take a moment to acknowledge everything that went into the food on your plate. Consider the people who made it, bought the ingredients, stocked the store shelves, delivered it, harvested it, and all the natural elements of sun, rain, soil, and wind that allowed…

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