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Mindful : August 2015
yep 4 LET THEM KNOW IT’S HARD, BUT NOT TOO HARD 5 STICK WITH WHAT YOU KNOW AND BE HONEST What could hurt about telling someone here’s what I’ve done and what it’s done for me. It makes no promises and it When you talk about the nattering voice in the head, you get right into the heart of people’s internal lives, which they may or may not have considered before. If you point out that most of our internal dialogue is negative and self-referential, most people will recognize that in themselves. The notion of having a tool to better manage that will seem appealing. 6 REMIND THEM ABOUT WHAT REALLY IS ANNOYING: THE CEASELESS VOICE IN YOUR HEAD 3 IT’S NOT JUST ANOTHER DAMN THING ON A TO-DO LIST TO NOT DO 7 IF YOU CAN TELL SOMEONE IS INTERESTED, TRY TO FIND OUT WHY, AND LISTEN There’s no point in blathering on about how simple and easy it is, because if someone tries it for even five minutes, one of their first thoughts will be, “I cannot do this.” Staying with your breath in the moment can just seem impossible. Let people know this, but let them know it does get better. People are naturally afraid to take on yet another self-improvement project to feel guilty about. Their life probably has a few exercise machines they’re not using, books they’re not reading, and club memberships going unused. Let them know that there are lots of ways to fit meditation into their existing life, and that it might actually help them use time better. There’s a great New Yorker cartoon where a woman tells her lunch com- panion, “ I’ve only been gluten-free for a week, but I’m already really annoy- ing.” The essence of proselytizing and preaching is talking at, not with, someone. It’s important to hear what someone has to say and be ready to learn. It also sends the authentic mes- sage that mindfulness is about being continually curious about the mind— your own and ever yone else’s. allows you to have a real human discussion at eye level, rather than elevate yourself onto the pedestal of “great and learned meditator.” ● August 2015 mindful 59