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Mindful : February 2014
The Space Inside A fine exa mple of the power of our inner reality is watch- ing a movie. Light is project- ing onto a flat white surface in a dark room, and from these flickering images our mind creates characters. We feel empathy, irritation, anger, at traction, and love—for people who don’t even exist. Just as our bodies and minds are built to perceive the outer world with accu- racy, they’re also built for feeling. Smelling a certain kind of pie can remind you of your gra ndmother’s kitchen and rouse feelings of warmth and goodness. Fingernails scratching along a smooth surface may irritate you. We tend to think our emo- tions register in the same place all the time, but in fact we feel them throughout our body. We get goosebumps in the midst of fear or excite- ment, our jaw tightens in anger, a wave of relaxation spreads through our body when someone embraces us. Inner awareness is about apprehending our feelings and thoughts as they’re occurring. We’re also aware of how we color the world to conform to our emotions— we might paint a yellow glow around what we love and, alternatively, focus on the worst features of what repulses us. Our inner emotional life is rich, but it is fraught with peril. It gets us into trouble, and it also makes life worth living. Refining our “inner eye”—our capacity to see the workings of our emotions clearly—allows us to ride them, rather than be swept up by them. As we become less concerned that our emotions will rule us, or ruin us, we come to know them better, like a violinist knows her instrument. We can play them with both careful attention and free-flowing enjoyment. Explore: Let your mind settle on something you like—a food, a favorite shir t, whatever. Spend a few minutes noticing the feelings it arouses. Now choose a person you like. Let your emotions rise and fall. Turn to something negative for a while. Don’t try to reach any conclusion. Just note the qual- ity of the emotion, with simple curiosity. → Our emotional life, our inner life, is rich, and also fraught with peril. It gets us into trouble, and it also makes life worth living. February 2014 mindful 73 Advancing knowledge and practice of mindfulness in youth and their educators. Bringing Mindfulness to Youth “The Mindfulness Without Borders curriculum is wonderful, not only its content, but also the audacious vision behind it. May MWB continue to touch and heal people, communities, and countries near and far.”— Jon Kabat-Zinn MINDFUL 365: In five online classes, you will explore the core concepts of social-emotional learning (SEL) and everyday mindfulness practices as they relate to self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, attention, and stress management. Open to all. No meditation experience required. CEUs available. Date: Tuesday evenings, April 8th – May 6th, 2014 MINDFUL EDUCATORS: In six online classes, you will get certified to facilitate the Mindfulness Ambassador Council – a 12-week, research-based intervention that addresses strategies adolescents need to support their healthy development and unique potential. Your online experience includes lesson plans, home assignments, instructional videos, small group dialogue, and down- loadable mindfulness practices. Prerequisite: Mindful 365. CEUs available. Date: Tuesday evenings, June 24th – August 5th, 2014 Save 10% when you register. Discount code: mindful mag www.mindfulnesswithoutborders.org/online-learning Questions?