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Mindful : August 2014
4 mindful August 2014 To learn about future issues and upcoming events, sign up for our email newsletters at mindful.org. To share your feedback on this or other issues, email us with your full name, city, and state or province at mi ndful@ mindful.org. You can also visit facebook.com/ mindfulorg or tweet us @MindfulOnline. For subscription questions, email subscrip- firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters chosen for publication may be edited for length and clarity. All submissions and manuscripts become the property of The Foundation for a Mindful Society. you answered What do you do when you find it difficult to meditate? I am usually eager to sit, but sometimes I feel a little resistance, and I try to observe that. Because even when it’s just a “meh” session, I’m very glad I did it. Teresa Buchanan Baton Rouge, Louisiana I find it hard to set time aside, and I don’t often like being alone. I recently joined a class at my local meditation center, and I’m enjoying the company and the guided practice. Sue Anderson Norwich, England When I’m frustrated, I try to be compassionate towards myself. Knowing that everything arises—emotions, thoughts, distractions—and that I can just observe it is key. Maureen Lauer-Gatta Niles, Ohio When I’m procrastinating, I set my timer for 5 minutes and tell myself that’s all I need do and I can continue after the timer goes off if I want to. This is practical and works. Lisa Daniels Alexandria, Virginia You can consciously choose present moment awareness, while sitting and while going about your business. The ben- efits do not need to be looked for. They start to unfold. When people try to get star ted with meditation, they often try too hard. It isn’t about trying. It’s about allowing and being. Kerry Kirk Fairfax, Virginia connect you wrote in From a native San Diegan, thank you for your kind remarks about my hometown (“Never Too Cool To Be Schooled,” June 2014). Having watched San Diego grow from a sleepy little farming area to a bio- tech mecca has been awe-inspiring. Thank you for teaching me about my town as well. I’ll be checking out the mindfulness center at University of California, San Diego. Katie Atkins San Diego, California john powell was a strong advocate for change and stood up for change. Now he recognizes change takes place best from inside. Mindfulness works (“john powell’s Affirmative Mindfulness,” June 2014). I admire how he uses lower case letters when he refers to himself. John Peiffer Sr. Livermore, California Thank you to Mindful and Sharon Beg- ley for addressing mirror neurons (“The Trouble With Mirror Neurons,” June 2014). As a PhD candidate in physiology, I’ve also had many run-ins with the Pandora’s box of medical pop culture and super ficial media coverage. Thanks for taking a different, and more informed, route. Julie McLean Lexington, Kentucky Enjoyed the first preview of MindfulDirect with Bill Duane from Google. I like the cour- age and authenticity of showing a guy who thought meditation was “hippie bullshit” and discovering it wasn’t. It is this kind of honesty about the approach to beginning meditation that will encourage those who are thinking about star ting. Keep up the good work...I look for ward to seeing more of these. Chuck Rinaldi Mesa, Arizona Thank you. For others who would like to see the preview of MindfulDirect—our soon-to-be-launched video project that will bring the best of mindfulness to your computer, tablet, smartphone, and TV—go to mindful.org/duane. — Editor Q: How do you remain positive about meditation when it seems difficult to block out the world and focus? I get very discouraged. EMILY FALLON Spring Lake, New Jersey A: It’s impossible to block out the world. Focus is not a process of eliminating other elements in our field of awareness. It’s about letting them fade into the back- ground. As you look at these words, in your peripher y you see many things. You’re let- ting them go while training attention on the words. In meditation, thoughts arise. You notice them, let them go, and come back to the object of attention, usually the breath. Gradually, like water wearing down a rock, the practice works, and letting things go in order to be here becomes the norm. VOLUME TWO, NUMBER 3, Mindful (ISSN 2169-5733, USPS 010-500) is published bimonthly for $29.95 per year USA, $39.95 Canada & 49.95 (US) international, by The Foundation for a Mindful Society, 1776 I St, NW, #90046, Washington, DC 20006 USA. Periodicals postage paid at Washington, DC, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mindful, PO Box 469018, Escondido, CA 92046. Canada Post Publication Mail Agreement #42704514. CANADIAN POSTMASTER: Send undeliverable copies to Mindful, 1660 Hollis St, Suite 701, Halifax, NS B3J 1V7 CANADA. Printed in U.S .A . © 2014 Foundation for a Mindful Society. All rights reserved. Other things can become the focus when it’s their turn. ILLUSTRATIONBYJASONLEE your thoughts you asked