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Mindful : February 2016
meditation for years—he, too, gets support from other meditators. “I have the luxury of con- necting with a lot of fellow mindfulness practi- tioners. I learn from their experience. What they share keeps me from drifting. If I were sitting in a room day after day in total isolation practicing, I think I would lose perspective.” “There is a lot of suffering out there, anxiety and depression and stress, and if people come to mindfulness and do it on their own because it’s going to relieve that suffering that’s fantastic,” says Winston. “But what most people discover is that meditation is deeper and very profound. It takes work and effort. It’s really nice to meditate with other people and not feel alone.” But if you are live far from a major urban center and you can’t find anyone in your vicin- ity to give you instruction, you can go for an online course. UCLA offers online courses, one for beginners that includes optional chats with instructors and fellow meditators (check out UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center on the web), and there are other well-designed programs, including an MSBR eight-week self- guided class authored by Florence Meleo-Meyer and Saki Santorelli. These days, people taking online classes often form online communities. Even the smallest community can help immensely, says Jeany Duncan, who relies on a community of two, herself included. “A friend and I agreed together to stick with it. So we message each other each day. We keep each other going.” On a day when Duncan might have for- gotten, her friend will text and mention her own meditation for that day. “It’s a simple text, maybe just ‘25,’ indicating how long each of us sat,” says Duncan. “ We send each other a thumbs up and a word of encouragement and that’s it.” On the East Coast another meditator turns on her computer before she meditates, and opens to Skype. Just as she is sitting down, so are five other friends, all connected by the computer screen. “ You’re not getting the full deal,” says McCown, “unless you are involved in a commu- nity. We carry our communities within us just as we carry our teachers. One of the things meditation offers is a real connection to other humans. I think we crave that. It’s tough being a human alone.” ● Karin Evans is a longtime journalist and editor, and the author of The Lost Daughters of China: Adopted Girls, Their Journey to America, and the Search for a Missing Past. Her most recent piece for Mindful was an investigation of how mindfulness can help with unconcious bias (August 2015). STEP OUT OF THE WAY By Judson Brewer Why is the state of flow— moments where everything comes together in some almost magical way—so hard to achieve? In this TED Talk, a neuroscientist and mindfulness exper t shows how we ourselves are the only barrier keeping us from flow. RADICAL ACCEPTANCE By Tara Brach “If we’re at war with our- selves, we can’t feel love and connection with our world,” Brach says. The DC-based instructor looks at how mind- fulness and hear tfulness can dissolve what she calls “the trance of unwor thiness” and reveal the loving awareness that is our essence. FIND THE SPACE TO LEAD By Janice Marturano What is mindful leadership? Marturano, founder of the Institute for Mindful Leadership, shows what it is, why it’s critically important, and how it can be cultivated. BE HERE NOW By Jon Kabat-Zinn In this YouTube video, the developer of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program and author of Full Catastrophe Living and Wherever You Go There You Are talks about cultivating mindfulness and integrating it moment-by- moment in our lives. CAN HAPPINESS BE HARDWIRED? By Rick Hanson Why are our brains like Velcro for the bad and Teflon for the good? In this podcast, the acclaimed neuroscientist and author talks about how we can deepen our experiences and rewire our ever-changing brains. LOVE YOURSELF By Diana Winston Winston shows how to work with hindrances that arise when we practice. She talks about the power of loving - k indness: a simple tool that can help us cultivate self- compassion and recognize our shared humanity. MINDFULNESS: WHAT IT IS AND IS NOT By Joseph Goldstein “This is all you really need to know: It’s sitting or standing or any posture and simply being aware of what arises and then seeing what we learn from being aware,” Goldstein says. Sounds simple, right? Yes—except when it’s not. Sit back and enjoy one of the leading figures in the mindfulness community. —Teo Furtado 7 MEDITATION TALKS TO INSPIRE YOU RESOURCES Talks available at mindful.org/ meditationtalks February 2016 mindful 45