The Mindfulness Movie Blog

Mindfulness & Business

Posted on: June 23rd, 2014 by The Mindfulness Movie

Featured Story: Corporate Mindfulness

Dear John:

Many people think of mindfulness as diametrically opposed to business, but only until they see the overwhelming evidence of mindfulness’ benefits in all aspects of business: innovation, productivity, health, collaboration, negotiation, etc. Many companies that have realized the advantages of mindfulness training encourage employees to center themselves during the day using various relaxation techniques. Some businesses even institute mandatory retreats and mindfulness breaks during the workday.

Chapter 29 in The Ten Paradoxes: The Science of Where’s My Zen?  presents evidence of the positive effects of Mindfulness (or what the ancient masters have called No Mind) and Business. Some of the studies presented here may aid the implementation of mindfulness in your career or business.

Most businesspeople would immediately assume that mindfulness and business are unrelated, as one belongs in the monastery and the other in the cold, swift corporate world of money. If you told your customers, clients, or associates that you were using a technique called No Mind (mindfulness), their response might be, “I am paying you to use your entire mind, not no mind.”

Paradoxically, studies demonstrate that you actually increase your intelligence and creativity when you think less (Claxton, 2000). Through the study and practice of mindfulness,

your brain solves problems more efficiently, more intuitively and more creatively, and it grasps solutions which lay outside the scope of your normal over-thinking mind. So No Mind Business is not lack of mind but enhanced mind with superior performance…

Alive or Dead?

Posted on: June 16th, 2014 by The Mindfulness Movie

An interesting lesson in awakening, but first…

Last week, in a spur of sales we hit #22 on Amazon Best Seller list for documentaries. That’s amazing! It’s really great to see this type of momentum pushing toward mindfulness. The need is there! And the magic that is necessary to make change is not so far off. It’s as much effort as spending that one extra moment to recycle a piece of trash instead of throwing into the main waste. If we individually spend a moment to be mindful, then as a culture we can begin to awaken and realize what we need to do. What that next step will be! Yet, the hardest thing we need to do is sometimes so very simple.

amazon-22

_________________________________________

Alive or Dead?

One Zen master and his student walked into a funeral parlor—filled with bereaved family and friends—the student takes his hand and pounds it loudly on the coffin, Bang! He burst out.

“Alive or Dead?”

The master answers quickly, “I’m not saying alive, I’m not saying dead.”

The shocked mourners watch and soon return to normalcy.

The student yells, “Why not?”

Followed by the master, “I’m not saying! I’m not saying!”

Are you waiting for the punch line?

In Zen, the punch line is realized through a shift in perspective from our normal feeling of IN our selves to a feeling that is OUT of our selves. Simply, a shift out of ego is what is necessary and it is a mindful state that can be obtained through mindfulness practice.

“Alive or Dead?” Our minds keep everything alive or dead. When someone passes on, it’s our memories that keep him or her alive. It’s our memories and patterns of our behaviors that keep identity and character alive. When we are mindless, we act within the patterns of our own thoughts and emotions, trapped by our own limits. When we are mindful, we can step outside the patterns and observe them. Then, change them! Ask yourself, “Are you alive or dead when doing what I am doing in this moment?”

“I’m not saying alive, I’m not saying dead.” Who can say what we keep alive or don’t keep alive? It’s up to us to determine these patterns—sometimes with the help of professionals and friends. No one can really say. But with more mindful moments in our lives we become more aware of what is alive or dead within us. And most importantly, what we are keeping alive or dead.

“I’m not saying! I’m not saying!” This is a blessing from the master to force the student into his own mind to find his own answer and not be told what it should be or shouldn’t be. Those that tell us what we should and shouldn’t do can never really help us unless we decide to mindfully act on it. It’s like telling someone with claustrophobia after shoving him into a small closet, “Oh, don’t be scared anymore, everything will be fine!” Nothing you say or can say will help this person in that moment. They need to realize it on their own and that is the key to awakening.

Mindfulness can be that bridge to help us to awaken to what is Alive or Dead in our lives and change it if necessary.

Mindfulness Training Program May Help Olympic Athletes Reach Peak Performance

Posted on: June 14th, 2014 by The Mindfulness Movie

Written by Christina Johnson

Connor Fields, winner of the 2014 USA Cycling Elite BMX National Championship and the 2013 BMX World Champion, agreed that meditation has helped. “But the biggest thing I have learned is how to be consciously mindful and aware of my current situation,” he said. “I am more present than I used to be.”

Indeed, the goal of mindfulness training is to help people become more fully present in the moment by training their minds to notice when their thoughts are wandering, and then to bring their attention back to the current moment. Repeated over and over, the researchers say, the brain’s baseline functioning changes and so does its anatomy.

Haase said that other researchers have shown that long-time practitioners of meditation have larger regions of the brain known as the insular cortex and hippocampus. Their brain’s gray matter is also denser, she said, and their white matter has greater connectivity.

One of the more fascinating discoveries made by the Paulus research team is that Navy seals and elite adventure athletes have mental attributes that are also cultivated by meditation. Their work has shown that compared with “average Joes,” these peak performers tend to be:

In tune with their bodily sensations. They are more likely to notice if their heart is racing or if they have tightness in a muscle. The scientific term for this state is “interoception” and it refers to the ability to help the brain maintain the body’s natural equilibrium by bringing awareness to bodily sensations.
More focused. They spend more time in an “intentional mode,” as opposed to mind wandering, the default mental state for most people. Not surprisingly, those who spend more time focused on the task at hand will likely be higher performers than those who are constantly distracted.
Not averse to challenge. Instead of fleeing or avoiding stressful situations, they orient toward difficulty and are more likely to deal well with whatever is happening around them. The scientists believe that the ability to face stressful situations head-on alleviates some of the long-term negative health effects of stress.

Recent studies with U.S. Marine Corps personnel have shown that mindfulness training reduces neuronal activity in the anterior insular cortex and anterior cingulate, regions of the brain responsible for integrating emotional reactivity, cognition and interoception. High-activity levels in these brain regions are associated with anxiety and mood disorders…

Read Full Article

barry-nobels-and-connor-fields-and-steven-cisar

The Mindfulness Movie can change people’s lives

Posted on: May 20th, 2014 by The Mindfulness Movie

Changing perspective is important…

Excerpt from: The Huffington Post | by Alena Hall

Sometimes it takes a life-changing or tragic moment for us to reconsider what we really want from life. Unemployment, illness and personal loss are just a few of the many wake-up calls that cause people to reassess how they’re living, and what they consider to be success.

Author Matt Tenney’s wake-up call came in the form of a five and a half-year prison sentence after he embezzled almost $3 million of U.S. government money. While this conviction could have sent him spiraling further along a dangerous path, he consciously decided to make a change — and it just might have been the best thing he could have ever done for himself. While in prison, Tenney started reading about mindfulness — which ultimately helped him to discover true, lasting happiness.

“When I started learning about this practice, it made so much sense. It was very logical, it was something that I could apply effort to and see results. And so I started practicing pretty diligently,” Tenney told HuffPost Live host Jordan Freeman. “I started learning about the practice about a year into my confinement, and within maybe a month of beginning the practice, I was making the effort to be mindful during just about every moment of the day.”…see article

One day there will be no more dragons…

Posted on: May 14th, 2014 by The Mindfulness Movie

Mindfulness Can Help You Slay Your Dragons and Come to Terms with It…

 

Dear John:

A short snippet from Michael’s Interview:
I was having breakfast with Supercoach, Michael Neill the other day and we got to talking about our thought-experienced reality among many other things. And I remembered this great story which came out of his interview for the movie and wanted to share it with you:
“I had a client once, business client, and he said to me, I think it was two weeks before the first session and the second session, and he came back for the second session and said – what did you do to me? I said what do you mean?
He said, I have been biting my nails for 20 years, I have tried hypnosis, I have tried CBT, I have tried all these things, I am not biting on my nails, I can’t even get myself to bite my nails, what did you do? I said, well we can agree that I didn’t do anything because I didn’t know you bit your nails, you didn’t even talk about it. I said but I can tell you what probably happened, and I said imagine there’s a world filled with dragons, like evil nasty dragons. And the bite or scratch of a dragon is toxic and will make you ill and stressed and feel horrible. And so you would naturally build castles to try and defend yourself against the dragons.
Some people try to build the castle out of money, if I just have enough money the dragons won’t get me. Some will try and build it out of love. If I can find one person who loves me enough or a lot of people who love me a little that’ll keep me safe from the dragons. Some people try and do it through power. If I become powerful enough the dragons won’t be able to get me. Well meanwhile there’s a whole bunch of people, who just the castle building thing isn’t going to work out for them and they are just trying to cope with dragon bites, and so they drink or they smoke or they bite their nails or they over eat, or they do whatever they know to do to cope with dragon bites.
What if you wake up one day and you realize beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are no dragons. Now everyone else still thinks there are, you can’t even really talk to them about it, because that’s crazy, of course there are dragons. Well you might go back to your castle building and kind of…you might still build it because its fun but you wouldn’t build it with that same sense of desperation behind it anymore.
And if you used to do something to cope with dragon bites and you realize that you can’t be bit by a dragon and that feeling is just your own fear, your own thoughts creating fear inside you, well you don’t need an antidote to rat poison that you didn’t drink. You don’t need a coping mechanism when there’s nothing left to cope with and that’s the power for me of mindfulness, that’s the power of clarity of mind, of recognizing that we live in a thought-created experience of our lives, and if we allow it to it will flow and change…”

The Mindful Revolution

Posted on: May 1st, 2014 by The Mindfulness Movie

Becoming more analog in a digital world

And Excerpt from Time Magazine

mindful-time

By Kate Pickert Monday, Feb. 03, 2014

 

The raisins sitting in my sweaty palm are getting stickier by the minute. They don’t look particularly appealing, but when instructed by my teacher, I take one in my fingers and examine it. I notice that the raisin’s skin glistens. Looking closer, I see a small indentation where it once hung from the vine. Eventually, I place the raisin in my mouth and roll the wrinkly little shape over and over with my tongue, feeling its texture. After a while, I push it up against my teeth and slice it open. Then, finally, I chew — very slowly…

Read more: The Mindful Revolution – TIME

Creating Space, Creates Growth

Posted on: April 23rd, 2014 by The Mindfulness Movie

Mindfulness helps create the space between the unknown and insight

Yesterday I attended the KPCC’s Crawford Family Forum hosted by Dr. Nick Udall and Dr. Jeremy Hunter on the topic of “Mindfulness—Where Business and the Behavioral Sciences Intersect.” I was struck by how similar several main ideas they discussed were captured dramatically in The Mindfulness Movie.

Both Nick and Jeremy are experts on using mindfulness as a tool in business transformation. In their work, the goal is to grow innovation, compassion, and openness—thus creating leaders and organizations for which ideas can flow unrestricted of previous conditioning, outdated thinking, and old pattern loops.

As Albert Einstein said and is quoted in the movie, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

Mindfulness allows us to create space between our highs and lows. Between the fear of the unknown and insight. Between pain and resolve. And in that space, we can take the time to choose our reactions. Oftentimes, we don’t use this space, and instead quickly go to a negative reaction, suffering the resulting pain. Then we cover up the pain—with the many remedies at our disposal (i.e. alcohol, overeating, etc.)—but we don’t stay with the pain.

That’s the problem. In that pain or fear of the unknown—be it personal or professional or corporate—there is a valuable energy; and in that struggle we may have our best innovative and creative ideas. If we just allow ourselves to be with the pain or fear, we can work with it as the good and powerful seed it can be—helping us to sprout forward with new growth and life for ourselves and our professional endeavors. Even solve corporate negative patterns that are choking its growth and survival.

In many ways these concepts are repeated in The Mindfulness Movie. In one skit, Mindful tells Mindless—while making a space between her hands, “If your thought was this hand, don’t focus on the hand. Focus on the space between the hands, and you’ll feel better.” Later Nick, one of the teenagers featured who has used mindfulness to deal with anger issues, says, “If this cushion is my problem, sit on the cushion. Be with the problem.”

Be with your pain. Be with your problem, and let it germinate the seed of innovative wisdom that can propel your creativity and forward movement.

You can now stream—for a limited time—The Mindfulness Movie, only $3.99 USD. Stream now.

The Hidden Ancient Wisdom

Posted on: April 23rd, 2014 by The Mindfulness Movie

Based on many true stories

When I was a young man of thirteen, I loved to watch the series, Kung Fu, starring David Carradine as Caine or Grasshopper. In fact, I know now that the early exposure through this series of the ancient wisdom of the Tao Te Ching and the Sage Chuang Tzu left an impressionable mark on me and led to my interest and practice of mindfulness when I was seventeen.

This ancient wisdom is hinted at throughout the The Mindfulness Movie if you know where to look.

In one show first broadcast on ABC, in November, 1973, Caine helps a missionary woman rescue a Chinese boy from slavery to a member of the Dragon of Retribution Tong. When the missionary woman asks Caine if he would like to learn to become a Christian, he says:

“I have a path. I seek not to change it but to follow it…I seek only to become a cup. Empty of myself. Filled with oneness.”

Besides directly expressing the core idea of the Tao, which is seeing and living without being entirely cannibalized by ego or self. It also gives rise to the idea that a glass in never half full or half empty, one gives rise to the other. They are codependent of each other and therefore co-arise. In the The Mindfulness Movie, during the gunfight scene, Mindful tells Mindless,

“Don’t you see you have both, mindless and mindful. You can choose which one you use.”

Again, they are co-dependent and co-arise together, when you are mindful, you are not mindless, thus when you are mindless, you are not mindful. The truth is that one allows you to recognize the other, just as beauty allows you to recognize ugliness and dark allows you to see light.

The Mindfulness Movie Can Help You Avoid Some Common Pitfalls

Posted on: April 18th, 2014 by The Mindfulness Movie

mindful

Don’t waste your precious time…

I was walking this morning with my dog, Kokoa, and stopped to talk with a neighbor. The tears ran down her face as she described the sad event of her husband dying a couple of years ago. She recalled a story of how they ended up in an argument—while he was cooking her dinner—over her calling a shallot an onion. She told me, “It’s so sad how sometimes we mindlessly argue over something with our loved ones or partners. It’s a ridiculous waste of our precious time together.”

What the world needs now, is not just love sweet love, but a little sprinkle of mindfulness and a dash of less mindlessness. I got inspired and went home and wrote this poem to my beautiful wife, Lori. She said it was “one of your best ever” and wanted me to share it:

We have only this moment

And sometimes when it’s too late

We realize the ridiculousness

Of arguing away these precious moments…

We spend together.

 

Great differences

Can be merely small fissures

Or Grand Canyons

In the rich mountains of love.

The latter is insurmountable

And the other requires a simple bridge…

We can build together.

 

No one can experience

The weathered mountains of love

Ignorant of the canyons and fissures

Their existence is undeniable in lovers

Yet, the love that last

Is forged from lovers that realize

That both sides of the great canyons

Are merely the same…

When we see together.

 

Our love can transcend

The mountain of love

When we realize we are the mountain itself

And we are not separated by its canyons

For even at the base of this great canyon

The mountain is one and the same again

It is only an illusion of separateness

We can dispel…

When we join together.

 

Let’s enjoy our moments together

Let’s build the needed bridges together

Let’s simply “see” together

Let’s forever join in love together.

 

I love you, Lori.