The Mindfulness Movie Blog

Yoda and The Ten Paradoxes

Posted on: June 11th, 2015 by The Mindfulness Movie

A couple of years ago, we landed at London Heathrow airport to shoot several interviews for The Mindfulness Movie and as I stepped through customs I was surprisingly greeted by a giant Yoda which gave me the idea for this series. Now, let’s explore the undiscovered pearls of wisdom from our most beloved of pop icons, Master Yoda.

This is the third part in a series about discovering The Ten Paradoxes in the famous quotes and sayings of very important icons of our time. In two previous blogs, titled, Eckhart Tolle’s teachings and The Ten Paradoxes and Steve Jobs and The Ten Paradoxes, I summarized how Tolle and Jobs consistently had the paradoxes come up in their writings and speeches.

A little Yoda background from the book, The Tao of Yoda: Based Upon the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. Kreger says, “Historians, philosophers, and professors of ancient literature may tell you that the philosopher named Lao Tzu, who lived in China 25 centuries ago, wrote the following passages. What they do not tell you, because they do not know, is that there is a mysterious connection between this ancient work and the modern day mythology of Star Wars. According to history, Lao Tzu was a philosopher and a teacher of the famous Chinese philosopher Confucius. And, according to legend, it was Lao Tzu who produced the two books, one named Tao, and one named Te. Together they are known as the Tao Te Ching.

In Chinese, Te means literally an upright heart in action. This often is thought of as goodness, but there’s another meaning. An older and less well-known definition of virtue means an effective force, a potency or a power, as in “this medicine has the virtue of reducing fevers.” Now here’s the really weird part. When you take this ancient and not well known definition of virtue meaning “force” and plug it into what we now know is the original title of the Tao Te Ching, the meaning in English becomes ‘The Way of the Force’. And, George Lucas had no way of knowing this back in the 1970’ s when he wrote it.”



Using Mindfulness To Increase Exercise Satisfaction

Posted on: May 5th, 2015 by The Mindfulness Movie

Madison, Wisconsin-March 20, 2015 – If you’re having trouble sticking to an exercise routine, pay attention. Not now. While you’re exercising. Pay attention to how you’re feeling, in a nonjudgmental way, and you may derive greater satisfaction from your circuit training or spinning classes.

“Mindfulness can help you develop a fitness mindset for a healthier life,” says Dr. Shilagh Mirgain, a sport psychologist for UW Health Sports Medicine. “Instead of thinking, ‘Exercise isn’t for me’ or “I’m going to be miserable,’ mindfulness allows you to focus in on how your body likes to move. It gets you out of your head and builds an awareness of how your body wants to express itself.”


Steve Jobs, Mindfulness & The Ten Paradoxes

Posted on: April 30th, 2015 by The Mindfulness Movie

We just came from Lisbon, Portugal spreading the word about the movie, enjoying an architectural tour, and taking care of some business. We are now in Barcelona, Spain and from my hotel room I am looking at the Gaudi’s CASA MILA famous roof with the “forest of warriors” chimneys. I am leaving today to Prague on the next leg of our European adventure and with immense gratitude, want to share these latest insights with you…

Following is a well known story about how Steve Jobs described—to Corning Glass’ CEO, Wendell Weeks—the type of glass Apple wanted for the iPhone, and Weeks told Jobs that Corning had developed a chemical exchange process in the 1960s that led to what they dubbed “gorilla glass.” It was incredibly strong, but it had never found a market, so Corning quit making it. … Jobs said he wanted as much gorilla glass as Corning could make within six months. “We don’t have the capacity,” Weeks replied. “None of our plants make the glass now.”

“Don’t be afraid,” Jobs replied. This stunned Weeks, who was good-humored and confident but not used to Job’s reality distortion field. He tried to explain that a false sense of confidence would not overcome engineering challenges, but that was a premise Jobs had repeatedly shown he didn’t accept. He stared at Weeks unblinkingly. “Yes, you can do it,” he said. “Get your mind around it. You can do it.”

“As Weeks retold this story, he shook his head in astonishment. “We did it in under six months,’ he said. “We produced a glass that had never been made.” Steve Jobs knew it could be done. He set out on a course to prove that something he saw as a reality before it actually became a reality.

In a previous blog, about Eckhart Tolle’s teachings and The Ten Paradoxes, it summarized how Tolle would define each paradox, which many readers found fascinating. Eckhart Tolle has sold over ten million books along with a unique Oprah televised online workshop. Now, let’s look at how Steve Job’s would define each paradox and how it led to Jobs’ success.

The Ten Paradoxes are derived from ancient philosophies and modern science. They are ten timeless enigmas for helping us to live well and successfully in today’s world. For more in-depth information, you can read: Where’s My Zen? A Parable of the Ten Paradoxes or The Ten Paradoxes: The Science of Where’s My Zen? Also, The Mindfulness Movie discusses several of the paradoxes with world-renowned experts. Paradox 1: Act. React. But Never Try.

Meaning: Allow your actions and reactions to be as natural as you can. Psychology and science confirms that we are more intelligent and effective when we think less.

Steve Jobs didn’t “try” to do anything. He just did it. And did it until it became a reality. “Try” here means forcing, over-thinking, and overcompensating. For instance, like a lizard snatching a fly off a leaf with its tongue. The lizard does not try, he just does it! Jobs naturally just did what needed to be done. Not everything always worked, but every failure was deemed another step toward succeeding. Jobs knew that when he just acted and stop trying to do something, he opened the door to becoming more creative and was able to work his way through a problem from a different perspective—a reality that he created.

When you “try” to remember a name, the harder you try the more the answer eludes you. But when you let go, the name usually becomes clear in your mind shortly thereafter.
…when Jobs was shown a cluttered set of proposed navigation screens for iDVD, which allowed users to burn video onto a disk, he jumped up and drew a simple rectangle on a whiteboard. “Here’s the new application,” he said. “It’s got one window. You drag your video into the window. Then you click the button that says ‘Burn.’ That’s it. That’s what we’re going to make.” (Harvard Business Review) Paradox 2: Act. React. But Always in Play.

Meaning: Serious attitudes bind our thoughts; playfulness opens us up to new ways to look at the same problems.

In his biography, Steve Jobs (2011) uses the word “playful” to characterize the design of Apple computers. In doing so, he distances Apple designs from other more traditional and impersonal computers. For him, play and playfulness stand for the possibility of personal expression with material objects and engagement in creative interactions with the world. Jobs intuitively knew that the iMac’s translucent case was foundational to its “friendliness and playfulness.” People are always drawn to playfulness. Kids laugh 300 times a day; most adults are lucky to laugh five times a day. Keep it light—but balance seriousness with playfulness. Paradox 3: Seek mind with no thought.

Meaning: A non-judgmental mindful approach allows us to see inside ourselves more accurately and clearly.

Steve Jobs—who meditated regularly—used mindfulness to calm his negative energies, to focus on creating unique products, and to challenge his teams to achieve excellence. (Harvard Business Review) Jobs knew that in order to “seek the mind” and increase intuition and creativity, he needed to do it without thought—using meditation. “When he wasn’t screaming at employees, Steve Jobs was finding inner peace through meditation.” (Forbes)

Job focused on a fewer products and made them great rather than many mediocre products. Focus was ingrained in Jobs’s personality and had been honed by his Zen training. He relentlessly filtered out what he considered distractions. (Harvard Business Review)

cheap trick lyrics Paradox 4: With thought, intention. With intention, karma.

Meaning: When we have an intention, we should look within at the “why and who” behind those intentions. We create our karma within—a selfless intention brings either good or no karma.

If you expect and intend something to happen, then you’re thinking too much about it. Jobs said you have to love what you do. And his intention was to change the way we all act with our digital world. Even though he personally benefited, our lives were made much easier in the process.
“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
―Steve Jobs

Paradox 5: Perform. Do. But never think.

Meaning: When we do not over-think every movement we perform at our peak. When at your peak, then the doer and the doing become one and the same—the dance is played out through the dancing of the dancer.

Steve Jobs didn’t over-think what he needed to do in order to succeed. He did it! If it didn’t work, he found another way to do it. This is a primordial evolutionary principle at work. Life forms aren’t chaotic, they develop slowly. It takes time—sometimes thousands of generations. Jobs knew that he may have to do many generations to get it right and he never got staled out in over-thinking. Steve jobs invited everyone at Apple to “Think Different” in the ad campaign he introduced upon his return to Apple in 1997: “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.” ―Steve Jobs

Paradox 6: When mind is as a mirror, everything is revealed.

Meaning: When we are mindful, we reflect the world around us. In so doing, we slowly eliminate our perceived bias, which allows us to see greater opportunity.

Steve Jobs knew that he could change the reality of how people saw a problem. He knew he could reflect what he wanted to “see” onto others so they could eventually see it as well. When things synced, a solution would be revealed.

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something…almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” ―Steve Jobs

Paradox 7: With thought, no flow. Without thought, flow.

Meaning: Think about any time in your life that you felt one with what you were doing and you will discover that you did not think about it, you entered a state of mind that synced with your inner being. It feels good when it feels right!

Jobs preferred intuition over thought; Being different over going with the crowd
“The story of Steve Jobs boils down to this: Don’t go with the flow [crowd consensus]. Steve Jobs refused to go with the flow. If he saw something that could be made better, smarter or more beautiful, nothing else mattered. Not internal politics, not economic convention, not social graces.

Apple has attained its current astonishing levels of influence and success because it’s nimble. It’s incredibly focused. It’s had stunningly few flops. And that’s because Mr. Jobs didn’t buy into focus groups, groupthink or decision by committee. At its core, Apple existed to execute the visions in his brain. He oversaw every button, every corner, every chime. He lost sleep over the fonts in the menus, the cardboard of the packaging, the color of the power cord.” David Pogue, Times Technology Columnist, Leaves for Yahoo

Paradox 8: With attachment, work. Without attachment, play.

Meaning: When we get attached to our ideas of success, happiness, and relationships, we lose the play and the love for what we are doing. Think about replacing “have to” with “want to” and you’ll soon recreate the play of a child.

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.

Paradox 9: Think. Think not. There is no thinker.

Meaning: When we attempt to get rid of our ego, our constant voice in our heads, we realize that there is something more powerful—an inner well of creative energy.

Forget yourself for a moment and all the excuses you make to succeed. Taking yourself out of the equation can help see the bigger picture. Take a blank piece of paper out and draw the map to where you want to go. Label all the bridges, rivers, obstacles, and find your way around it. That’s what Steve Jobs did.

Jobs wanted to sell a smartphone with NO keyboard at a time when physical keys made the BlackBerry the most popular smartphone. Time and time again, he took away our comfy blankets, like floppy drives, dial-up modems, camcorder jacks, non-glossy screens, Flash and DVD drives, and removable laptop batteries. How could he do that? You’re supposed to add features, not take them away. Job’s vision was much bigger than himself
Paradox 10: Un-train the mind, be empty. When empty, you are full.

Meaning: When you slowly overcome rigid habits and existing mind-sets, you are able to see more clearly. Therefore, you are happier because you are not wanting.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.

Mindfulness’ May Help Ease Sleep Problems for Seniors

Posted on: March 17th, 2015 by The Mindfulness Movie


By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter
MONDAY, Feb. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Mindfulness meditation may help older adults get a better night’s sleep, a small study suggests.

Researchers found that among 49 older adults with sleep problems, those who learned mindfulness practices started sleeping better within six weeks. In fact, they did better than their counterparts who were given conventional lessons on good sleep habits, the study authors said.

Experts said the findings, published online Feb. 16 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, are encouraging.

On average, the effects of the mindfulness program were comparable to what’s been seen in studies of sleep medications and “talk therapy,” said study leader David Black, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles.

According to Black, that means older adults can feel comfortable opting for “mind-body” practices as a way to address moderate sleep problems. But he also emphasized the structured nature of the program tested in his study.


The Power of Negative Thinking

Posted on: March 10th, 2015 by The Mindfulness Movie

From the book 10% Happier…


Dan Harris, of Good Morning America and World News learned mindfulness the hard way and has an interesting real life twist…


“… Pretty quickly, my efforts began to bear fruit “off the cushion,” to use a Buddhist term of art. I started to be able to use the breath to jolt myself back to the present moment— in airport security lines, waiting for elevators, you name it. I found it to be a surprisingly satisfying exercise. Life became a little bit like walking into a familiar room where all the furniture had been rearranged. And I was much better at forgiving myself out in the real world than while actually meditating. Every moment was an opportunity for a do-over. A million mulligans … Now I started to see life’s in-between moments —sitting at a red light, waiting for mycrew to get set up for an interview— as a chance to focus on my breath, or just take in my surroundings. As soon as I began playing this game, I really noticed how much sleepwalking I did, how powerfully my mind propelled me forward or backward. Mostly, I saw the world through a scrim of skittering thoughts, which created a kind of buffer between me and reality.


…The net effect of meditation, plus trying to stay present during my daily life, was striking. It was like anchoring myself to an underground aquifer of calm. It became a way to steel myself as I moved through the world. On Sunday nights, in the seconds right before the start of World News, I would take a few deep breaths and look around the room— out at the milling stage crew, up at the ceiling rigged with lights— grounding myself in reality before launching into the unreality of bellowing into a camera with unseen millions behind it. All of this was great, of course, but as it turns out, it wasn’t actually the main point.


Buddhism’s secret sauce went by a hopelessly anodyne name: “mindfulness.” In a nutshell, mindfulness is the ability to recognize what is happening in your mind right now— anger, jealousy, sadness, the pain of a stubbed toe, whatever— without getting carried away by it. According to the Buddha, we have three habitual responses to everything we experience. We want it, reject it, or we zone out. Cookies: I want. Mosquitoes: I reject. The safety instructions the flight attendants read aloud on an airplane: I zone out. Mindfulness is a fourth option, a way to view the contents of our mind with nonjudgmental remove. I found this theory elegant, but utterly unfeasible. On the cushion, the best opportunities to learn mindfulness are when you experience itches or pain. Instead of scratching or shifting position, you’re supposed to just sit there and impartially witness the discomfort.
… It was easy to see how scalable mindfulness could be. For instance, it’d be late in the day, and I’d get a call from the World News rim telling me the story I’d spent hours scrambling to produce was no longer going to air in tonight’s show. My usual response was to think to myself, I’m angry. Reflexively, I would then fully inhabit that thought— and actually become angry. I would then give the person on the other end of the line some unnecessary chin music, even though I knew intellectually that they usually had a very good reason for killing the piece. In the end, I was left feeling bad about having expended energy on a story that didn’t air, and also feeling guilty for having been needlessly salty.


The point of mindfulness was to short-circuit what had always been a habitual, mindless chain reaction. Once I started thinking about how this whole system of seemingly spontaneous psychological combustion worked, I realized how blindly impelled— impaled, even— I was by my ego. I spent so much time, as one Buddhist writer put it, “drifting unaware on a surge of habitual impulses.” This is what led me on the misadventures of war, drugs, and panic. It’s what propelled me to eat when I wasn’t hungry or get snippy with Bianca because I was stewing about something that happened in the office. Mindfulness represented an alternative to living reactively. This was not some mental parlor trick. Mindfulness is an inborn trait, a birthright.”


Posted on: February 9th, 2015 by The Mindfulness Movie


I AM LOVING THIS BOOK! Dan Harris, who was mentored by Peter Jennings takes a realistic look at his mindless life and dscovers mindfulness while on the religious beat for ABC News. Like The Mindfulness Movie, Dan shows us the way from mindlessness to mindfulness and how to live just a little happier and healthier. As Dan Harris says, we may be only 10% happier, but it’s worth it.

Paul Harrison AIA


After Dan Harris, then an ambitious rising star at ABC’s news division, was left panting for breath during an on-air panic attack on Good Morning America in front of 5 million viewers, he realized that his life needed to change.


The occasional stage fright? That was routine. But this was something different. “I felt a bolt of fear rolling up my back, over my shoulders, and down my face, and I couldn’t do anything to stop it,” Harris told us.


Harris, now a Nightline co-anchor, wrote a memoir that happens to be one of the most accessible, sensible, and hilarious guides to meditation and mindfulness. 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works—A True Story, (which just came out in paperback) is an irreverent, painfully honest tale about Harris’s journey from being an ambitious, self-lacerating newsman with a recreational drug habit, to becoming an ambitious, self-lacerating newsman with a meditation habit … meditation struck Harris, a lifelong atheist/agnostic, as “the distillation of everything that sucked hardest about the granola lifestyle.”


Once he started practicing regularly, working his way up to 35 minutes of meditation a day, Harris found it was a value-add in three ways.


    “The practice of sitting down and trying to focus on my breath, getting lost, starting over and doing that over and over, every day really does build an ability to focus.”
    “When you’re able to pull yourself out of the traffic for a few minutes every day by staying calm you can somewhat stop the crazy momentum of life.”
    What Harris calls “the biggie” and describes as a “superpower” is “the ability to know what’s in your head at any given moment without getting carried away by it.”


Today Is the Best Day: A Year of Living Mindfully

Posted on: February 2nd, 2015 by The Mindfulness Movie

Are You One With Life?

Posted: 1/5/15 HUFF Post Healty Living By: Alex Matthews

I never met my maternal grandfather – he passed away before I was born. He was a wise, kind man. A devout Christian who also encapsulated, beautifully, the concept of mindfulness – of living in the present – with the saying “Today is the best day.”

My mother has often said this to her children. For her, as well as my sister and me, it has become a sort of mantra, something to aspire to, to live by.


“Today is the best day,” means appreciating the here and the now and all the goodness that this contains. It involves acknowledging that we do not live in the past or the future; we occupy the present, and so we better darn well make the most of it. Happiness is not a destination you will reach, but something to be accessed now. We can so easily dwell on what we don’t have, or what we want but haven’t got yet (or had, but lost). “Today is the best day,” means letting go of those preoccupations, turning the focus on what you do have, on your life and its bounty today. see article

Stressful Relationships vs. Isolation: The Battle for Our Lives

Posted on: January 19th, 2015 by The Mindfulness Movie

Are we paying attention?

What happens when you are stuck in a bad relationship, maybe with a partner, a friend, or someone else? No matter what you do, you just can’t seem to improve it. Worse, you have become habituated to the negative patterns and you rationalize it as just being normal. Yet, year after year, you are hurt psychologically and it effects you physically. You are mindless to the continue onslaught of stress and are more and more numb to its effects. Unfortunately, you are probably more likely to die according to recent studies…

“In your everyday life, do you experience conflicts with any of the following people?”
Other family

A Danish health survey asked almost 10,000 people between ages 36 and 52 to answer, “always,” “often,” “sometimes,” “seldom,” or “never” for their applicable relationships.

Eleven years later, 422 of them were no longer living. That’s a typical number. What’s compelling, Rikke Lund and her colleagues at University of Copenhagen say, is that the people who answered “always” or “often” in any of these cases were two to three times more likely to be among the dead. (And the deaths were from standard causes: cancer, heart disease, alcohol-related liver disease, etc.—not murder. Were you thinking murder?) Read entire article

Eckhart Tolle & The Ten Paradoxes

Posted on: November 7th, 2014 by The Mindfulness Movie

Origins of The Mindfulness Movie are Rooted in The Ten Paradoxes

Stillness Speaks

Eckhart Tolle has a brilliant way of deciphering ancient wisdom and teaching and reformulating the information into clear and understandable everyday language.  He makes valuable aphorisms accessible. I recently read Tolle’s Silence Speaks and discover that some of his aphorisms perfectly described and paired with the Ten Paradoxes outlined in my book,Where’s My Zen?.

I love the simplicity of his explanations and wanted to share them with you. It’s some great Sunday morning reading! See below to read the entire explanation in Tolle’s words of each paradox.

Paradox 1:  Act. React. But Never Try.

“Become at ease with the state of “not knowing.” This takes you beyond mind because the mind is always trying to conclude and interpret. It is afraid of not knowing. So, when you can be at ease with not knowing, you have already gone beyond the mind. A deeper knowing that is non-conceptual then arises out of that state.

“Sometimes surrender means giving up trying to understand and becoming comfortable with not knowing.”

Paradox 2:  Act. React. But Always in Play.

“The playfulness and joy of a dog, its unconditional love and readiness to celebrate life at any moment often contrast sharply with the inner state of the dog’s owner–depressed, anxious, burdened by problems, lost in thought, not present in the only place and only time there is: Here and Now. One wonders: living with this person, how does the dog manage to remain so sane, so joyous?”

“By knowing yourself as the awareness in which phenomenal existence happens, you become free of dependency on phenomena and free of self seeking in situations, places, and conditions. In other words, what happens or doesn’t happen is not that important anymore. Things lose their heaviness, their seriousness. A playfulness comes into your life. You recognize this world as a cosmic dance, the dance of form. No more and no less.”

Paradox 3:  Seek mind with no thought.

“When you fully accept that you don’t know, you give up struggling to find answers with the limited thinking mind, and that is when a greater intelligence can operate through you. And even thought can then benefit from that, since the greater intelligence can flow into it and inspire it.”

Paradox 4:  With thought, intention. With intention, karma.

“All the misery on the planet arises due to a personalized sense of me or us. That covers up the essence of who you are. When you are unaware of that inner essence, in the end, you always create misery [KARMA]. It’s as simple as that. When you don’t know who you are, you create a mind-made self as a substitute for your beautiful, divine being and cling to that fearful and needy self. Protecting and enhancing that false sense of self then becomes your primary motivating force [INTENTION].

“And so you forget your rootedness in Being, your divine reality, and lose yourself in the world. Confusion, anger, depression, violence, and conflict [created by KARMA] arise when humans forget who they are…Yet how easy it is to remember the truth and thus return home:

“I am not my thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, and experiences. I am not the content of my life. I am Life. I am the space in which all things happen. I am consciousness. I am the Now. I Am [NO INTENTION, NO KARMA; IF THE ME IS BEHIND AN ACTION IT PRODUCES KARMA, IF THERE IS NO ME (SELFLESS), THERE IS NO KARMA.].”

Paradox 5:  Perform. Do. But never think.

“You may have overlooked that brief periods in which you are ‘conscious without thought’ are already occurring naturally and spontaneously in your life. You may be engaged in some manual activity, or walking across the room, or waiting at the airline counter, and be so completely present that the usual mental static of thought subsides and is replaced by an aware presence.

“The truth is that it is the most significant thing that can happen to you. It is the beginning of a shift from thinking to aware presence.”

Paradox 6:  When mind is as a mirror, everything is revealed.

“When you look upon another human being and feel great love towards them, or when you contemplate beauty in nature and something within you responds deeply to it, close your eyes for a moment and feel the essence of that love or that beauty within you, inseparable from who you are, your true nature. The outer form is a temporary reflection of what you are within, in your essence. That is why love and beauty can never leave you, although all outer forms will.”

Paradox 7:  With thought, no flow. Without thought, flow.

“Unhappiness needs a mind-made me with a story, the conceptual identity. It needs time, past and future. When you remove time from your unhappiness, what is it that remains? The “suchness” of this moment remains.  It may be a feeling of heaviness of heaviness, agitation, tightness, anger or even nausea. That is not unhappiness and it is not a personal problem.

“There is nothing personal in human pain. It is simply an intense pressure or an intense energy you feel somewhere in the body. By giving it attention, the feeling doesn’t turn into thinking and thus activate the unhappy me. See what happens when you just allow a feeling to be.

“Much suffering, much unhappiness arises when you take each thought that comes into your head for the truth. Situations don’t make you unhappy. They may cause you physical pain, but they don’t make you unhappy. Your thoughts make you unhappy. Your interpretations, the stories you tell yourself make you unhappy. ‘The thoughts I’m thinking right now make me unhappy’ This realization breaks you unconscious identification with those thoughts.”

Paradox 8:  With attachment, work. Without attachment, play.

“Even if your grievances are completely “justified,” you have constructed an identity for yourself that is much like a prison whose bars are made of thought forms. See what you are doing to yourself, or rather what your mind is doing to you. Feel the emotional attachment you have to your victim story and become aware of the compulsion to think or talk about it. Be there as the witnessing presence of your inner state. You don’t have to do anything. With the awareness comes transformation and freedom.”

“The ego needs to be in conflict with something or someone. That explains why you are looking for peace and joy and love but cannot tolerate them for very long. You say you want happiness but are addicted to your unhappiness. “

Paradox 9:  Think. Think not. There is no thinker.

“The truth is you are not somebody who is aware of the tree, the thought, feeling or experience. You are the awareness or consciousness in and by which those things appear. As you go about your life, can you be aware of yourself as the awareness in which the entire content of your life unfolds?

“So you cannot become an object to yourself. That is the very reason the illusion of egoic identity arose because mentally you made yourself into an object. “That’s me,” you say, and then you begin to have a relationship with yourself and tell others and yourself your story…thought and language create an apparent duality and a separate person where there is none.”

Paradox 10:  Un-train the mind, be empty. When empty, you are full.

“Whenever any kind of deep loss occurs in your life–such as loss of possessions, your home, a close relationship; or loss of your reputation, job, or physical abilities–something inside you dies. You feel diminished in your sense of who you are. There may also be a certain disorientation. “Without this…who am I?”

“When a form that you had unconsciously identified with as part of yourself leaves you or dissolves, that can be extremely painful. It leaves a hole, so to speak, in the fabric of your existence.

“When this happens, don’t deny or ignore the pain or the sadness that you feel. Accept that it is there. Beware of your mind’s tendency to construct a story around that loss in which you are assigned the role of victim. Fear, anger, resentment, or self-pity are the emotions that go with that role. Then become aware of what lies behind those emotions as well as behind the mind-made story: that hole, that empty space. Can you face and accept that strange sense of emptiness? If you do, you may find that it is no longer a fearful place. You may be surprised to find peace emanating from it.

Whenever death occurs, whenever a life form dissolves, God, the formless and unmanifested, shines through the opening left by the dissolving form. That is why the most sacred thing in life is death. That is why the peace of God can come to you through the contemplation and acceptance of death.”

Mindfulness Training Helps College Students

Posted on: June 30th, 2014 by The Mindfulness Movie

Mindfulness Could Help to Improve College Students Testing Ability: Study Says

Dear John:

Association for Psychological Science:
As if the stress-relieving, healthifying effects of mindfulness weren’t enough, a new study shows it could actually help students perform better on tests by boosting their memory and reading comprehension skills.
The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, shows that mindfulness training could help college students do better on the verbal reasoning part of the GRE (Graduate Record Examination, an admissions test commonly used for graduate school).
“Our results suggest that cultivating mindfulness is an effective and efficient technique for improving cognitive function, with widereaching consequences,” the researchers, from the University of California, Santa Barbara, wrote in the study.
Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

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