How Mindfulness Works: The Story of the Two Wolves

How Mindfulness Works: The Story of the Two Wolves February 17, 2016

Mindfulness, as we discussed last month with Jeff Wilson’s lecture on the topic, is the single most impactful aspect of Buddhism in America. The notion has become so ubiquitous that one could almost search for “mindfulness and x” and find a website, book, or guru/guide devoted to the subject – x being virtually any activity common today, from sex to eating, parenting, commuting, college life, and even the newest fad, adult coloring books.

A friend of mine even sent me an advertisement for a course on “Mindful Harmonica.”

It’s everywhere.

By the way, Nancy Thompson of the InterDependence Project has a good blog post about mindful coloring, or as she puts it, “Coloring meditatively.” There she aptly differentiates between coloring as meditation (which it isn’t) and coloring meditatively – meaning bringing meditative awareness to the coloring process. Coloring itself is not meditation and is in fact for most people probably a sort of relaxing period of “auto pilot” that makes them feel a little de-stressed. Nice it may be. Meditation it is not. But, Nancy suggests, following the works of Sharon Salzberg and Thich Nhat Hanh, it can be done meditatively.

Attaining peaceful relaxation from a coloring book does not, as far as I know -I have yet to really dive into the practice, nor that of mindful harmonica, gah! time…- offer the ability to look at aspects of the mind in the way described here:

Animation by Katy Davis (AKA Gobblynne) gobblynne.com
Animation assistant: Kim Alexander kimalexander.co.uk 
Narration by Sharon Salzberg sharonsalzberg.com/

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