Recently I came across the TEDx Talk by Daron Larson about mindfulness with the title: “Don’t try to be mindful“. I felt the talk is inspiring, amusing and refreshing. Therefore, I’d like to share it here.
I think Daron has a wonderfully honest way to explain mindfulness. He talks, for example, about his own practice and how others may observe him while meditating and might even admire that he can sit in silence, while secretly he only thinks: “What I perceive in my mind at this moment is a total” shit storm ‘. ”
This little anecdote reminded me of one of my favorite meditation teachers, Bob Stahl. As part of a Vipassana Meditation Schweigeretreats in Hof Oberlethe, which I visited for a week last year, he said with humor:
“Meditation centres are like toilets.” The whole shit comes up. – Bob Stahl
And that’s just how it is sometimes. Living in the present and the conscious perception of feelings, thoughts, the 100% body awareness – this is not always beautiful and all peace, joy, pancakes. Sometimes – and not infrequently at all – it is even very unpleasant, because things come to light that are heavy, that hurt. Things that we normally try to suppress.
By consciously perceiving what is though, we also get the possibility to consciously look inwards and to cleanse and wash ourselves pure and clean in a certain way. This can have a very liberating effect.
Even the conscious perception of what is happening NOW in this moment is not always nice. But it makes us more active and present in our lives. For example, Daron describes here in Talk that it is not pleasant to be aware of what it feels like to be standing at the cashier’s slowest line. But it gives us a chance to learn something about ourselves and about patience. We do that too seldom in adulthood.
The beginner’s mind
As children, we perceive everything more consciously and learn something new every minute.
This open-mindedness – as children have it – is also called the beginner’s mind by Zen master Shunryu Suzuki.
The beginner’s mind is very important in mindfulness practice and in fact, it is even one of the 8 qualities or attitudes of a mindful mindset. In this sense, here’s my favorite quote from the TEDx talk by Daron Larson:
“We look at the world once, in childhood. The rest is memory.” – Louise Glück
Source title image: TEDx Talks YouTube Channel, from Daron Larson “Don’t try to be mindful”