Urban Mindfulness--The Book!


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    Mindfulness Quote

    Submitted by Jonathan Kaplan, Ph.D.

    Last week, I went to one of Sharon Salzberg's talks here in NYC.  I always enjoy learning from her, and I was particularly struck by a phrase that she used when discussing mindfulness:

    "It's not about what happens, but rather our relationship to it."

    So, in other words, it's not about the fact that the bus crowded, but rather how we relate to that reality (i.e., what judgments and critical statements might rattle around in our heads).  Similarly, it's not about the fact that it's raining right now, but rather how we feel about the rain in that moment.  Through the practice of mindfulness, we cultivate the ability to notice our reactions and judgments, which creates some emotional space.  We find a way to feel better by giving-up on wanting it to be otherwise.  It prompts us to accept an unchangeable reality or take some appropriate action.  So, if it's crowded, I can decide to focus on listening to my music or meditate or observe something special about each person around me.  If it's raining, I can decide to wait until it stops or take an umbrella or consider the rain in a different way.  All of these other possibilities can be realized in the present moment, once we have the presence of mind to do so.

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