I recently enrolled in an amazing online course, taught by two authors whose work I’ve been reading and loving for years – Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. They’re two of today’s foremost mindfulness & meditation teachers.
Today I want to share with you some of their words of wisdom. Here are a few of the many ideas from their teachings that have impacted me these past weeks.
“We can train our hearts and minds to experience more wellbeing.” This is the essence of everything I believe in, and of the work I do. Most of us don’t get that training – as children or adults. When we do, we can become wiser, happier, and do much less harm to others.
“Mindfulness has two “wings” and we need both to fly. One is awareness. The other is lovingkindness.” I love Tara & Jack’s definition of mindfulness: being aware of what’s present – around us, and within us – but also holding all of it with an attitude of tenderness and lovingkindness.
“Chasing after something pleasant is a kind of stress. Avoiding something unpleasant is a kind of stress.” As someone who is a part of a field that helps people pursue their dreams, this felt like such an important reminder. I want to create, to go for my goals, and to help others do the same – but without reinforcing our tendency to chase an illusory, perfect future. We’ve all got to notice when our heartfelt longings toward more self-actualization, more wholeness, have gotten twisted into a chase after what we think will feel good.
“Why would you want to learn to stay with unpleasant sensations of emotions? You wouldn’t! But when we resist or are fearful of unpleasantness, we get tired. It takes energy to resist what is there. Chronically pushing away your experience will lead to chronically feeling tired.” This is so true, and it is why most of us become both physically and emotionally chronically tired as adults.
“It’s not what’s happening in our lives, it’s how we are relating to it. With training in noticing what’s happening and connecting with the quality of tenderness, we can find a space of presence. Instead of tensing about what’s around the corner in life, we can really live our lives.” Think about how different your life would be if you were tensing about what’s around the corner less – in every facet of your life – not because you were in denial about what could happen, but because you had a sense of how you might be able to meet all of life with more equanimity?
I could go on with more useful ideas I’ve learned from the course, but the truth is I don’t think the incredible ideas and wisdom in the course are what have impacted me most.
What has impacted me most is the presence of these teachers. They emanate something very special that goes right to the heart, and is transformative. I have been uplifted and centered by having their energies present in my life through their teachings in this class.
Here’s something lovely. You can experience a taste of their teachings and of the course through this short free video series from Tara & Jack. Signing up will also allow you to learn more about the very special Power of Awareness course, which is coming up again soon. I genuinely believe this course can make big change in us and thereby, in the world. I hope you’ll check it out.