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An Introduction to Mindfulness

Mark Williams & Melli O'Brien






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An Introduction to Mindfulness

In this interview Mark elegantly answers the question, 'What is Mindfulness?’. He also leads two simple introductory practices for beginners.

I'm your host Melli O'Brien.

Today we're joined by Professor Mark

Williams, as he guides us through

an introduction to mindfulness.

Mark is Emeritus Professor of clinical

psychology at Oxford University, where he

was the director of the Oxford Mindfulness

Centre until his retirement in 2013.

Mark co-developed this program

called mindfulness-based cognitive

therapy, which is designed to

prevent relapse of major depression.

And he co-authored one of my favorite

books on mindfulness, simply called,

Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to

Finding Peace in a Frantic World.

Here's my interview with

Professor Mark Williams.

So I thought we could maybe

start off by simply getting you

to describe what is mindfulness

and, and how do we practice it?

Well, mindfulness really is a word

that really simply means awareness.

Awareness of what's happening as

it's happening, both in the inside

world and the outside world.

It comes from a very ancient word, but

it's probably easiest to understand if

you think of its opposite, mindlessness.

Mindlessness, where you keep forgetting

to do things, you don't listen

properly, you're not attending properly.

The world is going by without you really

being there for it or here for it.

And mindfulness is the awareness that

emerges when you make a decision to

train your mind, to some extent, to

check in more often to how things are.

So the original word, awareness, it

actually came from a word meaning

memory, which slightly changed its

meaning to being non-forgetfulnes.

Non forgetfulness to mean that sort

of direct, intuitive knowing of what's

happening around you, both inside and out.

And that's really what

mindfulness is about.


And one of the things that I actually

really love about this book, one of the

things that really struck me about it

is that not only does it have a really

clear explanation of mindfulness, but

you actually go into that description

of what mindlessness is as well.

What, and a really wonderful

description of why it's so

important to wake up out of that.

In other words, how it can

really get us into trouble.

So maybe we could elaborate

a little bit more on that.

What's the problem with autopilot?

Why do we say, does it seem to

get us into so much trouble?

Well, I think the problem is not

so much with autopilot itself.

So automatic pilots is a very useful

thing that the mind and body does.

If you think of learning to drive,

for example, it was probably, if

you drove in as sort of a stick

shift in a, in a car with a gear.

A stick, probably you frightened your

parents or your partner, or whoever

were teaching you to drive no end,

because you'd look down to see where

you hand needed to be and what the gear.

So you'd use all your mind

for that moment, not to steer

the car, but to change gears.

And it's just as well, you learn

to make that automatic so that,

or if you never learned, you

bought yourself an automatic car.

So that you'd actually know how

to keep your mind on other things.

So when you make things automatic,

that's a really helpful function.

The problem is, is where the automatic

pilot takes over on things that

actually it would be easier and more

adaptive if you weren't so automatic.


So if you take the driving analogy

again, it's very important to be,

have all your attention on the road

at a point where you come up to a

rotary, a round-about, an intersection.

And that's the point at which

you can't be on automatic.

And if you are, then accidents happen.

If you don't look left and right,

because you know, or you've every time

you've come up to that intersection

before in the past 10 days, there

has never been any traffic there.

So you just assume automatic

that's going to happen again.

Then of course, accidents happen.


When automatic pilot takes over, over

things and you get so absorbed in

something that automatic pilot is doing

other things for you and the difficulty

with that with, I mean, in a sense

there's two aspects to mindfulness.

One is the way in which mindfulness

training transforms destructive emotions.

And perhaps we can come onto that

later and all the research on that.

But also mindfulness is helping you

re-engage with moment to moment living.

And that re-engagement with moment of

living, the sense of approaching life

with a sense of awareness and really

being there for it, experiencing being

alive moment by moment means that

if you cede too much control to the

automatic pilot, you're just not there.

You don't taste your food, you

don't listen, you don't see.

And although it's all there available

for you, it's just not being processed.

It's not being attended to.


And one of the things we

didn't get to chat about this

before, when we previously met.

But one of the things that actually really

affected my life was that when, when I

was 19, I was working in a nursing home

and one of the things, you know, they

really wanted to impart their wisdom.

And one of the things that they would

often say is things like, you know,

that they felt like they didn't

really live a lot of their lives and

had regrets when they got to the end.

That was a very impactful thing for me.

And it kind of strikes me that it does

seem that we, we seem to spend a good

portion of our lives in that mode of kind

of doing one thing after another, after

another and not really being there fully.


Yeah, absolutely.

I mean Thich Nhat Hanh has this lovely

example of, you know, having a drink.

Maybe if you, you go and have a drink

before you go out for, to go shopping

or something and you realize all

the cups are, are need of washing.

So you wash the cups.

But washing the cups is just a

preparation for making the tea.

So you don't, you're not really

there for washing the cups.

So you don't notice the water

or the washing and so on.

Cause after all who would?

I mean, it seems irrelevant.

But then when you're drinking

your tea, where is your mind?

Often your mind there is on your shopping

expedition and what you need to buy.

And you look at the cup and you

think, Oh, uh, Did I just drink that?


Oh, I must've done cause

nobody else drunk it.

But you haven't been there for the tea.


And then when you're on the way

to shop, you're, you're thinking

about what you're going to buy.

And when you're going around the

supermarket, you're wondering about

whether there's going to be long queues.

And when you're queuing, you're

hoping that this person in front of

you is not going to ask the price

of bread, and so on and so, and so.

So you go through, there's a whole

morning lost where the tea, the

washing, the tea, the drive, the

shopping, the driving home, the cooking.

It's all been lost to you and you're

quite right that, you know, losing a

morning doesn't seem that important.

But if at the end of your life with

say six months to live, you look

back on your life like you looked at

that cup and you look back on your

life and saying, was that my life?

That was it.

It must have been because

nobody else lived it.

I was the one that lived it, but

actually I wasn't there for it.

I wasn't there for it.


And I know you mentioned too in the

book and I know, I'm, I'm a big fan

of Matt Killings worth's research on

this as well, and there's this, it

seems like being on autopilot makes us

vulnerable to deeper states of suffering,

of anxiety, stress, being revved up

and those kinds of things as well.

So there's that kind

of cost to it as well.

Exactly so.

So that exactly.

So that research that shows that

when your mind is wandering, you're

actually not as, as, it's not

actually a pleasant experience.

I mean, some people imagine that

daydreaming is always pleasant.

The problem is that daydreaming

is the first cousin of rumination

and brooding and worrying.

And especially if you are a

little vulnerable to worries

and concerns and depression.

Under the surface, when you're

on autopilot, you can coalesce

and negative moods can coalesce.

Irritations, hostilities,

sadnesses, hopeless worries, fears.

And you're not aware of them until

they've already built into quite a mass.

They've already affected the body.

So the body's already send, sending

signals to the mind saying, I'm tense.

So you better be tense too.

And that's already, it already

happened by the time you wake up for

it, you're already quite far down

into, for example, another depression.

So that waking up and checking in

regularly is, is an important thing.

The other thing is that we so often get

preoccupied with projects, you know.

And if we're doing a thesis or an essay,

or got a big project on, you can see

exactly why, during that project, you

put aside the things that you, you

normally enjoy in order to focus on

the project, the essay, the whatever

it is you've got to do, promising

yourself that when it's over, then

you'll do the things you promised.

But actually, while you're doing that

project, the mind is doing a pretty

good automatic job of suppressing all

your other jobs that you have to do.

So when it's over, although you promised

yourself bliss and a bit of freedom,

actually what comes crowding in is

all the other things, all the other

projects that you've put on hold.

Because you're kind of already in

that, that kind of revved up state

of yeah, just getting it done.

That's right.

Yeah, so you don't give

yourself very much nourishment.

You just go.

The end of one project is just

a signal to start another one.

And promising ourselves that next year,

in the new year, after this vacation,

after this, then we'll start enjoying the

life that we actually promised ourselves

becomes actually a bit of a delusion.

It never actually happens.

So the question is how can I

nourish myself in the next hour?

Not even in the next day.

But what can I do, some small

thing, in the next hour or two that

actually will make a difference and

give myself a break and, and give

me some practice at attending to my

life in a, in a more wholesome way?

Not just, not just giving my thinking a

break, but actually just switching on a

different mode of being and, and letting

that be exercised and letting that have,

have some play in our lives as well.


It's such a seductive mind

pattern that, one day when...

It's amazing how it's just.

It is.

And I, I catch myself over and over

and over just remembering that.

Well, exactly, we all do.

I mean, it's natural human nature.

And, but what we're doing as mindfulness

teachers is not saying we've,

we've sussed it, we've got over it.

It's actually a sense of recognizing,

perhaps just a little bit more

recognizing when it, when it

undermines our best intentions.

And because we live in this world

of ideas and taking a break is such

a lovely idea, taking a break for

the future, next week or whatever.

So it only, it only stays

in the realm of ideas.

It's never actualized today.

And that's what we need

a bit of practice now.



And Mark, you know, we, we've touched on

a little bit of wanting to talk about the

research and you're one of the premier

researchers in the field of mindfulness.

So I would love to have you share with

us, what are the research backed benefits

of mindfulness that we know of so far?

I know things are still

evolving, but what do we know?

Well, things are still evolving.

And one of the mistakes.

I think, is just think that mindfulness

is a panacea for everything.

That all you have to do is

pour mindfulness on the problem

and suddenly it will dissolve.

Not only does the research have a

long way to go, but also the way

in which mindfulness has, addresses

different forms of suffering.

It's bound to be slightly

different in each case.

So that just generic mindfulness courses,

although they will probably get you

at least halfway to, because there are

universal problems that get us stuck

and mindfulness is very good at those.

And if it's going to address

specific issues, it needs to be

specifically aware of in addressing

the suffering that's that's coming.

But the research is, I mean, most of

our research myself, John Teasdale

and Zindel Segal's research, was

on the prevention of depression.

We could see in the eighties and

nineties that depression had, and it

was destined to be one of the major

burdens in not only the Western and

rich countries, but also in low-income

and middle-income countries as well.

And it's a burden increasingly,

we're aware of it, partly

because it's recurrent.

It tends to come back in many people.

But that wouldn't be a problem

if it started late in life.

But what we're now aware of over the

last 20, 30 years is that depression

actually starts quite young.

And the most common age of onset

of serious clinical depression now

is between 13 and 15 years of age.


And that, and 50% or more of people who

are ever going to be depressed, in fact,

75% of people ever going to be depressed

have been depressed before the age of 24.

And that means they've got a whole

lifetime ahead of them, where if

depression gets into recurrent

pattern, it could blight their

lives for the whole of their lives.

And there's now long-term followup

suggesting that once it settles into

a recurrent pattern, you're going to

be depressed about four months every

year, over a 20 year, 30 year period.

Wow, that's a lot.

And that, and that's function impairment.

That's not just feeling a bit sad.

That's unable to, to work maybe,

unable to feel effective at work or

with family with leisure pursuits.

So it's not surprising it's the

biggest, one of the biggest burdens

for the World Health Organization?

Well, the problem there is, there

are pretty effective treatments for

depression for when people are depressed.

So cognitive therapy, interpersonal

therapy, antidepressants, all

seem to be quite effective.

But that those depend on, on

depression being there to be treated.

These don't tend to work as preventative

things if you're not depressed now.

So if you do cognitive therapy,

then people do get better.

And once they're better,

their relapse rates are lower.

But the question is, what is the critical

thing that cognitive therapy is teaching?

And could you teach that to people who

are not depressed, who, who we know

are vulnerable, but not depressed?

Well, it turns out that the critical

thing that cognitive therapy was doing was

to help people to stand back from their

thoughts and not take them so personally,

to have a more curious approach,

centered approach to their thoughts,

rather than a sort of an aversion, I

don't like this, I'm just going to bury

my head and suppress them, or get lost

in them and take them all personally.

And that's what cognitive

therapy was doing so effectively.

Now, maybe we could find a way of

teaching that same skill to people who

have no negative thoughts at the moment.

Mindfulness is really good for that

because you only have to sit for 10

seconds on the cushion before your mind

wanders, and you have the opportunity to

practice seeing your thoughts clearly,

feeling lost in your thoughts and actually

noticing you're lost and coming back.

And I think that that, that is, for

many people I think the, the really

critical thing that mindfulness

allows you to do to, we call it

de-centering from thinking now.

When you do that, and when we do the

research, it shows that yes, if you teach

that for eight weeks to people through, as

you say, it's something called mindfulness

based cognitive therapy, which is closely

based on Jon, Kabat-Zinn's work in MBSR,

but subtly changed and important ways

to address the problems of depression.

You find you can almost half the rates

of depression in the most vulnerable

people, the people with the most

recurrent pattern of depression.


And the most recent research, that we've

just finished last year and published

last year, added, I think in important

ways to that in, in a couple of ways.

First of all, we were looking

at people who tend to get

suicidal when they get depressed.

And we found that after the mindfulness

course, there was an uncoupling of

depression from suicidal thoughts.

So even when people got depressed

after the mindfulness, it didn't

trigger suicidal thoughts.


It didn't kind of escalate to that.

It didn't escalate into suicidality,

which is important because we can't

ban depression from the world.

And if people have been depressed

and suicidal in the past, whenever

they get depressed again, they

tend to feel suicidal again.

So uncoupling, those

things are quite important.

That was the, that was the first thing.

And that's just coming out this

year in The Journal of Consulting

and Clinical Psychology.

But two other things.

One was that nobody up till now have

compared mindfulness for depression

with an active treatment control.

They'd been intended to compare

them, at least not an active

psychological treatment control.

So they've compared it with

antidepressants and the data

suggest that they are at least

as effective as antidepressants.

And actually when you put all the trials

together, slightly more effective.

Oh, wow.

So that data came out of The

Lancet a couple of weeks ago.

Willem Kuyken, who is the, my successor

at Oxford, showed it wasn't, his trial

wasn't big enough to show that mindfulness

was better than antidepressants.

But when you put all the trials

together, there are four trials

by now, then mindfulness based

cognitive therapy is a little better.

But no trial had looked at an

active treatment control that

was a psychological treatment.

So we couldn't, we didn't know whether

when people would come to class and

learn mindfulness and mindfulness-based

cognitive therapy, MBCT, it might be just

that they have a nice teacher, that they

meet each other and make new friends,

that they talk and learn about depression.

Maybe those non-specific effects

are what's doing the business.

Maybe it's nothing to do

with mindfulness at all.

So in this research, we had an, another

psychological treatment, which was

like MBCT without the mindfulness.

So people came to class, they had

the same teacher, they learned about

depression, they met each other, they

made good friends and everything was the

same, but they didn't learn to meditate.


And the data suggested that yes, as

once again, MBCT was highly effective

for those most vulnerable people.

In this case, people who had long

histories with trauma in their

childhood and adolescence and abuse.

So they were the most vulnerable and

that's where MBCT was the most helpful.

And it's more than halved the rates,

that hazard of relapse, as it's called.

But interestingly, if you looked

up this, this is what we call

cognitive psycho-education,

this active, psychological

treatment, it got you halfway.

So it took the relapse

rates down about halfway.

So coming to class, meeting each

other, learning about depression

is about is, is quite good.

But if you want to full effect, if

you want to go the other, the other

half, if you want the full benefit,

you have to learn to meditate.


It's, it's really, it's, it's amazing

what's happened over the past, I think.

What is it?

35 years since MBSR has been,

really made mindfulness, I mean,

it's an incredible thing that,

that mindfulness is as effective as

antidepressants or slightly more.

I mean, that's, that's amazing.

It's, it's, it's wonderful that,

it's wonderful that mindfulness

is going is going so mainstream.



And the thing is, I think probably the

third part of that research is something

that might disappoint some people, but not

others, that enthusiasm for mindfulness

actually doesn't predict any benefit.


Just being enthusiastic about it.

So I mean, this well-known phenomenon

in psychology and psychological

research, which is that if you are

enthusiastic for your treatment,

you tend to do better at it.


And that's also true of

antidepressant medication.

So if you, or any medication, if you

think this is the thing that will help

you and you think it's plausible and

you'd recommend it to a friend and

you think you're going to do well on

it, then you tend to do well on it.


And that's true for psychology

or, or a physical medicine.

So we were really concerned, maybe

that actually the important thing

wasn't people meditating, but

people just being enthusiastic

about, about MBCT or mindfulness.

I see.


And so we actually measured, at Session

Two, we gave some standard questions.

Like how plausible do you think this is?

How enthusiastic, how would

you recommend this to a friend?

For example, do you think

this will work for you?

And the first thing that we found was the

enthusiasm for our control treatment was

just as good in fact, slightly better, not

significantly better, but slightly better.

People were enthusiastic for both,

but noticed the MBCT did better

than the, the control treatment.

So it wasn't just enthusiasm.

But then we looked at how

much people practiced.

Then just in the MBCT group, how

much do people actually practice?

And, you know, some people

practice, other people don't.

Well, we were interested in that

because we wanted to know does

practice of mindfulness, you know,

doing the formal daily practice,

does that affect the outcome?

And some people have shown that it did,

some other people shown that it didn't.

We said, well, look, even if it shows

that it does, it might just be enthusiasm.

There might be the enthusiastic

people, both get good outcomes

and they practice more.

But our results were published last

year in the Behavioral Research and

Therapy Journal were very clear.

Enthusiasm didn't affect how much

people practiced, but how much people

practiced, did affect the outcome.

So basically, every extra day you

practiced over the six days that we

asked people to practice, actually

benefit and reduce the risk of relapse.

So if you just split people by the,

by the middle and say, okay, so

people on average practice three

and a half days a week out of six.

So just take the people who practice, zero

one and two, all the people who practice

three, four, and five, and you find a six.

You find that when you split people in

the middle, people who only practiced

a little only got half the benefit that

people who have practiced as, as they

have more of more than three days a week.

And none of that was anything

to do with enthusiasm.

So basically if you're enthusiastic for

mindfulness, I'm afraid it's not enough.


The, the phrase that springs to

mind right now is, you know, Jon

Kabat-Zinn's quite well known for

saying, you don't have to like it.

You just have to do it.

You just, just practice and let it unfold.



So this is exactly why, I mean, you

know, we'd never, we believe Jon.


But we never had any evidence to

suggest, suggest he was right.

Now, we've got the evidence

to show that he's right.

Actually, if even people who weren't

enthusiastic, if they practiced, they got

the benefit, and that's a critical thing.


And that's important for us as teachers

to know, when we're meeting people for

the first time, that what they're doing

here is potentially transformative,

but one has to do the work.


And not, not just important for us as

teachers, but for everybody watching

this, that's interested in mindfulness

and, and, you know, wanting to find

out what it can do for your life.

Just go for it and find out for

yourself from the inside out.



Just give it, give it the eight weeks

that we ask you to give it and just

see what happens and make a judgment

at the end, rather than 10 minutes in,

because it's going to be quite difficult.

In fact, in our early days of

developing work for suicidal people,

of suicidal, depressed people, we

actually looked at who drops out.

Because in our first pilot work in

Oxford, A lot of people dropped out.

And, and that's, I think because

people who have suicidal depression

often are very highly ruminative.

And it's when, when thoughts, and

now we know images, they get very

clear pictures in their mind, which

are very, very toxic and horrible.

And so when this comes up, they've learned

to ruminate about them rather than focus

on them, rather than approach them.

And they've learned to suppress them.

And we found that those who are

most highly ruminative and most

highly avoidant dropped out.

And so we now spend time in that

preclass interview, the intake interview,

really saying, what are you going

to do when you feel like giving up?

Because it'll happen.

It'll happen.

You'll feel like giving up.

So see that as an opportunity,

really to say that that is where

the biggest learning might come.

So when you feel like giving up,

say, aha, this is it, here it is.

This is what I've been sort of,

this is what I was warned about.

Now, how am I going to approach this?

What's going on in my mind, in my body,

in my impulses, in my, in,you know.

So think, thoughts and

feelings, what is this about?

And this provides people, and when we

did the big trial, having made those

adjustments, instead of 30% dropping

out only 7% dropped out, which is

very low for a trial of this kind.

So I think that this is important

messages for mindfulness, for people doing

mindfulness and for mindfulness teachers.

Yeah, absolutely.

And in your experience, you've taught

so many people over the years, you

know, and you must have a sense of

common themes or common challenges or,

or obstacles as you mentioned that,

that come up for people when they're

learning to practice mindfulness.

Are there, could you speak

to that a little bit?

Are there common challenges?

And if so, what advice do you have

for anyone out there beginning their

mindfulness practice that might

come up against these challenges?

Well, I think that one of them we've

already mentioned, that is actually

putting a time aside to practice.

In our clinical work, we tend to have

long meditations done once a day.

You know, 25, 30, 35 minutes.

In the Frantic World book, we

decided to split that up into

shorter meditations twice a day.


And one of the reasons for doing that

is that although people in the end get

rather similar amounts of meditation

in total, it does give people, first,

one, more opportunity to discover what,

what time of day is best for them.

It might be the morning.

They may get up a little bit

earlier before the household is up.

Or it might be middle

evening or middle of the day.

And if you only do it once a day,

often you meant, it may take a long

time to discover what works for you.

Try it twice a day, or, or even more

gives you more, more of that flexibility.

But also by doing things more

than once a day, you get to

practice one of the really, really

hard things about meditation,

which is actually getting there.

Meditation is not hard once you arrive.


I mean, that's a different business.

I'll come onto that in a moment.

But actually getting from your bed to

your chair or your studio, cushion or

from the television to the bed or from,

because in the mode in bed or in front

of television, you're in a sort of doing

mode in which you're either snatching

some relaxation or you're working hard.

And whether you're snatching relaxation,

you think, Oh, I don't want to do the

meditation now because I'm relaxing,

or I don't want to do the meditation

because I've got too much on.

And those two things, the snatching

a little bit of what you call

downtime, but often it's just

slouching from the television.

So I think that.

practicing twice a day, gives you more

chance at practicing the hard thing,

which is that making that switch.

Once you're there in your special place,

where you sit on a cushion, on a stool,

and of course you don't have to have

a cushion or a, or a stool, a chair is

perfectly good for people meditating.

The first time it's useful to put

a cushion under themselves so that

their, their hips are slightly higher

than their knees and their feet can

be flat on the floor and the back

can be self-supporting, but that

can be done with an ordinary chair.

You don't have to do anything special.

But that sense of just transferring

from one mode to the other and just

sitting there is really important.

Once you get there, then you

can decide how long to stay.

Switch on the tape, switch

on the CD, download the stuff

and, and be there for it.

And then the other thing is not

to worry if your mind wanders.

A lot of people who begin meditation

for the first time, think this

is to try to clear my mind.

And actually the media often gives that

message, partly through it's photographs

of monks or beautiful women at the top of

mountains who look completely blissed out.

And you can't believe that actually what

might be going through their head is Ow,

this stone is a bit hard or I feel a bit

hungry, cause they look so blissed out.

It looks as if their mind is empty.

And often you'll see articles

in the press about learn to

meditate and clear your mind.

And actually, so when people sit

and their mind wanders all over

the place, I think I can't do this.

I can't do this.

But actually mind wandering is

indeed needed for the practice.

So that if your, if your mind didn't

wander, it would be a bit like going

to the gymnasium and finding there's

nothing, no equipment in the room.

There's nothing to practice on, you know.

If going to the gym and finding an empty

room, you'd probably want your money back.


So when you meditate the mind

starts to wander and that's

like the gymnasium equipment.

That's what you're going to be practicing

on because the mind wandering is going to

give you all sorts of micro challenges.

They may not be huge things

your mind is preoccupied with.

But the mind has a really good way of

just reminding you of all the things

you've forgotten to do, for example,

and making you feel like, unless you

do them now, you'll forget them again.

So those sort of challenges come

up, you get that sort of sense.

So that's where, that's, the,

the practice is noticing that,

noticing you've got a bit lost.

Waking up and escorting your mind back.

That sort of attentional muscle training,

you might say, is the, is the cornerstone

or the foundation of mindfulness, using

the body as the, as the foundation because

you can't leave home without the body.

It's always there for you.

And using the body to learn

to attend on the breath or on

the sensations in the body.

And then the mind will wander,

bring it back, mind wanders.

So the going away and coming

back is actually the practice.

And if you could sit there and there was

nothing in your mind, then you wouldn't

have the practice you need to have.


So knowing that that's completely

normal and not a sign of failure,

but it's just part of the practice.


It's part of the practice.

It's what gives you the practice.

Many very senior mindfulness teachers are

very aware their mind wanders all the time

and as you get more and more practiced at,

it's not that your mind doesn't wander,

it's that there's an ease of returning

a sense of self-forgiveness, a sense

of cultivating compassion for yourself.

And, and I suppose the other thing I'd

say that the challenges is that even

when you notice the mind has gone and

you bring it back, what I'd suggest that

people look very gently and carefully

at how they're bringing the mind back.

Are they sort of pulling it back

in a rather abrupt away, almost

with a frown on their face as if a

naughty child was being, you know,

pulled away from the biscuit tin?

And are you treating yourself

as if something's gone wrong?

As if you've done something naughty

and you better get, you better

get your mind, your mind back on

the breath before anybody notices.

That you're, you know, you're not there.

And so that sense, that's easy to get that

sense of sort of contraction around it.

So in order to to do the opposite,

when you notice your mind has gone,

just spend a few moments noticing where

it went, acknowledging where it went.

Perhaps even being amazed and wondering

at the mind and cherishing your mind.

You won't have your mind forever.

So cherish the fact that here's

the mind doing its thing.

Isn't that fantastic?

But that's not what you

would intend to be doing.

So now you're going to very gently

escort the mind back to the,

where you had intended it to be.

Perhaps settling yourself in the body

first, before going back to the breath.

So rather than going, my mind's gone.

Now back to the breath,

which is narrow, narrow.

Maybe go to the body first and

then gather it back to the breath.

So it's one graceful movement of

acknowledgement and bringing back

with a sort of sense of compassion

and, and, and then really you're

getting the practice you need to get.


I'm so glad that you brought

that up because it makes such

a huge difference in the whole

tone of, of practice, doesn't it?

It can really just be this feeling

of struggling and striving and

pulling and pushing at the mind, or

it can be, you know, like you say,

light and easeful and, and yeah.

That;s it.

I'm really glad that you,

that you brought that up.


Indeed we're in, when we developed

a sort of mini meditation that would

be portable for people who do MBCT,

the three-minute breathing space.

We deliberately, although we called it

the breathing space, it's actually not

going to the breath as the first step.

It has three steps.

And the first step is about

acknowledging what's going on.

Because if there would be a

danger that if you said, oh,

things are going a bit wrong.


Take a breathing space, go to the breath.

What you're doing is simply

changing what you're focusing on.

You're, you were focused on that

now you're focused on the breath.

Changing what you focused on

doesn't necessarily change

how you are focusing on it.

So this speaks to what you just, what

you just said about the nature of

the going away and the coming back.

How you treat your mind.

Do you treat your mind with

friends, with friendliness,

with, with, with a friendship.

And so the sense of the three-minute

breathing space of pausing and

acknowledging what's going on in

mind and body right now brings an

approach quality to your experience.

Before then you do step two,

which is gathering the mind.


And, and, and, and settling the mind.

But even then, we don't go back into

the world before we've done step

three, because that gathering is great,

but that's a fairly narrow focus.

And if, again, if you took that out

into the world, you might go back out

into the world with a narrow focus.

So we ask people at step three,

before they finish the breathing

space, to expand to the whole body.

So that that's a more open stance.

And then what they, what they take

back out into the world is a stance

of openness and spaciousness.

A sort of more a being

mode than a doing mode.

So that's why the breathing space

has these three elements, these three

steps to it deliberately to cultivate

a different attitude to the self

and the world, rather than just give

your, give your thinking mind a break.



And I love, I love the three-minute

breathing space, not only because it's a

really wonderful way to bring mindfulness

into any moment, really in, in, in

your day, you can do a breathing space.

But what I really like about it is that

it's really wonderful in those moments

where we do find ourselves a little bit

revved up or a little bit caught up.

It's such a wonderful way

of bringing mindfulness and

embodying the present moment.

It has such a wisdom in that.

And I was, I was wondering if, if

you would care to maybe give us an

experience of the, of the breathing space.

Would you guide us through

a little experience?



So wherever people are watching this,

maybe just adjusting the posture.

Allowing the eyes to

close, if you want to.

But just lowering your gaze, if you

don't want to close your eyes, if

that feels uncomfortable for you.

And then in this change of

posture, that's already a sign of

stepping out of automatic pilot.

And then moving into step

one of the breathing space.

Acknowledging what's going on

in mind and body right now.

What thoughts are around?

Any feelings?

Any body sensations?

What do you notice?

And don't try to make anything

different about how things are.

Simply acknowledging.

Allowing things to be just

as they are for this moment.

A sense of noticing the weather

pattern in the mind and body right now.

And then allowing this to fade into

the background and moving to step two,

gathering the attention and allowing

the attention to settle on the breath.

Maybe the breath down in the abdomen.

Noticing the rising of the in-breath,

falling away on the out-breath.

Not trying to control

the breath in any way.

Allowing the breath to breathe itself.

And if the mind wanders, simply

acknowledging where it went and gently

escorting it back to the breath.

And then moving to step three of the

breathing space, expanding the attention

to the body as a whole sitting here.

Noticing all the sensations from the crown

of the head to the bottom of the feet

and right up to the surface of the skin.

Noticing any and all sensations in

this body sitting here, breathing.

A sense of coming home to the body.

And as best we can, bringing this

sense of open spaciousness to

the next few moments of our day.

And when you're ready,

moving fingers and toes.

Allowing the eyes to open

if they've been closed.

And taking in your surroundings again.

So that was the three

minute breathing space.

That's amazing that three

minutes can be very refreshing.

As you were saying?


People sometimes call it the three-step

breathing space, because if you keep

that structure - there's an open start,

the narrow middle, and the open base.

It's like an hour glass.

Start open then gets

narrower and then open again.

And you can keep that

three point structure.

We even use step one, step two,

step three, to remind ourselves

that it's three steps to it.

So it doesn't all get mushed together.

And then of course it can be, it can be

five minutes or it can be three breaths.

So you can take all 10 minutes, whatever.

You can have your whole meditation,

however long it is in those

three sections of the sense of

acknowledging, then the sense of

gathering and then a sense of opening.

But when you're out and about, you know,

getting onto a busy tube train or going

into a classroom where you've got a

difficult situation to meet or whatever,

you can take three breaths with a sense

of acknowledging, gathering, opening.



Just as a way of just

touching in, in those moments.


It's wonderful to have that

structure to work with.

Thank you so much for sharing that.

And one of, one of the other things in the

book that I really appreciated, you know,

when we're talking about autopilot before.

You introduced in, in the

mindfulness book, you introduced

what you call habit releasers.

And I really love those.

Just, and they're just, they're so simple,

just little things that we can do right

everyday to be more awake and embodied

and, and to switch out of autopilot mode.

So would you care to share with us

what a habit releaser is and maybe

some examples of how we could use them?


So habit releasers are addressing

one of the issues that much of our

automaticity, our automatic pilot is

shown in the fact that we do the same

thing day in, day out in the same way.

Now, we brush our teeth with the

same hand and we put the other hand

in the same place, wherever that is.

I mean, I don't know whether you

know exactly what happens to your

left hand when you're brushing

your teeth with your right.

And where's the hand, you know.

That's right.

But so it takes very simple situations

to say, what about deliberately, just

for a day or two, doing it differently.

So for example, sitting in a different

sort of chair at the table at home.


Or in your in your lounge or sitting

room or the drawing room, or on the

bus or on the, on the cab, do you

always sit on the left-hand side of the

right-hand side, the back or the front?

Maybe just do something different.

See, see what you notice

about doing things different.

So they can be as small as that.

Or when you go for a walk

look up for a moment.

I mean, if it's safe to do so.


Just stop and look up, maybe and

look at the tops of buildings

rather than the ground.

We're so used to actually being

in a sort of a L S, Lowry sort of

position, the artist who had all

his figures bent double, almost

double looking at the ground.

What about, you know,

standing uprightly here.

But there are other things that are take

more arrangement, but to be spontaneous,

like going to the cinema, perhaps

with a friend, but not trying to find

out what's on before you get there.

So, you know, when we were teenagers

maybe, we would go out with friends and

we would just say, let's go to the cinema.

And we didn't know then, because

there wasn't any internet to

find out what was going on.

So you just turn up at the cinema.

You just have to turn

up and see what was on.

And so it's really interesting to just go.

And as soon as you almost decided to do

it, you can feel the thinking going on,

say, Oh dear, what if it's a bad film?

What if I won't enjoy it?

What a waste of time, if it's, you know.

Well, most cinemas have about

nine screens these days.

So there's one that's bound to be

something which is tolerably okay.

Even if it, even if it's Bambi.

So interestingly, my daughter and I

did this, we just, you know, when,

when the book was being written,

I said to my daughter, come on,

let's just go to the local cinema.

And we went there and yeah, there was,

there was a film starting in about 45

minutes that looked quite interesting.

One of the things we discovered is the

staff these days who are mostly the

ticket sellers are also the staff that

sell the popcorn and they don't know

what films are on or anything about them,

which is what one discovery we made.

The second thing is it was

happening in 45 minutes.

So we had to go and find a place

to have a drink or a bite to eat.

So we discovered that as well.

And then we saw this film that.

I, which was really enjoyable, but I would

have never got to see that film normally.

It would have passed me by.

So there's a sort of sense of

getting the spontaneity back.

But, but most of the things

are very small things.

I mean, another example is

learning to value the television.


I love that.

Now you might say that.

Good gracious.

Surely, surely we should, if we're

mindful, we should put the television

off and never watch it again.

But value the television actually

switching it on when you want to watch it

and switching it off when that program's

finished and then going to, unless there's

something else you want to watch later

in the evening, switch it on again.


So you don't have the thing just

playing in the background, just going.

So it's, you know, if you want to,

if you want to just slouch in front

of television all evening, then fine.

Make that decision and do so.

And you can channel hop all evening,

but at least you've made the decision.

Yeah, at least you've made a

conscious choice that I'm going

to sit here for three hours

and I'm going to channel flick.

And this exactly.

So that's my nourishment for

that you made a conscious choice.

But mostly we don't

make a conscious choice.

We just discovered that

that's where we are.

And under those circumstances,

it's quite nice just to turn it

off, make a new choice and then

turn it on again, if you want to.

And that's what we call valuing the

TV and what it offers rather than

just taking it all for granted.

So those are the little habit

releasers, which take things that we

do automatically and just shift them

very slightly in order to help help

us support the idea of waking up.


I love that because it it's, it's

very kind towards ourselves as well.

I feel that that's kind of, you know,

it can, it's so easy to get into, ah,

I'm not supposed to watch TV and I'm

not supposed to eat that kind of food.

And I'm a bad person

if I do this and this.

But just changing the way that we

relate to those things can, change just

sometimes happen by themselves or we just

relate to that thing in a different way.

Enjoy it more.




I have an, I have an eight year

old grandson who loves mixing

foods and drinks and stuff.


It's really nice to see him say, what

would it be like if I took that ripe pina

and put some of this orange juice and

some of this mango juice and, you know.

And we, the adults are

going, I don't know.

But there's something really

beautiful about what would it be like.

And there's only one way to find out.

There's only one way to find out.

So although I said, you know,

shifting the ideas, in fact,

it's shifting the experience.

I mean, it's not just ideas that

shift, it's the, it's the experience

of actually being kind to yourself.

And, and shifting a little bit

of, of the moment to moment

living in these tiny ways.

That's what the habit releasers are about.

I love that.

Thank you for sharing that.

And gosh, I feel like I

could talk to you all night.

And I have so many questions that I

would love to ask, but I would love,

if you feel so inclined, it would

be wonderful to have you take us

through a practice of mindfulness so

that we kind of can experientially...

I know we did the breathing space, but

maybe another, just simple mindfulness

practice, just kind of taking us through

the basics would be most wonderful.



Well, let's do something like

the the eight minute meditation,

which is the one from Week One of

the book, The Frantic World book.

And this is a brief body scan, scanning

through the body, settling down

on the breath and allowing people

to really gather themselves as, as

an entree into, into mindfulness.


So once again, if you find a place to

sit or you can lie down, if you want to.

And allowing the eyes to close

or the gaze to be lowered.

And tuning into this body

sitting or lying here.

Perhaps starting by taking the attention

right down to the soles of the feet.

Noticing what's happening when

your attention gets there.

Maybe some sense of tingling or warmth

or coldness in the soles of the feet.

Not trying to make anything

happen, but simply registering

what's already here in the feet.

What sensations change from moment to

moment and what sensations stay the same?

And if there are no sensations,

just simply registering a blank.

So there's no right or wrong way to feel.

Whatever your experience

is your experience.

And expanding this quality of attending

to both feet as a whole, not just

the soles of the feet, but the tops,

the toes, the heel, and perhaps

extending to the ankle as well.

So you're holding both feet

center stage in your awareness.

And then expanding this attention

to the lower leg, below the knee.

So your feet and lower

legs held in awareness.

What sensations are here right now?

And then the knees.

And including the thighs as well.

So focusing on both legs.

What sensation are here?

If you're sitting, you may notice the

slight pressure of hands on your lap

or on your thighs, the ground under the

feet, the thighs sitting on the chair.

And maybe imagine that your legs were

empty and as you breathe in, the breath

could fill up the legs all the way

down to the feet on the in-breath.

And then it could empty out

on the out-breath just imagine

if that, that were possible.

And what would it feel like if

your legs were empty and could fill

up with breath on the in-breath

and empty on the out-breath?

Just playing with that

experience for a few breaths.

And then taking a deeper breath.

And on the out-breath, letting go of the

legs and coming to the waist, the hips,

the pelvis, the buttocks on the chair.

What sensations are here?

And then expanding the attention

to the abdomen, the chest.

Around the back.

The lower back, the

middle and the upper back.

Now including the shoulders as well.

The hands and the arms.

So the whole of the upper body.

Held in awareness, cradled in awareness.

And extending this now to

the neck and head as well.

You may notice as you breathe in

and out, there are some sensations

in the nose, the nostrils.

So now tuning into these sensations.

So the sensations of the whole body

are in the background, but in the

foreground, sensations of breathing.

In breath.

And the out-breath.

Perhaps noticing the slight coldness

on the in-breath in the, in the nose.

A greater warmth of the breath as

it passes out on the out-breath.

Now, if you choose, you may also

like to notice what's happening

in the chest as you breathe.

So shifting attention from the

nose to the chest and seeing if

there are any sensations here with

the in-breath and the out-breath.

Maybe a slight sense of

expansion on the in-breath.

And letting go on the out-breath.

See if that's true for you.

And you may also want to extend this by

shifting attention to the abdomen and

seeing whether there are any sensations

in the abdomen, in the belly, as you

breathe in and as you breathe out.

And choosing one place where you'd

like to follow the breath or a few

more minutes now, either at the

nose, the nostrils or the chest or

down in the abdomen, in the belly.

Just settling in, in one of

these places and just noticing

the sensations that occur as you

breathe in and as you breathe out.

Every breath unique, slightly different.

See if we can be here for it.

And if the mind wanders, noticing

where it went and then very gently

bringing it back to the breath.

Escorting it back without

giving yourself a hard time.

Nothing's gone wrong.

This is the practice.

The mind goes, we notice it, we bring

it back, over and over and over again.

And so in this way, cultivating stillness

and reminding ourselves that the

stillness of which we speak is not the

stillness of the quiet mind, because

your mind may not be quiet today.

Your body may not be quiet or still.

It's rather the stillness of allowing

things to be as they are in this moment.

And using this practice moment by

moment and day by day to practice

cultivating this sense of, of

kindness to the mind and the body,

of allowing things to be as they are.

A sense of befriending the body and mind.

And now beginning to move

your fingers and toes.

And if your eyes have been closed,

allowing them to open and taking

in your surroundings again.

Thank you for that.

Thank you.


And I just have two

final questions for you.

And the first one is simply this.

You know, I think I heard Joseph

Goldstein say recently that he

believes that mindfulness has the

capacity to change the world from

the inside out one person at a time.

And so my question to you is, from

your perspective, as somebody who

is, has practiced mindfulness and

watch that unfold in their life and,

and watch the results unfold in the

lives of many other people, what do

you think would happen if mindfulness

were to really hit critical mass?

I'm talking, you know, a

billion or 2 billion people.

What kind of a world do you

think that would create?

What kind of changes would we see?

I think if mindfulness could sustain

itself at that sort of level and to

stay at its essential qualities of

compassion and friendship, I mean, a

moment of mindfulness in the ancient

traditions, a moment of mindfulness

never came without a moment, moment of

compassion, joy, equanimity, and kindness.

They came, they come as a family.

And one can teach oneself mindfulness,

either through mindfulness

itself or through cultivating

joy or equanimity or kindness or

compassion, and the others will come.

They're all part of the same family.

And yet that moment can so easily pass.

I mean, it does pass.

It's only this moment.

And mindfulness at the moment,

even where it's really taking hold,

can easily give rise to a sort

of a faddishness like a panacea.

Mindfulness is a great new thing.

Everybody should be doing it.

And those sorts of, that sort of sense

of frenetic let's get mindfulness.

I think that will pass.

And the question then will be after the

froth has gone and the tide has gone

out, as it will, what would be left on,

what will be left on the beach and will

that be able to be slowly maintained.

So, but there are some indications

that even for those who are learning

mindfulness now doing eight week programs,

for example, that that is changing

prisons, it's changing young offenders.

We're teaching mindfulness in

Parliament in the United Kingdom now.

A Congressman has written a book

in America, The Mindful Nation.

Tim Ryan.

One of our, one of our own MPs has been

across the Dutch Parliament to tell

them about mindfulness in Parliament.

The European parliament, the,

are learning mindfulness now

are being offered mindfulness.

In British Parliament, by the time

the election happened a few weeks ago,

10% of the parliamentary Labour Party

had done a mindfulness course, 10%.

And they are very interested in

introducing mindfulness into the health

system, into the criminal justice

system, into the education system.

Not based on an idea that it's a

good idea or just the evidence,

but on their own experience of the

transformation that they've experienced.

That's the difference doing it on

the basis of your own sense that

this is really, really valuable.

And that the world has become something

that needs this sort of ancient Asian

wisdom of cultivating a different

approach to life than just aspirational,

you know, we want to, you know,

what we want what we haven't got.

So, and so a number of

things have happened.

Wellbeing has been put in the, in the

agenda in the UK government anyway.


And so that, that, that all government

departments have to give an account

of what they're doing on the

wellbeing agenda, which is important.

So that's one sector, the, the

governmental parliamentary sector.

So, but part of the agenda for

parliament may well be to introduce

mindfulness in schools, for example.

That's one place where you can

teach mindfulness to a whole cohort.


In small ways at an age where kids

really get it and really enjoy it.

And the Mindfulness in Schools program,

which we've just been given a big

grant to evaluate is going ahead.

Mark Greenberg's work in the Penn

State with Trish Broderick, Broderick,

and, uh, and Tish Jennings is also

teaching teachers how to be mindful

and then their children as well.

And the outcomes are great.

And what teachers are now saying is

why did we never realize that we told

our children to pay attention without

teaching them how to pay attention.

And it's not just, well, this is a soft

skill they need, if there's, if there's,

if there's time in the timetable, but

mindfulness and paying attention is

actually foundational to all learning.

Of course.


You can't learn trigonometry and

calculus if you're not attending.

So attention is fundamental.

So that's, what's happening in schools.

But the other things are,

what do we do about adults?

Well, one thing is mindfulness

is spreading as a treatment for

depression and depression is going

to affect 20% of us in our lives.

That's a billion people on the planet/

and often the people who are most

likely to be depressed in virtually

every country are the poorest,

most isolated, most alienated, most

helpless, the people that get forgotten.

One of the challenges will be

making mindfulness available, not

just for those who can afford to

pay to go to a retreat center.

But so it's actually built into the

educational social system for the

poorest to enable them to have the

resources to be able to solve problems.

Not just because they get a helping

hand, which they need anyway, but

because they have a more active problem

solving, a wiser, more insightful

approach in their own lives as well.

So depression, the depression work,

I think is potentially extremely

important that it's, it's a huge

burden and it's a burden born by,

by the poorest and the most isolated

and the forgotten in our society.

And I think the third thing is CEOs.

Mindfulness is now taught routinely

at Davos in the early morning,

in early morning sessions.

I was there a couple of years ago.

John Kabat-Zinn was there last year.

There's nothing else scheduled that time.

People turn up and, and do

mindfulness if they want to.

And Janice Marturano, who's the

head of the Institute for Mindful

Leadership in New York, teaches CEOs

and leaders, how to in her, title of

her book, Finding the Space to Lead.

And the accounts she gives of the moving

sense in which busy, busy CEOs suddenly

discover that there's a world outside

the project, the biggest project they're

working on, that it has examples of CEOs

suddenly seeing the stars in the sky.

It sounds trivial.

But it's.

It's momentous.

Now we know the world of work has

gone crazy over the last 20, 30 years.

There was a time when people

would work eight hours a day.

And if they worked longer than that,

they would get paid overtime, which

is acknowledged in their pay packet.

And then suddenly that became

old-fashioned and it became

a sort of a union thing.

And now that's old fashioned.

And, and that happened at the same,

when the unions were getting sorted

out by Facton and Reagan and the, the

politicians, unfortunately, what was

also happening was a sort of sense of

the sense of excellence means working

as many hours as you'd like to work,

modeling the whole world on a few

entrepreneurs and startups in Silicon

Valley who had the sort of brain who

maybe could work 80 hours a week,

And you mix all of that with technology

so we can be constantly connected.

Exactly so.

So it's interesting to think

now that every generation has to

rediscover that after about eight

hours, your brain goes to sleep.

Even if your bum's still on the chair

at work, your brain is not active.

And that you can be more

productive if you take rests.

Now, Henry Ford, exactly a hundred years

ago in 1915, increased the salaries of

his workers and cut their working hours

and saw an increase in productivity.

And in the decades that followed

other large firms, saw what he had

done, in Ford, and followed suit.

We now need some really influential

top companies to say, that after

about 40 hours a week, certainly 45

to acknowledge that you are no longer,

it's an illusion of productivity.

And if you take breaks, you're

actually get more productivity, more

creativity, and a better bottomline.

And until somebody really influential

says that and doesn't, and we're

not all trapped in this sense

of, if you go home at the normal

time, somehow you're a loser.


We have to this.

I mean, I felt the same, you know, and

I was running departments and so on.

You could feel the pressure to want

to be the last person to leave.

And there's always somebody

with their light on.

And, and you know, it may be so

just left the light on by the state.

Oh my gosh.

I'm not leaving until that light goes off.

It becomes a pernicious thing.

And every generation has got to

relearn, relearn that actually

your brain can't function.

And when people stopped doing factory

work and started moving into doing

desk work, people thought, Oh, well

that now they can work 80 hours.

Actually the evidence is

slightly the other way.

That whereas you can go for a factory

for eight hours without doing damage

and bringing the whole assembly line to

a, to a stop because of an error that

you made because you were too tired.

Actually, it's probably more like

six and seven hours of desk work

that your brain, because the brain

actually needs to take a rest pause.

And if it doesn't, it will

take an involuntary rest pause.

And if, you know, it will just clam

up on your, your brain will go cloudy.


Then we get foggy, the foggy brain phase.


So by taking rests during the day, and

then having good nourishment in evening

and weekends, that's really important.

If, if not, that it has

to be built in somehow.

And if, if, if mindfulness can do that

CEO by CEO, company by company, if it

can do it to Google, and there's no point

saying, well, we now give, we now give

free donuts and meditation spaces in order

that people can work through the mat.

That's not the issue.

It's actually saying, we pay you to

work and we pay you to take breaks.

And until a company like Google has taken

that seriously, then the rest of us are

going to have a hard time changing it.

So I think there's clinical

world, there's the world of CEOs

and the parliamentary world.

And to maintain the incentive for

practicing mindfulness, even when the

froth has died down and it's no longer

a fad, that will be the acid test.

And then I think Joseph is right,

we'll change the world one by one.

But the one by one, isn't just the,

the poor person or the disadvantaged,

but the person who seeks to employ

them and the person who seeks to employ

that and the government ministers

and the council officials and so on.


That's I think, yeah.

And at the end of our lives, when

you and I are going to be somewhere

looked after by somebody else, maybe

a family member, maybe a assistant

care worker, will that care worker be

valued enough, paid enough and mindful

enough to look after us with compassion.

That's what we'd like.

Cause you and I, aren't going to have

a mind there to be able to argue back.

It's no good for me to say

to a, to a care worker.

You know, I used to be

a professor at Oxford.

Yes, dear.

I would be scared.

Now let's get you washed.

Yeah, yeah.

That's the point.

That's the reality of

the end of our lives.

Now these are end of life care.

Are we going to be looked after by

people who we respect now so that we can,

we, you know, so we are, we're looking

after the people that are ignored?

That's the critical thing that would be

the acid test of a compassionate society.


Thank you so much.

And I, I hope that we have the

pleasure of seeing some of that

potential paradigm shift happen.

It will be, it would be a beautiful

thing to, to, to see unfolding.

We'll we'll see.

It's an adventure.

It is indeed.

It's an adventure.

So yeah.

Is there anything else that you

would like to add before we close?

No, I don't think so.

I was just thinking of

all the things that.

I mean, one of the interesting things,

I think about eight week programs that

people often say, well, do I need to

go to a class or can I do it by myself?

It looks like you can do either.

Some people prefer to get things

online or to read the book.

Other people prefer to go to a class.

And I think that's good.

And at the eight week, cause you

know, you talked about sticking at it.

I think it's worth it because, partly

because there's a narrative structure

to the eight week course, you know.

People are offered different meditations

for addressing different issues.

Week by week, people look at different

aspects of how this, the mode of mind

that actually doesn't serve us very well.

Also it's science.

How do we know that it's there?

And how do we know that that

mind-state has, has volunteered

for a job it can't do?

And that needs a bit of time to work out.

So, so I think it starts with the

automatic pilot, but then there's

noticing you're living in your head

and noticing you're wanting things to

be different all the time, or noticing

you're trying to suppress some stuff.

And so there's lots of different things.

So that's why I think it's useful for

people to take these things and just

stick at them for eight weeks and see how

it, how, how it all works out for them.

And I wish them very well in,

in their, in the adventure

of discovering this practice.

Thank you so much.

And thank you all for watching.

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The Mindfulness Summit  null Playlist · 23 tracks

The Mindfulness Summit

Playlist · 23 tracks4.9

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