See all Meditation


Top articles

How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Mindful LivingSleep
CommunityFor Work






Scan the following QR code with your camera app to open it on your phone

How to Practice Mindful Communication

During this conversation Florence teaches us a skill called ‘Insight Dialogue’, which is a form of mindful communication.

G'day, it's Melli O'Brien here from The

Mindfulness Summit and this particular

masterclass is something I'm really

excited about because this masterclass

is about mindful communication.

Now I have to say for me, this is

where the rubber really hits the road

because isn't it true, right, that,

you know, the moments when you really

get triggere,d when your buttons get

pushed, when we tend to be most reactive,

most of the time, it's when we're in

communication with other people, our

friends, our coworkers, our loved ones.

And so mindful communication gives us

this capacity to be more skillful, to be

more kind, more loving and more authentic

in our communication with other people.

The masterclass you're about to watch is

with the wonderful Florence Meleo-Myers.

Florence has been teaching

meditation for over 30 years.

She's a certified siddha yoga teacher,

as well as being a senior MBSR teacher.

MBSR, for those of you who don't

know, stands for mindfulness

based stress reduction.

She went and studied in India

with meditation masters.

And she also holds degrees in both

education and psychology and she's

also a licensed family therapist.

And since 2003, Florence has been focusing

in on something called insight dialogue,

which is a form of mindful communication.

It's a form of mindful communication

that she's going to teach

to you in this masterclass.

I know you're going to enjoy

this interview with Florence

and gain so much value from it.

Without further ado, here's

the masterclass with the

wonderful Florence Meleo-Myers.

So Florence, actually, first of all,

I really want to just thank you really

from the bottom of my heart, for your

time and your presence and sharing

it with myself and the community.

Thank you for asking me.

You know, and, and also for your work,

because it's been very influential in my

own life and, and many lives around me.

So yeah, wanting to take a moment

of really appreciating you for that.

Thanks so much, Melli.

So Florence, would you say that when

you think back that you were spiritually

inclined as a child, or was that

something that came much later for you?

Mm, I was exposed in my family

to impermanence very young.

And there was a death in the family

that impacted me strongly, and

it really spun me into a lot of

wonder about how could this happen?

What is this life?

What is it to be alive?

What's the meaning?

What happens after you die?

Very, very young.

Questions around that.

And who am I?

So those questions, actually for many

of us are questions that lead us onto

a meditation path or a spiritual path

of some type of what is this about.

So, you know, it's just

was right there for me.

And eventually in my teens,

I heard of meditation.

And, and when the first time I heard

it, it was like, I want to know more

about this and it wasn't so available.

It was, you know, really,

certainly nothing that would be

as accessible as we know MBSR is.

But I began.

And in my twenties met a meditation

teacher, an Indian teacher.

And studied in India for part of the time.

And then continued, you know, with

this practice, stayed, came back to the

States and eventually ran a meditation

center for close to nine years.

And all of this was around those

questions of really exploring this

life, the value of this precious life.

And, and, how do we know,

how do we know ourselves?

How do I know myself?

And, then so, so that path is

still extremely valuable to me,

but I was teaching meditation and

working as a family therapist.

So separately.

And I was working with a lot

of people, healing from trauma.

And there were adults, children, families.

My background says a family therapist,

but it was, you know, you can work the

family with an individual, it's not like

you have to have everyone in the room.

But I knew I couldn't, I knew that I

couldn't, this was not another practice

that I could just easily pass to them.

It had more ritual and complexity to it.

And yet what I knew is that that

was a missing link in healing.

You can talk, confront, you could do

all kinds of layers of recognizing your

innocence in having been trespassed

in your life, but how to, how to offer

somebody some practice of coming home to

themselves that's very streamlined ,that

has the depth and integrity of any real

deep practice, but also is not,flowery.




It's so real it's.

I mean, it's not in any way putting

any other practice down, it's just

simply, it's so accessible, MBSR.

And was that your first exposure to

MBSR by, by trying to find a way to

integrate the wisdom of, you know, the,

the insights gained through meditation.

So you were looking for a way to bridge

that gap and that was, was that your first

exposure to mindfulness practice or...?

Exactly, I mean, with all this meditation

background, but still it was MBSR.

So as I came to help my clients

and my patients really, and,

and help them in very skillful

ways to work with the suffering.

So that's really what brought me here.



And then I'd be curious to

know because my background is

actually kind of similar to yours.

I know that you started with,

it was a siddha yoga, wasn't it?


And, and so you found this pathway

for your clients, but I'm curious

to know what unfolded in you in that

journey in because to teach it, you

really just begin to integrate it

so much into life, those principles.

So what happened for you when

you started to use MBSR and

teach MBSR to your clients?

Well, in some ways there were, excuse me.

In some ways, there were such a closeness

and it wasn't like, it wasn't, it was..

There was the uniqueness to the

practices, but familiarity as well.

And to me, that is, if it's, if,

if it's a true path, it's got, it

has to have universal application.

So, so I would say with the siddha

meditation, there was a very strong

recognition of wholeness of every human

being, of, of recognizing that in one

another and oneself and in one another.

And that to really wake up to

how we perceive, you know, what

are the glasses we're wearing?

How do we see our own lives

or the world we live in?

And so MBSR has the recognition of innate

genius, innate wholeness of every human

being and the possibility that we can

skillfully wake up to this wholeness

and capacity that is already here.

It's not like we have to be a more

improved model of ourselves, but wake

up to the brilliance that's here.

So, so, my first retreat with Insight

Meditation, I was holding that

question, Melli, that you're asking.

And I kept feeling like

it's the same room.

I'm looking through different windows

or doorways, but it's the same.

And I would say my experience

with teaching MBSR has

everything to do with love.

And that's a big word to use.

I don't mean that in any kind of,

you know, hallmark card kind of way.

But fierce love, fierce, to

actually choose to be intimate

with one's own life and value.

You have been teaching through both,

you know, I think, I think over

30 years now through Siddha yoga

and then MBSR and you've taught,

you know, probably thousands and

thousands of people over that time.

And I'm assuming that you must be

picking up on certain patterns that

you see in what unfolds in somebody's

journey when they begin to practice.

And so I'm curious if you have noticed

when somebody's beginning to consistently

practice that they're doing the

work, what are the common aha moments

that people have, those breakthrough

realizations that, that changed them.

And, and, and what are the

fruits of those realizations?


I think one of the first things is to

not expect aha moments because there's a

lot of assumptions and misunderstandings.

Like one of them is I can't meditate.

My mind's too busy.

It's like saying I can't go to the gym.

You know, I need to work out first.

It's already here.

So that's one.

Another one is like, and the

media often supports this, but

kind of being above at all.

A little ethereal, reaching

some perfected state.

So the first thing in my teaching

,I think, is to just diffuse

some of those assumptions.

So just see how, how extraordinarily

ordinary and ordinary the extraordinary

is, right here, right in this moment.

And, and given that, I do hear things

too, you know, these insight and one of

them, I remember a woman very clearly

saying, and also it's more than one,

as you said, there's patterns that

show up, but the recognition that we're

more than our thinking is gigantic.

That, you know, if, if I can know

sensation is right here, I'm familiar

with emotion, I get swept away at times.

But, but Descartes said it, you

know, it's, here's, I'm thinking.

I've got this kind of aligned and

that's just the way it is and it.

And yet thoughts can be known.

So what's that, that can be awake to

all the random thoughts, the brilliant

thoughts, the complex, confused

thoughts, but suddenly thoughts become

like waves in an ocean that rise and

fall in the ocean that's holding it.

So that's one that has been

heard, a greater sense of clarity.

And then very beautiful is

appreciation for the small gifts

and beauties in any given day.

Just these moments that are right

here, like, like a flower blossoming

right in front of us, that many

people have been too busy to notice.

So beginning to claim the

life that we are given.

I, once I'm thinking right now, as

I'm saying this of a teacher who had

taught at a grammar school who was

in a class and she taught there for

like 20 or twenty-five years, And she

said, I suddenly saw the tree outside

of the school after all these years.

I'd never saw it before.

It's exquisitely beautiful.

It's like that, you know, that finding.

And, and it's internal and external

because I think another very, very

powerful experience, and I guess it's

freedom, but it's reclamation too, I

think, that comes through practice,

is claiming parts of ourselves that

for whatever conditioned reasons had

to be splintered off and stuffed away.

And they were liabilities and

don't, you dare show that to anyone.

And, and with practice, it's like,

Oh, that can, this can be mad.

And in many places, it turns out

these are great qualities, you know.

They are assets to us, but

they were somehow we believe

they needed to be dismissed.

I was talking to somebody

about this yesterday.

They were asking me, you know, what does

authenticity have to do with mindfulness,

because they'd seen me talking about it.

And that's exactly a perfect description

to me of why authenticity has so much

to do with mindfulness, because it's

this, you know, as you say, this, well

an invitation really, to embrace all

that you are and without judgment.

And, and to me to be able to live

like that in touch with all of

it, the whole catastrophe as Jon

says, the full catastrophe of it,

it's, that's authenticity to me.


And that's a really good way to live.


I agree.

So besides the authenticity, I'm curious

to hear your take on, you know, that

realization, I am not my thoughts

and the clarity that comes with that.

What, what, what are the fruits of that

do you see in, in people's lives when

they realize, Oh, I'm not my thoughts?

What, what it gives is a refined

relationship to those thoughts or to

emotions, to different sensations,

especially challenging, unpleasant,

painful sensation or emotion.

But it's, it's, it's as you're

saying, authenticity is, is like we're

holding, we're allowing all of it.

We're not going to act on all of

it because that's going to, that's

a certain kind of discernment.

That is, that also comes with

mindfulness around here it is.

Now, what choice do you want to make from,

from this being fully with this right now?

So, so that's what I see and the freedom

that can come from, oh, there's there's

that thought I've had that thought

like thousands of times in my life.


Is it true?

Is it necessarily true?

Maybe, maybe, not.

Do I, do I need to follow this

path again on this thought or...?

It really does underscore the

pause, that there's awareness.

Intimacy allows the freedom choice.

So there's that possibility to steer

our lives with greater wisdom and

with greater compassion from the

being present with, as it is now.


And from your experience of decades

of teaching, as well, something else

I'm really curious about is, you know,

once somebody has a, we, we know, I

think, you know, we spoke about it

a lot in the, in the summit, really

the importance of formal practice.

Once we have that, what do you think are

the ways that, that you observe that are

the most effective ways of integrating

that, that awareness into our daily lives?

Are there things that you've noticed

that just really work for people?

Little tricks?

No, it's funny.

Well, the first part of it is the

whole life that the practice they, the

cultivation of mindfulness and awareness

involves every moment of your life.

It's not just time on the cushion, but

formal practice is kind of an anchor.

So that choice to say this time is

just for me to be, just to be, and

to know this being and you know,

there's enough pulls on all of our

lives, to that, that's becomes.

It's a discipline, but

it's a refuge as well.

And then from there, how does

this flow into the mundane

unfolding of a day of our life?

So, one thing I find is that choosing

a few routine activities, and we

invite people in the MBSR classes,

you know, you know, to take a few,

showering, brushing your teeth, walking

the dog, some simple activity that

normally we might just be mindless.

It's like time out instead of time

in, to anchor that because then that

intention and the repetition start

building a deeper groove in one's day.

And it almost can remind us.

It can become a time for...

One of the times, for me, that

I've established is the time

that I walk out of my door.

In the morning?


And I'm facing East and it's, and

it's like, I'm about to get in the

car, I've got to drive to work,

but there's, it's like this moment.

And I've already sat, but it's

this, this moment right now.

And, and when we, so that

intention helps to come back.

Something that I've experienced, and

I think many people with a meditation

practice for a period of time would say

this as well, is that the repetition,

the discipline of daily practice,

even if it's in fact, small incidents

throughout the day, is what builds.

It's like the, the color and

the pattern and the fabric

almost tick it's remembrance

there with those small moments.

But times when I have had very high

demand, you know, there is some,

some real crisis I had to deal with

and what I found was that it was

as if my practice remembered me.

I was upset about something,

but I had this feeling like my

practice kind of was right there.

It was because it was embodied,

because it had been cultivated and

it was a natural turning toward.


Even, even under duress,

it was like, wait a minute.

Let me remind you/ let me

call you, very lovingly.

So, so, you know, tips I would

say is to look through a day

and choose certain times.

I know a lot of physicians will say just

as they're picking up the chart or as

they're opening the door and this patient

is like a new universe, just this moment.

So how can we do that?

How can we start new in the

tiny moments of our day?

But what can happen?

Are you familiar with the painter Seurat?


Pointillism pointillism.

And it's like, if you saw the picture,

you probably would recognize it.

Just he created paintings

of like dots of color.

And then of course, when the eye

receives it, it's, it's a picture.

It's forms and trees

and people and the lake.

And, but when you look close,

it's little dots of color.

And that, I feel like, is

what our day can be like.

These moments, these moments that

start to build greater resilience,

greater strength and remembrance.

I feel like this is such an important

thing because there can be, and I

know I've done this myself, so there

can be sometimes a tendency, if we're

so, so many spiritual practitioners,

if you will, we can do a thing where

we do our practice and then there's

this real sense of like, okay, tick.

You know, I've done my

meditation practice, tick.

I did some exercise, done.

Now I'll just go about the rest of my day.

You know, and that's such a shame

because this is really, you know, this

is what we're doing it for to, to, to,

to be fully awake to our lives, to have

more choice to, live authentically.

So I really love that idea of just, so

just kind of like choosing something,

like doing the dishes and whenever I

do the dishes, I, I'm awake for that.


Whenever I go to the doorway and

another one that I love is the car,

because we so often rush when we're

getting in the car to go somewhere.

There's often such a sense of

I'm going to get somewhere.

And then when I, you know, we fall,

it's easy to fall into the mind pattern

of this moment is not important.

It's really just a means to an

end for me to get where I'm going.

So I love that.

And on a really practical note on

that, a piece of feedback that I

received in the past from some people

is that when they tried to do too

many things, they became overwhelmed

and kind of let the whole thing go.

So would you recommend just choosing,

say, if you've never done anything

like this before, maybe starting

with one or two, three activities.

What do you think?

I think it's up to the person to decide.

But, you know, what I hear in

your question is how can we

support people to start building

this and not overwhelm them?

If they're saying it it's

like, one thing really present

is, is precious, right there.

So it's quality.

This question, how long

should anybody meditate?

You know, of course we have 45 minute

recordings here and that's recommended.

But the question is what's

the quality of attending.

So, so washing the dishes and really

being there with all of the sensory

experience and the internal-external

processes is a gigantic thing to do.

And then that, built over time,

can become a resource too.

It's like something is known and the

physicality and the presence that

can then extend without ever having

to say again to check another box.

But it, it very naturally starts to build.

Very much so.

You also teach something that

I'm really excited to talk

about this insight dialogue.

And I really, I'm just going to read

out a little printout that I printed

from the internet about what this

is so that our viewers can kind

of really get a sense of these.

"So insight dialogue is a way of

bringing the tranquility and insight

attained in meditation, directly

into interactions with others.

It's a new practice that involves

interacting with a partner, maybe in a

retreat setting or on your own, as a way

of accessing a kind of profound insight

and then you take that insight into the

grind of everyday human interactions."

Now, I, I'm excited about this because I'm

just going to, this is how it is for me.

I can get on the cushion, and just,

it's obviously it's not always easy.

You know what meditation is like.

It's different every day,

but generally speaking.

I feel it a really deep sense

ofbelonging, a sense of being

at home with, within myself.

You know, really it's

quite nourishing for me.

It's a joy.

It's not a chore for me

to get on my cushion.

I love it.

So, but I can get off my cushion, and

come in and have a cup of tea with my

partner and like that, I'm triggered.

So this for me is where

the rubber hits the road.

This for me, it's like the toughest thing.

How can I be more awake in my

communication with other people?

That is a juicy question.

So the first thing I would love

to explore is, I personally would

love to try a formal practice of

insight dialogue, you know, at home.

And I'm wondering if you could give

us guidelines, is that possible that

you could give us some guidelines too

you have a try if we want to try it?

Like after this video, what do we do?

My partner is going to wake up soon.

You know, tea with your partner

and start inside dialogue.

You, Melli, what you're doing

is awareness and in dialogue.

What what's happening now,

well, we've been talking, have

you been aware of your body?


I know, I know it's sitting here.

I mean, I'm not, because I'm

focused, I'm peripherally aware,

aware of, you know, the bird song

outside, my breathing, my body.



So our practice of mindfulness, it's

like every moment of our day, right?



Not in a perfection thing, but

just that it's, it's universal.

It's not, it's, it's not a technique.

So any moment we can be awake.

So that's all true.

And then there are times and practices

that can hone very specifically

on different aspects of practice.

The relational has always

been fascinating to me.

And I think family systems

and relationships, I mean,

as a family therapist.

As so many, like what happens there?


So insight dialogue is insight practice

that was founded by Gregory Kramer.

And I studied with him and I,

and taught somewhat with him.

But I also, you know, this was mostly

on retreats, it is predominantly

insight dialogue in retreat.

And sitting at the CFM, feeling the

power of this practice, which I'll say

more about, I wanted to find a way and

Gregory Kramer did too and also some

other MBSR teachers, to bring this to

people and what we thought we're people

who finished, who completed the8-week

MBSR class would be at a good, like

what we call here a graduate class.

I, you're not alone with this sense.

It's like so many of us could, when people

hear like relationship, okay, I'm in.

You know, like that, I could use that.

So why?

What is it?

So, so we are such sensitive

creatures where we're really tuned.

You just said, you heard, you know,

peripherally, you heard a bird outside.

Our receptivity of this moment of

being, of contacting our world, it's

not like there's us and our world, that

this moment of touch, moment to moment,

hearing, the eyes, scent, all the senses.

There's touching and then there's the

knowing from that moment of contact.

All well and good.

The birds and the flowers and the sky.

That's all lovely.

Cushion, lovely.

And then we come to the beauty of being

with another human being and here,

the possibility is heightened, I feel,

because we have a lot of conditioning.

We are social, relational creatures

and to survive, we had to be seen.

We, this, this is part of, you

know, we needed that campfire.

We needed groups to

support us in some way.

And then the communication

becomes not just words.

And we know this, and words are very

small percentage of our communication.

What's the body doing?

What's the, with the flip

of the eye, a slight twist of

the head, meaning is being made.

We're we're like our antenna are out.

Did they liked me?

Is this okay?

Are they judging?

What about.

What am I feeling in this exchange?

There's a me and a you.

And then in our families, of

course, there are layers to that.

Oh, you're the one who...

And we, we can solidify that around

our concepts of this me as I am.

Oh, I'm the shy one.

I'm the..

I'm the wallflower.

I'm, I'm the life of the party.

But there's simply more ideas about

what's possible here with two people

choosing to be awake moment to moment,

to be in the not known, but choosing

to be in a space of awakening together.

And that's what can happen

with the practice that's

comes from insight dialogue.

And as I started saying, so this eight

week class, the interpersonal mindfulness

class, and I've done some trainings for

teachers as well to teach that class, it

feels so important to me in our world.

There's so much division.

And, and then there's these, there's

this, those of us that are saying, wait

a minute, there's a me and a you, but

there's the possibility that this veil of

separation can be honored but also opened.

And the meditation guidelines are.

I'll just go through them right now.

So the first, there are six of

them, and the first one is pause.

Do you notice anything in your

body when you feel, when you

hear that word just pause?

Like a feeling of

relaxation through my belly.

Ah, interesting.


So, so the pause is an invitation to

be awake, to intercept the kind of

the whee, that's just moving, moving.

Like you're like, I've got some place to

go to, as you were saying, that can be

interrupted with a moment of alertness.

So pausing is okay.


Here we are.

That might be a moment of being silent.

It might not.

The next, these guidelines emerge

and they're very, very familiar

to our solo practice as well.

So the next one, and you

just named it, it's relaxed.

You felt something ease when you

chose to attend, then you, you

felt something shift in your body.

So the guideline relax, on a very

concrete level, may be what's, I'm awake.

Oh, my shoulders are high.

I can release that.

Is there, is there muscle tension

that's unnecessary or added that can

actually be met here and released?

Maybe yes, maybe not.

But it's not forcing

anything it's invitation.

But following from that is, oh, allow.

So this relax too, this

is how it is right now.

It's just this way.

The body-mind is just like this right now.

On the far end of that spectrum

of relax is love and of just this

being with life in this moment.

The next guideline,

the third one, is open.

So from a kind of very strong

concentration, one-pointedness,

there's the possibility of opening,

which you'd named peripheral

could be actually embraced here.

And you and I are in this

open space of mutuality.

So we're opening to our

interconnectedness, our interbeing,

as Thich Nhat Hanh says.

And then the next one,

they're all so beautiful.

The next one is trust emergence.

So trust emergence is like, as we are

here together, not knowing what will

come next, there's the leaning into

the not knowing, that we know change

is constant and we can trust it.

We can actually not have to fight

it so much, but say, because

this is the source of creativity.

This emergence.

Look what you've done, you and

your husband, are seeing this.

And then, you know, from this first,

what would it be like to do this,

then this, then this is, because

you're responding to what's emerging.


I love that.

I love, I love the idea of that in

general, in relating with another human

being, just to have having that moment

of just not, not planning, not trying to

figure it all out, not having an agenda.

I feel relaxed just thinking about it.

And I do too.

And it's also, so what a lot of normal,

you know, parlance, there's a constriction

around, I've got to say something smart.

I've got to be clever.

Will,they like me?

All of, all of that is going on

and it may be showing up in a

relational mindfulness practice.

But you're noticing it.

You're present with it.

Oh, it's a thought, Oh, there's

that sensation in the belly.


It just, it, it does.

It's not a definition of you.

But that's where so many

people feel like,, I can't.

They fill the space.

I have to, have to fill all of the space,

because what if there's a silent moment?

Oh my gosh.

From trust, emergence comes,

listen deeply, speak the truth.

So I'll say something about that.

Listen deeply is really listening

internally and offering.

It's like an offering really to

your south end, your meditation

partner because we become partners in

meditation with this practice, that your

expression is maybe a tiny movement.

Your eye, a smile.

It, it might be the tone of your voice.

It's the words you're saying.

It's but, but at the deepest level,

there's presence, to be present

with ourselves and with one another.

And so the listening deeply, really

has guidance on moving from the

words, and the expression through

the body and this being-ness.

And then the speak the truth

is to pause and feel into what

is actually true now for me.

It's subjective truth.

But to take the time to

connect with this emergence.

And it's authentic, it's your word.

It's what you're meaning is.

It's deep authenticity.

One of the things I've found, I do love

this practice from which, and the it's

one of the most remarked about practices

that are done, is done in the eight

week class and in intensives as well.

The people often refer to it like.

I had no idea that this space

where, you know, the kind of solo

meditation practice or it's, my world

can open into a space of mutuality.

And when you were pausing

into mindfulness, if I'm like

caught up in my own stuff, your

practice supports me to remember.


So it becomes this generosity

that goes back and forth.

And then embracing, embracing both, and

then it can be larger into a whole room.


So I will.

I'm just reading the minds

of our view is right now.

And I think I'll just let everybody

know that I will write down those six

steps so that you can practice this.

I'm going to practice this today.

I've got a willing participant.

So I'm also wondering, obviously that

formal practice would be an incredible

support in just, you know, building more

authentic and awakened relationships.

And I imagine that's just going

to infuse into daily life.

And I'm also wondering, do you have

any other things that you've noticed

that work in informal communication,

informal mindfulness communication?

Is there anything else that

you'd like to offer in terms

of what works in daily life?

I, you know, I feel of all

those guidelines, pausing.

I mean, that's choosing to be awake.

That's, that's making that

choice toward mindfulness.

But just to give ourselves permission

to pause, to really listen, We interrupt

each other so much, and so often I

find when I do that kind of knee jerk

interruption, and if I say, Oh, I'm

sorry, I, you were saying something.

Very often the person is like, no.

It's just right where the thread is.

So to, to, to care for one another enough

to ask more, to listen to, and I think

for each of us as well, Groundedness

in the body is really, really, really

important because we, we can jump

out, especially at another person.

I know exactly what you mean.

It's so easy.

It is, it is.


And that's what I've heard

people say in different classes

of the relational practice.

It's somebody saying I want to stay home

in my own body when I'm in connection

with another and just getting lost.


I really relate to that feeling.

I mean, it really, I think that's

actually a really nice way of saying it.

It feels like you jump out of

your groundedness, just like that.


So I, I would say that's one real strong,

feel your seat, feel your feet, being,

inviting yourself into the moment,

fully present, physically especially.

And the other part, and listening.

And I wanted to say

something about that too.

But the third, there was just something

else I wanted to say about this.

Oh, it's the same, another quality that

supports our practice is curiosity.

Can we be curious about our, with,

right, with our own experience and

who is this person that I'm with?

What, what's possible here?

So listening is not just something

that I'm doing here, like with my ears.

Listening has often been used

as another word for meditation.

So where it's, you know, it's like,

as we connect internally, if I find

you're speaking and I'm running tapes

in my mind of what I'm about to say,

that's a place to pause, because,

because we're just flying off.

So that, that gentle invitation

to come back comes from that

listening internally and externally.

There's an exercise I've invited people

into, especially in intensives, and it

focuses on a time in your life when you

were, had something you wanted to share

and you were listened to and another

time when we weren't listened to.

And it's, it's a longer process.

I won't go through all of it.

But almost there, I don't think it's ever

happened that I worked this with this with

a group that it didn't come to this place

where a person remembered a time when

they were really received, really met and

listened to and seen, I would add too.

They say, I am loved.

And so the, what I would like to point

out is that we all have the power to

offer this to our ourselves with kindness,

with, you know, a lot of gentleness

around some of the heartache we may

listen to internally and with one another.

It's like we have a gift that

we could give that actually has

potential to heal the multitude of

times when we weren't listened to,

or we didn't listen to ourselves.

Sometimes I think it becomes obvious

when you dig a little bit underneath

the surface, that a little, a

little, what seems like a little

act, a small detail of daily life is

actually something so much deeper.

And that's such a great example of just,

just offering your presence to another

person when they want to share is like

it's such an act of love, isn't it?

I mean, just when I, when you were

saying that I was thinking about

a time when I was really listened

to and a time when I wasn't.

And even before you spoke those words,

I had this come to the same conclusion.

You know, when somebody is

listening to me, I feel like you're

saying to me, I care about you.

I want to hear you.

I want to connect with you.

You're worth listening to.

Ah, so very, very true.

I'd like to ask you a personal

question if you don't mind.

And I'm just curious if you can think

of a time when you were triggered,

maybe in the recent past or the

distant past, if you're lucky enough.

And what did you do in that

moment and what happened?

So well, I have a selection

I have to choose from.

I'm not alone.


I think I, I can share one.

So this is not distant.

It's, it's within the year probably.

And I was coming into a meeting.

And I had, I had in the agenda

and things that I wanted to share,

but I suddenly realized that I was

feeling not in my seat and a kind of,

definitely a kind of vulnerability.

And then I noticed that

my mouth was very dry.

And, and I was at a, so all

of the recognition was here.

And I.

I started speaking and I could feel how

dry my mouth was and I just stopped.

I said, first I said,

I just need a moment.

We need to pause for a moment.

And then I said, I just want to

say, and of course I'm at the Center

for Mindfulness, so, you know, I

said, I, I am just very aware that

my mouth is very dry right now.

And the whole, the whole group shifted in

a way that I just my having the freedom to

say that out loud, I think brought a lot

of kindness and compassion into the space.

But it also,It was like, here's

the stress react, reactivity.

It's right here.

I mean, everybody in the room is

familiar with this, but something

about the authenticity of naming it,

because I could have chosen not to.

And there will be times that

will not be appropriate at all.

You know, depending on who you're with.

But most important of all

would be the inner recognition.

And from that place, that's an act of

compassion because that is the listening.

And then from that clarity, you know,

I'm using listening here, connection of

awareness, then the choice can be made.

You know, I just need a few moments, offer

yourself care, recognize who you're with.

It's it's, you know, what the,

what being awake can allow us.

The choices and the freedom

are possible there.

But I said that out loud.

So that, so that was, for

sure a time, you know.

I could think of others.

And I, I love how you mentioned that

there was the shift in the room as

well, because I've, I've noticed that

a couple of times when other people

have kind of just added their moment of

vulnerability and when I've done it as

well, it's almost like everybody just

relaxes and just goes, Oh, you know.

Not, not only, I think not only

because there's a, a vulnerability,

but it's just such a wonderful moment

of connection, especially if there's,

especially if there's a scenario

where someone's presenting or they're

being the authority or there, and

they just go, Oh, you know what?

I'm really nervous right now.

Or I'm feeling this.

And it's, it's almost like a visible aaah

in the whole room or the conversation.

Why do you think that's so?

What do you suppose happens there?

It feels like to me, a mask just came

off and there's no real boundary of

pretending or showing up as anything.

No protecting.

There's no more protecting happening.

That's kind of what it feels like.

What do you think?

And I think that we, that discernment

is needed there because it's like, what

is the role that we're in, we're in?

So if we're the teacher in a

group, how much we say, I'm nervous

right now, may not be skillful.

Knowing it is totally important.

This was a meeting, you

know, so it was separate.

At the CFM.

But the other part of that is what

you're naming about the mask coming off.

It ties back to what you

shared about authenticity.

And whether we share the specific moment

of nervousness or something or not,

what's most important is we're just people

who are choosing to, to wake up and,

and to be in connection with ourselves

and with others, you know, hopefully

to create greater peace and compassion.

These milli-moments during our day

that start to build up in the world.


And I think you're right, you

know, a lot can be said, um, n a

moment of being triggered or, or,

you know, whatever's going on.

I think a lot can be said

without saying a word.

And I'm imagining, you know, a difficult

conversation that I could have with my

partner when he wakes up and we have a cup

of tea, you know, without saying a word.

You know, I can, I can remember times

what, you know, you can be triggered

and then sometimes all you have to do is

just kind of recognize it and just go.

And yeah, without even saying

a word, you know, some you can

disarm, I think in a way, so, yeah.

I'm glad you mentioned that.

You don't have to always verbally out

ourselves for that sense of, you know, ah.

And what you just said is

I'm here, is what it is.

I am here.

I'm I'm here and it's like this right now.

I'm here and I'm here with this response.

I'm here and I'm not missing it.

I just have one more question.

And that is if you could time travel and

you, you know, you could go back with

all the experience and wisdom that you

have now, and you could travel back in

time and meet your former self and just

whisper one piece of advice in your ear.

The you, and this is the you in the

past that's just about to start on

the journey to mindful living, what

would you, what one piece of precious

advice would you whisper in their ear?

I think it would be just keep going.

Keep going, because it's

not going to be flashing.

It's not going to be a sudden epiphany.

There, there are insights.

There, all of that that we

know and exquisite beauty.

But there's also waking up to exquisite

tenderness, vulnerability, fear.

So, so not to be deterred by those

times when it's like, Whoa, that's

whole person that's whole life.


So keep going.

And, you know, that's., there's

this word discipline, but

it's this steady, keep moving.


Beautiful question.


I've really, really enjoyed

connecting with you.

I've really enjoyed this

conversation and yeah.

Thank you so much for your

time and your presence.

Thank you, Melli.

Included in

The Mindfulness Summit  null Playlist · 23 tracks

The Mindfulness Summit

Playlist · 23 tracks4.9

Get Unlimited Access

Start your mindfulness journey today.

A Mindfulness Plus+ subscription gives you unlimited access to a world of premium mindfulness content.

  • Over 1,800 meditations, sleep, calm music, naturescapes and more
  • Daily mindfulness video meditations 365 days a year
  • 100s of courses and tools to help manage anxiety, sleep and stress

Get started today

Start your 7-day free trial
Or sign up with

Email Missing

We couldn’t detect your email with the SSO provider you have selected.

Mindfulness Guarantee

We are here to make a positive impact on the world. We never want to sell you something that hasn’t helped you live a better life. That’s why if you’re unhappy with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to get a full refund and your money back.

If you subscribed to Mindfulness Plus+ and are unhappy with your purchase, please get in contact with us within the 30-day period and we’ll refund your purchase.

Learn more about our Mindfulness Guarantee.


Bring balance into your everyday life.

We believe in a world where everybody has access to the life-changing skills of mindfulness.

  • 2,000+ Guided Meditations
  • Daily Coaching
  • Sleep Content
  • Mindful Exercises
  • Mindful Radio
  • 10+ Courses from world-class teachers

Private Browsing

Added to your cart!


Claim your free access

Create a mindfulness account and we’ll unlock this premium session in your account forever.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Start a free trial to play this session

7-Days free trial, cancel anytime.

Finish personalizing your account

Complete a few quick questions to make your own personalized mindfulness plan.