If we create a culture that promotes well-being and prosperity for all,
then we will be in a position to discover who we really are.
                                                 Martin Seligman

There was a discussion on the Australian Facilitators Network about mindfulness. Here is my contribution.

I delight in this Buddhist prayer:

May you be free of suffering
May you know the joy of your own true nature
May you be happy
May you be at peace.

To me the essence of mindfulness is activating our Witness or Observer Self. This is the part of us can see exactly what we do without judgement. It is right next door to the Critic, which can see the same thing and sometimes give us holy hell for it!

Simply introducing the contrast between the Witness and the Critic can be a door opener for people. Being alert, we can sometimes catch when our emotional stuff is being reactivated. And, being alert we can sometimes catch exceptionally good states of consciousness... and even return to them.

I have a concept that I call ‘Workshops on the fly’. For example, while people could learn about the Witness in a

 workshop, it takes effort organise workshops. More simply, I sometimes introduce the concept of the Witness in an informal conversation in a coffee shop.

I may follow up with this Object Concentration exercise:

Choose an attractive object -perhaps something from nature or an art object.
Agree with yourself to spend, say, 4 minutes paying attention to the object
Adopt this internal instruction to yourself:
“When my mind goes away, I will notice that it's gone away, and bring it back.

This gives us practice in actually applying our Witness function. We notice that our mind has gone away...

It is also a creativity exercise. With protracted attention, people tend to see many more details than they would have noticed at first. I sometimes say that ‘to see reality is a great creative act!’

Far more than I did years ago, these days experience love, inner well-being, and many moments of uncaused joy, or even ecstasy.

I believe that prolonged meditation is one path to these kinds of states. My path was different. I did massive amounts of ‘inner work’. There is no need to recount all of that here. But if the first stage is ‘becoming free of suffering’, then there is one do-it-yourself tool that I especially recommend: EFT, also known as ‘tapping technique’. By becoming mindful of our occasions of upset, and tapping on a few acupuncture points, we can sometimes (not always) rapidly resolve the source of the upset. [An excellent free on-line training is at www.emofree.com.]

I’m personally committed to accelerating the Great Transition to a life-sustaining society. Cultivating emotional well-being is a profound part of the transition. I would like to think that you too will contribute to the transition by occasionally offering a ‘workshop on the fly’ to people who happen to be with. We have noted three topics in this post:

1 Introducing the contrast between the Witness and the Critic
2 The Object Concentration Exercise
3 Introducing people to EFT

Many other topics are possible, of course.

Yours for a world that works for all! May you know the joy of your own true nature!


Andrew Gaines
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
We are in a Great Transition to a life-sustaining society!