A Little Talk on Awareness — A Pillar of Well-Being

In this little talk on Awareness, we explore what science has learned about how the brain functions when we are aware, how awareness is a skill that is built through practice, and how factors in our lives like negative moods, threats, or our values not aligning with our actions can compromise our awareness—our attention in the present moment. Enjoy.

A Little Talk on Finding Kindness

On Monday, November 9, 2020 the New York Times published how voters are looking to the future. Ruth Dolash from Iowa said this, “We have more hate in this country than we need. I’d like to do my part to get rid of some of that. But I don’t know where to start.” We start by being willing to be with our own demons. How do we do this? In this little talk on Finding Kindness we explore how by the practice of recognizing, allowing, and investigating our demons and giving ourselves kindness from that place of equanimity, we open kindness in ourselves and from there can stream it out into the world. Kindness is healing for ourselves and others. It is the antidote to hate.

Another Little Talk on Equanimity

This is my second little talk on Equanimity. In this talk we explore ways of cultivating equanimity in our lives. Equanimity is that state of open, unperturbed, and balanced mind that sees the big picture and is able to respond appropriately rather than react from habit. Equanimity is at the heart of compassion giving us the courage to act compassionately while knowing that the outcome of any compassionate act is not within our control.

A Little Talk on Feeling Tone

In this little talk I explore feeling tone. In mindfulness feeling tone has a very specific meaning. It means the feeling of pleasant, unpleasant, or neither pleasant nor unpleasant (neutral) we feel in the moment of an experience arising. When we are not mindful–when our minds are flighty and not focused–we fly right over feeling tone into reactive emotions and thoughts. When we train our minds to pay attention and notice feeling tone, we give ourselves the opportunity to pause and to respond appropriately, rather than react from habit. Feeling tone is like having a mini super-power we can use in every moment of our experience.

A Little Talk About Attitude

This is a little talk about how being mindful of what attitude we bring to our chores, tasks, and projects can help us to see what’s really going on. Are we feeling that our chores are drudgery or obligations that must be done? And when we bring this attitude how do we feel inside? And what is this feeling telling us–does it have something to share with us? Is there something underlying that feeling of drudgery? What if we sit with it, allow it, and let it speak to us? Doing this opens us to release and the possibility of another attitude. The possibility of bringing an attitude of appreciation and gratitude is available.

A Little Talk – Appreciative Joy

This little talk is about Appreciative Joy. You may also hear it called sympathetic joy or in the original Pali language, mudita. Appreciative joy is the delight that springs from an open heart for our own and others’ happiness and good fortune. Joy is such a natural feeling. But, sometimes it is hard to feel. What gets in our way? We’ll explore how the mind states of resentment, jealousy, and envy can flow under the covers creating obstacles to our ability to feel joy. And, we’ll talk about what we can do, in addition to our formal practice, to awaken in us our open heart from which appreciative joy springs. Enjoy.