If you live in the St. Louis area, an in-person study group started working with this book and will continue for the next few months. Let me know if you’d like to join us and I’ll you hook you up!
If you’d like to share a post about what you learned about compassion (The First Step), what you’re seeing in your world (The Second Step), self-compassion (The Third Step), empathy (The Fourth Step), or mindfulness (The Fifth Step) use the link list below. Or join the discussion in the comments or on Facebook.
The purpose of mindfulness…is to help us to detach ourselves from the ego by observing the way our minds work. p. 105
The suggested method is meditation. Fortunately, since I have such a huge resistance to sitting meditation, Armstrong considers mindfulness a “form of meditation that we perform as we go about our daily lives.”
Here are some tools that I know work for me to examine how my mind works, in the moment that it’s working.
- Taming Your Gremlin by Richard Carson
- Logging my day in a journal file on my computer
- The “Head Office” section of A Blueprint for Your Castle in the Clouds
I was surprised to encounter several of the issues that I’ve read about in Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life in a PBS Newshour segment this week on power.
Studies find that if you’re enthusiastic and you’re open to new ideas and you listen really well and you express gratitude and you share resources — really simple strategies — you rise in the ranks in just about every context that’s been studied.
Some real-world experience bore that out for me this week. A group of us presented a proposal to a local school district that we hoped would help correct the discipline gap where students of color are suspended at higher rates than white students, often for the same offenses. We discovered that the administrators, at least, were hungry to converse on this issue. I got the impression that they just didn’t know how to bring it up in a productive way and were thrilled that the community did it for them so that they can now bring their existing efforts into the open and build on them. Our attitude of enthusiasm, openness to learn, and willingness to share resources, gave us an unexpected boost of power to make an impact for students.
I trace a direct line between the work I’ve done in mindfulness since reading A Blueprint for Your Castle in the Clouds to the empathy meditation that I worked on last month to community organizing to having the power to make things better in the world. That’s a big impact for something that started out in my head.
What helps you develop mindfulness? What benefits do you draw from being mindful?